Huckabee draws heat for anti-Islam remarks

February 21, 2011

Southern Baptist preacher and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has landed in hot water for comments critical of Islam.

In an interview on Fox & Friends the former Arkansas governor and potential 2012 presidential hopeful criticized two Protestant churches that opened their doors to Muslims. The churches allowed Muslims to worship in their facilities when mosques in the area were too small or under construction.

"As much as I respect the autonomy of each local church, you just wonder, what are they thinking?" Huckabee said.

"If the purpose of a church is to push forward the gospel of Jesus Christ, and then you have a Muslim group that says that Jesus Christ and all the people that follow him are a bunch of infidels who should be essentially obliterated, I have a hard time understanding that.

"I mean if a church is nothing more than a facility and a meeting place free for any and all viewpoints, without regard to what it is, then should the church be rented out to show adult movies on the weekend?" asked the former pastor and past president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. Huckabee hosts a weekend program on Fox News Channel besides appearing on it as an interviewee.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations called on Huckabee on February 21 to apologize for "inaccurate and offensive" comments about Islam and to meet with Muslim leaders to discuss growing Islamophobia in American society.

"On this Presidents' Day, we ask Mike Huckabee—a person who may again seek the highest office in the land—to live up to the principles of tolerance and interfaith respect that make our nation great," said CAIR national executive director Nihad Awad. "We urge Mr. Huckabee to do some research and to apologize for his inaccurate and offensive remarks."  —ABP