Cain meets with American Muslim leaders, apologizes for past comments that ‘might have caused offense’

Jamie Weinstein | Senior Writer

Republican presidential contender Herman Cain met with America Muslim leaders at the ADAMS Center in Sterling, Va., Wednesday and released a statement afterwards apologizing for some of his past comments about the American Muslim community that “might have caused offense.”

“While I stand by my opposition to the interference of Shariah law into the American legal system, I remain humble and contrite for any statements I have made that might have caused offense to Muslim Americans and their friends,” he said. “I am truly sorry for any comments that may have betrayed my commitment to the U.S. Constitution and the freedom of religion guaranteed by it. Muslims, like all Americans, have the right to practice their faith freely and peacefully.”

Among those in attendance, according to the Cain campaign, were Imam Mohamed Magid, executive director of the ADAMS Center, Sister Humera Khan, director of Muflehun.org, Joshua Salaam, youth director of the ADAMS Center and a former U.S. military officer, and Robert Marro, a former U.S. Foreign Service Officer who sits on the board of trustees of the ADAMS Center.

“As I expected, we discovered we have much more in common in our values and virtues,” Cain said. “Those in attendance, like most Muslim Americans, are peaceful Muslims and patriotic Americans whose good will is often drowned out by the reprehensible actions of jihadists.”

The Daily Caller was the first to report Tuesday that Cain would be meeting with American Muslim leaders in a roundtable discussion on politics and religion.

Cain had come under fire for comments that were perceived as being bigoted toward Islam and the Muslim community, including stating that he would be uncomfortable appointing a Muslim to his cabinet were he to be elected. (RELATED: Exclusive: Cain to hold roundtable discussion with American Muslim leaders)

According to its Web site, the ADAMS Center is “one of the largest Muslim communities/mosques” in the United States, servicing over 5,000 families in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.


Herman Cain’s full statement:

I would like to thank Imam Mohamed Magid and the ADAMS Center for extending their hospitality to me this afternoon. We enjoyed heartfelt fellowship and thoughtful dialogue about how patriotic Americans of all faiths can work together to restore the American Dream.

While I stand by my opposition to the interference of shariah law into the American legal system, I remain humble and contrite for any statements I have made that might have caused offense to Muslim Americans and their friends. I am truly sorry for any comments that may have betrayed my commitment to the U.S. Constitution and the freedom of religion guaranteed by it. Muslims, like all Americans, have the right to practice their faith freely and peacefully.

As I expected, we discovered we have much more in common in our values and virtues. In my own life as a black youth growing up in the segregated South, I understand their frustration with stereotypes. Those in attendance, like most Muslim Americans, are peaceful Muslims and patriotic Americans whose good will is often drowned out by the reprehensible actions of jihadists.

I am encouraged by the bonds of friendship forged today at our meeting, and I look forward to continuing this very healthy dialogue. The relationship we established was so positive that the Imam has invited me back to speak to not only some of their youth, but also at one of their worship services.

 

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