Republican presidential contender Herman Cain said in an interview Monday that he “resent[s]” Muslims who try to convert Americans to Islam, and that the religion has “an objective to convert all infidels or kill them.”
“The role of Muslims in America is not to convert the rest of us to the Muslim religion. That I resent,” Cain said in an interview with Christianity Today. “I push back and reject them trying to convert the rest of us. And based upon the little knowledge that I have of the Muslim religion, you know, they have an objective to convert all infidels or kill them.”
Cain qualified his comments by saying that there were “some peaceful Muslims” but that Americans “can’t sit back and tolerate the radical ones simply because we know that there are some of them who don’t believe in that aspect of the Muslim religion.”
Cain, who is a former businessman and an ordained minister, was the first potential Republican candidate to announce he was launching an exploratory committee to run for president against Barack Obama in 2012.
In an interview with TheDC, Cain’s spokesman said that his comments about converting Americans to Islam were referring to what Cain’s sees as the threat of Muslims spreading Sharia, or Islamic law, in America.
“What he was referring to was Sharia law,” Cain’s Communication Director Ellen Carmichael told TheDC. “I think the statement speaks for itself. I would take it for what it is.”
On Cain’s comments about Islam offering a choice between converting or killing unbelievers, Carmichael said: “I’m pretty sure that’s a common understanding.”