The party’s rebuke of him came in response to an email by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) urging its local leaders to repudiate the candidate’s comments.
But some officials within the party forwarded CAIR’s email to an anti-Muslim pseudo-intellectual called Steve Kirby, engaging him to defend Phillips.
“One might not like to hear what Mr. Phillips has to say about Islam, but in these particular issues there are facts to support Mr. Phillips,” Kirby wrote in the email thread. “Islam has core tenets in irreconcilable conflict with the Constitution.”
Thomas Jefferson, one of the key founding fathers, owned a copy of the Qur’an, and wrote about Islam in his early political treatises.
Campaigning for religious freedom, Jefferson argued: “Neither Pagan nor Mahamedan nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the Commonwealth because of his religion.”
Robert McCaw, director of government affairs at CAIR, told Arab News: “Prior to the founding of our nation, Muslims were here contributing and building toward its success. First brought here as slaves, they’ve fought in every American war since then, including the revolutionary war.”
Last year, Congress passed a resolution that recognizes American Muslims’ history and contributions to the nation.