Cain: Opposing mosque construction is not discrimination
July 17th, 2011
03:22 PM ET
12 years ago

Cain: Opposing mosque construction is not discrimination

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said Sunday that communities should be able to prevent the construction of mosques in their neighborhoods.

Cain said he sided with some residents of a Tennessee town who tried to prevent Muslims from worshiping nearby.

The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, outside Nashville, has been the subject of protests and counter protests earlier. A judge ruled in May that its planned construction did not harm the residents who sued to prevent it, but also allowed claims that the county violated an open meetings law in approving it to move forward. Construction of the new center has yet to start as the case continues.

"Our Constitution guarantees separation of church and state. Islam combines church and state," Cain said on "Fox News Sunday." "They are using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their mosque in that community and the people in the community do not like it, they disagree with it."

The former Godfather's Pizza CEO, who previously indicated Muslims would need to prove their loyalty to the U.S. Constitution before he would appoint them to his administration, said that ultimately, people know what is best in their own communities.

"I'm simply saying I owe it to the American people to be cautious because terrorists are trying to kill us," Cain said. "So yes, I'm going to err on the side of caution, rather than the side of carelessness."

At the same time, Cain said he didn’t think there was any religious discrimination in Murfreesboro residents opposing the mosque or his support for their stand.

As someone who grew up in the '50s and '60s, Cain said, the mosque issue is "totally different" than the civil rights era because of the laws restricting blacks from advancing.

Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain
soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. Jay

    Complete imbecile and complete hypocrite. Drop out and get off the air and let the grown ups talk.

    July 17, 2011 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  2. Jim

    WOW how does the GOP find these guys and who stands with them, whoever it is be careful because you might be next to be singled out. The GOP seems to be running out of people to blame , seen this blame game before scary consequences.

    July 17, 2011 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  3. bunnie78

    Dr. King is rolling over in his grave im sure. has this bigot forgotten all those that fought for his civil rights...that black men are and were racially profiled. a true disgrace that he has the audacity to stand on a national platform and openly discriminate against another minority group. plain shameful and disgusting...when is this whack job going to run out of money so we can stop being subjected to him period.

    July 17, 2011 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  4. Brett

    Hooray for Cain! No more Mosques! No more Churches! No more Synagogues! No more Temples or Shrines! Down with organized religion!

    July 17, 2011 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  5. dan in capitola

    So Cain is going even deeper up Religious Nut-Job Creek than Bachmann? Wow, it really is a race to the bottom. And from a BLACK man, no less. These wanna-be "leaders" fight the same old cultural wars every election because THEY CANNOT GOVERN and have no mature or practical ideas or we would have seen some by now. How about Perry? it because the last empty-suit, born-again, Texas governor turned President turned out so well for the country? That airhead doesn't even believe in the "United" States of America or he wouldn't have ever made political hay with the fringe secessionists. Obama will wipe the floor with all of these losers. They are too extreme for America.

    July 17, 2011 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  6. kat

    Cain is right. We need to check thesethings out, this is a blow to the face of 911 families, keep this Mosque off our sacred ground. If they don't agree, you know it's faulse.

    July 18, 2011 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  7. shaun haney

    this guy is a joke! I hate he is part of my race! he will get forced out of GOP race first.....SMH

    July 18, 2011 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  8. RapierPoint

    Personally, I think a community should be able to prevent the construction of any particular building they want to prevent. I don't get some of the arguments I'm seeing some people use. Some seem to be all for democracy, except where the democratic process goes against whatever they tend to believe in or want.

    July 18, 2011 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  9. Mike

    Cain seriously needs to be reminded what it means to be discriminated against.

    July 18, 2011 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  10. Hank

    There you have it. Cain is Republicanism in a nutshell. This really is what the Republican party has become. A sad commentary for a party that I was once proud to be a member of. No more! Never again!

    July 18, 2011 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  11. Paul Ernest Show

    You don't waste your energy commenting on a man who will have a hard time winning even his girlfriend's or wife's vote in this campaign. For a man who should understand the ugliness of intolerance, his reasoning is both spiritually and humanly out of touch. I was born a catholic, attends a baptist church, presently, and in the spirit of our great democracy, everyone in America has the right to build ,worship wherever they choose, or even refuse to worship. That's exactly who we are. Mr Cain and his party cannot decide on our individual right or wrong, neither on our choices.

    July 18, 2011 12:46 am at 12:46 am |

    Islam combines church and state? Even if true, WHICH state? Islam is going to combine itself with the local govt? That pandering statement is completely ridiculous. That is saying that a religious view that opposes the US Constitution means that religion should not have houses of worship built. Ever read the Bible? Lots of stuff in there that we'd all agree don't fall in line with the US Constitution. Bad argument...what a flake.

    July 18, 2011 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  13. HispanicYouth

    Why is this person still talked about, given a microphone, or called a presidential candidate? Don't we deserve better as Americans? Is this all we get? Is the GOP using this sad person to lower our expectations so that other lack luster candidates they are trying to put through will seem more legitimate?

    July 18, 2011 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  14. stick with making pizza

    US Constitution, Amendment I (1791): Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.... It doesn't read "free exercise thereof, except religions we neither accept nor understand." If you don't like Muslims because they are "violent", keep in mind there are enough of them that, if that was their intent, they would have taken over by now. All religions have violent histories. Mark Twain, on Christianity: "Ours is a terrible religion. The fleets of the world could swim in spacious comfort in the innocent blood it has spilt.."

    July 18, 2011 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  15. Bill R in Oakland

    And that Mr. Cain is why you will never be elected President.

    July 18, 2011 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  16. Justin

    I'm opposed to churches. Churches Molest Children, Have support Genocide, and lead to the deaths of countless Millions. No more churches and I'll go along with the Mosque Idea.

    July 18, 2011 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  17. corrina

    Help people, who should i trust, my muslim neighbor, or my racist christian neighbor?

    July 18, 2011 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  18. Harris

    A black man is telling Muslims not to exercise their basic rights as human beings

    July 18, 2011 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  19. DallasMarine

    I guess when God said "love thy neighbor" he must have excluded anyone who isn't Christian. A message from real Americans like me to the world, please don't assume we're all bigoted and dumb like this moron.

    July 18, 2011 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  20. FM

    I think Pizza and Politics don't mix up together. This man should leave politics alone and continue with what he knows. Each time he speaks, he sounds very peculiar!

    July 18, 2011 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  21. Marry

    What a sad, sad state of mind Mr. Cain represents. And, he is not the only “none brainer” candidate in the GOP/TP! They are an insult to thinking American people! How anyone can consider these “No solutions” “No compromise”, “No support for all American people” “All for the rich” PATRIOTS (idiots) to be worthy of a vote is beyond me! All they have done is be against everything to bring the country back on its feet! On the contrary; their refusal to work with the President goes so far as to bring the whole finance system down just to make the point: One term black President, no tax revenue increase on the RICH, back to power – never mind the cost! Disgusting!!!!

    July 18, 2011 05:09 am at 5:09 am |
  22. Mike D

    I just realized that Herman Cain's job is to make Bachmann look rational.

    Well done sir, well done.

    July 18, 2011 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
1 2 3 4