September 21st, 2007
09:45 AM ET
12 years ago

Giuliani defends adviser over 'too many mosques' comments

RESTON, Virginia (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani stood by Congressman Peter King, a homeland security adviser to his campaign, over his comment that there are “too many mosques” in the country.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani spoke in Reston, Virginia on Wednesday.

Giuliani told reporters late Thursday afternoon, “I know exactly what Pete meant. I knew what he meant before I heard the clarification.”

The political web site, Politico, reported King said in an interview this week , “Unfortunately we have too many mosques in this country, there's too many people who are sympathetic to radical Islam. We should be looking at them more carefully, we should be finding out how we can infiltrate, we should be much more aggressive in law enforcement." King, the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee said the comments were taken out of context.

Asked if he would remove King from the campaign, Giuliani smiled and said, “I’ve known Pete for 41 years, so I’m not about to do that....what he meant was there are mosques where violence is preached. I know that from my own investigations of Islamic terrorism. I also know there are many mosques where it isn’t.

“Peter explained it quite adequately ,” he Giuliani said at the news conference in Reston, Virginia after returning from London. “For me, he didn’t have to explain it. I understood exactly what he meant. I’m glad he explained it for everyone that might seek to misinterpret.

Giuliani said, “In politics, when you speak a hundred times a day, people can always interpret what you say. I always give people a chance to explain what they meant. I give to people who aren’t my allies. I sure as heck am going to give it to people who are.”

- CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk

Filed under: Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Christian, Tampa FL

    It's interesting for me to read that comment, considering that I lived in a 99% Muslim country, Turkey, for six years and I felt that the Turks were far more hospitable and all-around kind to me and my family than most Americans would be.

    There is nothing wrong with mosques, and Islamic radicalism is not as much of a problem in America as it is in Europe because Muslims are able to integrate into society and pursue the American dream.

    Perhaps we should have more mosques, actually; we should have stable religious institutions from all faiths that work to benefit their communities.

    September 21, 2007 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. lisa, portland, oregon

    "there are mosques where violence is preached"? There is violence where humans are. Goodness.

    September 21, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  3. Flavio Di Fusco, Germantown, MD

    Mike from Cleveland-

    Don't fall for the media's use of the descriptor, "RADICAL", when placed in front of some religious nut who kills or advocates killing other religious people or non-believers.

    Because so-called "mainstream" or "moderate" Christians, Jews, and Muslims all tolerate these killers and propagandists within their ranks, they're just as guilty as those who are labeled, "radical". There are radicals in Christianity and Judaism, just as there are in Islam- and they spew the same hateful language. Don't think for a moment that if the "Religious Right" ever gained power in the United States, that they wouldn't try to rewrite the Constitution to put non-believers, minorities, and women in their place. Arguably, they've already tried this and still are.

    The problem won't be solved, until religion as a whole is stamped out within government, and its sympathizers are removed.

    September 21, 2007 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. Dishawn Jackson, McAllen, TX

    Hmmm, lots of good comments showing up and being deleted...

    Good job on the censorship, CNN !

    September 21, 2007 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. freedom of religion

    Bloodstripe, I've never been threatened by one Islamic American citizen, and I've visited Dearborn, MI frequently. Please stop comparing radicalism with Islam, they're different. This story is embarassing.

    September 21, 2007 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  6. Thomas, St. Petersburg, FL

    I agree completely with Congressman King. America needs to ensure that those emigrating to our nation share our values and do not wish to do us harm.

    Both England and France have Muslim immigrants who have NOT assimilated into those respective cultures.

    Remember the chaos the French Muslims caused in 2006?

    Remember the Muslim murder missions thwarted by British police within the last few years?

    If we continue to live and breath via political correctness, Al Queda and it's sympathizers are going to prevail in the War on Terror. We must NOT allow this to happen.

    September 21, 2007 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. Mark R, Fort Lauderdale FL

    Keep up the good work Mr. Giuliani. Looks like you're gonna talk your way right out of the nomination.

    September 21, 2007 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  8. J Houston, TX

    It's really quite simple. You can criticize our government all you want no matter who you are. But if you say "destroy America" it should be a one way trip to Gitmo. Hell, that's better than what we did in World War II where you didn't even have to say anything. If you were German or Japanese, kiss your civil liberty goodbye. Simpler times.

