May 20th, 2010
01:23 PM ET
11 years ago

Islamic leaders decry Tea Party reference to Muslim 'monkey-god'

(CNN) - A national leader of the conservative Tea Party movement has been strongly criticized by Islamic civil rights leaders for referring to the proposed site of a New York City mosque as a place for Muslims to worship "the terrorists' monkey-god."

Tea Party Express organizer Mark Williams blogged on his Web site last week that the mosque - to be constructed near the former site of the World Trade Center - would be a "monument ... for the worship of the terrorists' monkey-god and a 'cultural center' to propagandize for the extermination of all things not approved by their cult."

Williams, who also referred to "animals of Allah," was rebuked Thursday by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The group issued a release Wednesday calling on other Tea Party activists to repudiate Williams' remarks.

"It would be shocking if such ignorant comments failed to elicit a strong response not only from Tea Party leaders, but from other parties throughout the political spectrum," CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor said.

For his part, Williams was unapologetic toward Muslims.

"In the course of the article I described the 'god' worshiped by terrorists as 'a monkey god,'" he wrote on his Web site. "I was wrong and that
was offensive. I owe an apology to millions of Hindus who worship Lord Hanuman, an actual Monkey God."

Hanuman is known to followers of the Hindu faith as a symbol of strength and devotion, among other things.

Hanuman "is known as a destroyer of evil and to inspire and liberate," Williams said. "Those are hardly the traits of whatever ... it is that terrorists worship and worthy of my respect and admiration not ridicule."

The twin towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan were destroyed in an attack by al Qaeda terrorists on September 11, 2001.

soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. Limbaugh is a liberal

    And I'm sure the Tea Party-ers will continue to claim they're not racists in any way and it's just a few extremists that are not core people at all... Then how come every single week, scratch that, every single DAY we can find a new report on a Tea Party ORGANIZER making such comments?

    May 20, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. Minnesotan

    Its the White, Christian man's country and how dare they try and set up shop near the Twin Towers!

    May 20, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. KMAN821

    Can one of you tea-baggers out there please explain just why non-teabaggers should view you folks as anything but racists?

    May 20, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. Bjoerlingfan84

    Another ignorant, uninformed statement for a Tea Partier. I wouldn't be a bit surprised except this one comes from one of the national leaders. Didn't the higher ups of this movement make a huge deal when Tea Partiers shouted racial epithets at African-American congressmen about this type of bigotry "not being representative of the Tea Party as a whole"? Ha! So much for that line of BS.

    May 20, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. Megan

    Mark Williams: "A national leader of the conservative Tea Party movement"

    Yep, this is about what I would expect from the leaders of the Tea and complete ignorance and intolerance.

    May 20, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Peter E

    Fun facts: most muslims in America are not arabs. They're African-Americans who are members of the Nation of Islam. Also, most arabs in America are not muslim. They're christians who came to America because it is a predominantly christian nation as opposed to their original countries.

    May 20, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. dave

    ipMr. Williams, terrorists who claim to be Muslim do not speak for all Muslims.

    There have been lots of Catholic terrorist bombers in Northern Ireland over the years. Does that mean that God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are "terrorist monkey Gods"? Is that what you believe?

    I understand that Timothy McVeigh was agnostic and that every single person involved in the Oaklahoma City bombing was an American trained by the US Armed Services - should we all hate Americans because of Oklahoma City? Of course not.

    There are about 1 billion Muslims in the world. Not all of them are Arab. Only a tiny minority are terrorist.

    Not all Muslims are terrorists
    Not all terrorists are Muslims

    it just seems bad b/c most terrorists ARE Muslim and those Muslims who are not terrorists still have a lot of weird backward customs.

    May 20, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. MishaJohn

    Rand Paul should be forced to reject these statements.

    May 20, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. Incredulous

    If this type of comment is indicative of the "Tea Party" mentality, this publicity stunt "movement" will soon be history (remembered with a very small footnote).

    May 20, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. Randy, San Francisco

    Rand Paul and Mark Williams show the true character of the Tea Party movement. Any claims of being a mainstream, tolerant, and inclusive movement ring hollow.