    September 21, 2007 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. Virginia: Houston, TX

    I agree that religion should be 100% seperate from government and its policies, but unfortunately precent circumstances prevents us from doing so. Al Qaida is a religion group and we can much MUCH better recognize active terrorists by their religious agenda and affiliations. Our government doesn't have a choice but to discriminate. I am not promoting prejudices against all muslims (I am extremely passionate about equality for all), I am just pointing out that religion is an issue.

    September 21, 2007 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Willie Franks, Muskogee, OK

    This country is formed by immigrants who landed from different parts of the world consisting of various religions and ethnicity. No religion can claim that it is their country and only their places of worship be allowed. Can Peter King tolerate a comment if made by native Indians that there are too many churches in this country? Rudy Guliani who supports such extreme right personality should applogize. If that is what your attitude towards other religion, then you are no different than Talibans.

    September 21, 2007 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  11. Saad Hasan, Santa Clara, CA

    Giuliani is lying as usual. Which mosques preach violence, care to elaborate? If these mosques are inticing violence, which is against the law, then why is'nt the republican regime and the law enforcement agencies, working on a arrest first, investigate later modus operandi and mere hearsays go after these mosques? The answer is simple, there aren't any such mosques in the country. Giuliani is a bona fide Islamphobe and he has surrounded himself with people with similar baggage.

    September 21, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  12. your mom, atlanta, ga

    Destroy America. It sucks, and it's the only way to be truly FREE.

    (patiently waiting for the gestapo to come pick me up for my trip to gitmo)

    *roll eyes*

    September 21, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. Paul, Cleveland, OH

    no defense needed....there are

    September 21, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. Iyad, Las Cruces, NM

    I believe he hates Muslims and he will not get my vote.

    September 21, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. brian, San Jose, CA

    If we want to talk about RADICAL then let's include the far-right here in America. They profess to be Christians yet have no sympathy towards others and choose to bend the Bible towards their means. If the far-rigth came into power in this country we would be banning other religions, persecuting people for believing in other gods, and setting women back ... all in the name of Christianity. Yet, their prophet, Jesus, did not do this and had compassion for all and equality for all. If we want to abolish radicalism, then let's include the far-right in this country too.

    September 21, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  16. John P Toronto, Ontario

    I am a Christian and I find Peter King's abhorrent and indicative of the systemic Islamophobia and Racism that is prevalent in the Republican party today. They have forget where they came from.

    Why didn't anyone say there were too many churches in America after Timothy McVeigh killed 600 people when he blew up the FBI building.

    How about the decades of the Christian Klan hanging black men from trees?

    For the person who asked for an Atheist terrorist, Ted Kaczynski, the unabomber

    September 21, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. Jim, Gastonia, NC

    Thomas in St. Petersburg hit the nail on the head. For too long the silent majority has let any faction with any agenda dictate "political correctness" in this country to the point that it is in every nook of our society. Get over it!! I for one applaud Mr. King for publicly stating his opinion, even though it may or may not have been fully explained. It's called FREE SPEECH – deal with it.

    September 21, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. Angela, Alexandria, VA

    So Islam wants to destroy America, huh? Who invaded Iraq for no apparent reason? Who helped the Taliban financially? Who made a safe haven for Al-Qaeda?? America did. Real islam and real Muslims dont want to destroy anybody or anything. We just want to live in peace. Correct is RADICAL MUSLIMS. See there IS a difference between us.

    September 21, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  19. Bertha, CA

    it seems like EVERYONE out of texas is a complete moron. Bloodstripe, you are no exception.

    September 21, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  20. Alex

    First off, a few of you should try reading a few books and I'd suggest starting with any addressing the clash of civilizations theory. I'd also like to say outright that's it's ridiculous to state that no Mosques preach hate and anyone foolish enough to believe that probably has issues remembering to breathe.

    The evidence is clear Islam and other religions have been in conflict since their inception and this historical fact will never change. How we adjust in the future is another matter. I do believe that the vast majority of Muslims in this country indeed wish to live their lives in harmony and contribute to society in very positive ways.