    May 20, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  11. Todd

    Apologize? Sorry if the truth hurts! If you don't like it here go back to where you came from & please, take your mosque with you. Your religion is one based in hate & terrorism. Just read the Koran. It clearly explains it all in there.

    May 20, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. Told ya!

    Gee, the racism just seems to be pouring out of the Tea party ilk of late, doesn't it? But no. The tea party patriots are not racists. Just because they formed their little group right after a black man moves into the White House is just a coincidence, right? First Rand Paul wants to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964, now using the "monkey" reference to muslims? Naw. No racism here. Pahleeeeze!

    May 20, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. sjgerman

    I'm certain that terrorist and those who believe it is just fine to kill people and blow things up worship a vastly different version of the Supreme Being than others, even other Muslims worship. It is the theology that shapes the vision of what te Supreme Being looks and acts like. Also I think it show poor taste for a Mosque to be placed in this area, it will just turn into a magnet for trouble which may be what is desired by its builders.

    May 20, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. Al-NY,NY

    Keep it coming Williams. And keep your mouths shut T-baggers. It will just reinforce what most people already're a bunch of ignorant hate mongers and will be shown the door come November

    May 20, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  15. Greg Sikorski

    I am an American who has lived most of his adult life in Muslim countries and In Tunisia, I lived with a Muslim family. During my professional career in these countries, I have always been treated with the utmost respect and friendship. The people with whom I lived went about their work and never once complained that they were housing and eating with an infidel. My religious preference was never an issue. The real Muslim people differ immensely with the image of the "terrorist" Muslim of whom we shiver in fear. The real Muslims don't worship a monkey God and show true devotion, as true as any Christian or Jew. Shame on the person who would make such a statement about another believer's place of worship. With people such as thie "tea party" leader, I would have to decline an invitation to share a cup. A person in a leadership position should know whereof he speaks lest he appear to be an idiot.

    May 20, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  16. Alex

    Since Muslims worship the same God that we Christians do, I take offense at this woman's blasphemous comments.

    May 20, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. usualone

    Boy, it must be wonderful to have never faced discrimination. Those who do make comments such as Mark Williams obviously have never had anyone make derogatory comments about them. If they had been subjected to such treatment they would never group anyone such as Muslims, Jews, blacks, homosexuals, etc. with silly uneducated comments. Unfortunately, the Mark Williams's are roaring their ugly heads and it appears they are in the majority as too many people of "importance" do not call them on their discourse. The joy of the USA is that we are all supposed to have equal rights. No one should judge an entire group by the actions of a few. I guess we could say all the Tea Party members are bigotted – and they don't like us to say that. But one only has to look at their actions.

    May 20, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  18. Michael

    "Survivor: Intolerant Extremists"

    Come on, anyone??

    May 20, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. Mike in NYC

    Looks like the Israel-Firsters are making their move to grab hold of the TP. No doubt they'll be rehashing French jokes before long.

    Remember -- letting a "gallant little ally" dictate your foreign policy isn't conservative.

    May 20, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. Earl Fey

    it is just unbelievable. no dissapointing that this and approval of segeration exists still

    At least he is no coward hiding behind some third grade goofy name

    May 20, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. missywissy

    ummm.... supposedly it is their beliefs that took down the towers, and now they get a mosque in the same location? Is that why the towers needed to be destroyed, for a good mosque location??? "These towers must go, people and all. We want to worship here." US Govt. is allowing some crazy stuff to happen. Good thing they got us to all talk and no walk.

    May 20, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  22. IKHAN

    To say that Mark William is a person who is intellectually challenged would be an understatement. To say that he can't see farther than his nose would also be an understatement. To say that his knowledge & understanding of people other than himself (even that is suspect) is almost zero would be an understatement.
    To say that he & what he represents is repulsive to everything America stands for would fit him perfectly. His type is the last thing this great nation needs in politics.
    By the way Mr.Williams the Monkey God you refer to is a sacred deity in Hinduism. Muslims worship the same God that we the Christians, The Jews worship.

    May 20, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. brian larsen

    . . . and weren't these people saying the other day that they weren't racists? Even if this is read as not being racist, I am completely appalled by the blanket statements and the hatred expressed by this man. Hatred breeds hatred, Violence breeds violence. Ignorance breeds . . . well, you get the picture.

    May 20, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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