    This however doesn't not invalidate the fact there hate is being preached in this country by Muslims. It also doesn't change the fact that there is hatemongering in many other affiliations, but claiming because others exist we should ignore one is just ignorant. At what point do we stop the self-hatred in our attempt to be fair and wake up to realize reality calls for action, not words.

    I'd call on the Muslim community to as adamantly denounce the actions of extremists outright. I have yet to see this in a whole-hearted way... perhaps that's because the media isn't covering it. I can't be sure, but I know this, that no one else is going to shape the future image of Islam, but the most vocal Muslims and if that ends up being extremists then that is what people will see Muslims as and I’m concerned for the day when more people see Islam as a threat then a benefit to society.

    September 21, 2007 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  21. K, Austin, TX

    If King's quote is the extent of the "explanation," I'm going to need a little more. I don't care about Rudy's interpretation of it. Wow. Just wow. Can you imagine him saying "There are too many chruches in this country. We need to infiltrate and find the Christian terrorists." Give me a break. What was the clarification that King gave? Because all I can glean from that brief is that he made a stupid, ignorant, prejudiced statement.

    September 21, 2007 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  22. bob, seattle, wa

    Ofcourse and obviously Mosques should be infiltrated by the FBI. There is 'fact based' information regarding many Imams who preach the violent, intolerant extremes of 'Jihad' agains ALL who don't believe as they do. What would have happened had the FBI NOT infiltrated the KKK? Radical Islam Extremists are NO LESS harmful to a civil society than the KKK or the NEO-Nazi's. They are HATE groups. So, in the interest of society, better to error on the safe side to TRY to help stem the tide of this EXTREMELY violent wing of the Muslim faith. After all, FREE Americans have the RIGHT to be able to walk down the street feeling very safe and we also have the right to believe and say what we want within the law. Radical Extremist Islam must be eradicated as an acceptable form of practicing religion as all of the rights, and indeed existence, of the non-conforming world is targeted for extinction according to 'Jihad' and these folks have a very long term view, they have a very high motivation as by committing 'Jihad' they are assured of going to Heaven and being with numerous Virgins. Given their lives, what Islamic extremist wouldn't choose to go to Heaven and be with numerous virgins? Just look at how they force the own to live? Look at how they live? Look at their intolerant behavior. Look at the freedoms allowed in the countries that they control and are trying to overthrow and control. It has been a worldwide crusade for centuries and has picked up steam over the last 4 decades. As their populace becomes better educated, better financed, more entrenched in power, and seems to appeal to the sensibilities of 'tolerant' societies, their poison will spread faster and faster and indeed is most probably spreading at such a rate the eradication is impossible and the inevitable will most probably happen. Nuclear insanity. This result, it seems, will be the only way the 'tolerant' will wake up (if they wake up literally)and see what this cancer has wrought and finally decide the doing something about it really would have been the right decision a long time ago and hopefully their will be some civilization left to salvage.

    September 21, 2007 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  23. Frank Houston, TX

    Which mosques preach violence, care to elaborate? That means Mr Giuliani has been to several mosques and heard what they have been teaching over there which we gave never heard or seen.....HUh Somebody needs to tell him difference between MUSLIMS AND RADICAL MUSLIMS

    September 21, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  24. Thomas, St. Petersburg, FL

    To Angela of Alexandria, VA:

    America did NOT invade Iraq for "no apparent reason".

    Saddam Hussein broke the treaty that ended the Gulf War of 1991 as follows:

    (1) Broke 17 United Nations Resolutions over 12 years;

    (2) Fired at American and British military planes that flew over the "No Fly Zones" in southern and northern Iraq (to keep Saddam from murdering the Shiite and Kurds; remember the mass graves we found?);

    (3) American, British, French, and Russian Intelligence concluded that Saddam had WMDs. In the Post-9/11/01 world, we could NOT allow this to happen.

    (4) Threw out the United Nations weapons inspectors (if there never were weapons, why did Saddam do this?)

    Hope you continue to enjoy your kool-aid.

    September 21, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  25. Scott Alexander, Lakeland, Florida

    If Rudy gets the Republican ticket, hopefully the Democrats will point out his racism and his siding with racists like Peter King. There's no excuse for being a racist. If its not racism, then it is at least a threat against religious freedom. If the Republicans don't like religious freedom, then they're in the wrong country.

    September 21, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
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