Salon conducted an interview with Ellison in which the CBC member referred to Cain as a 'bigot.' Via Salon:
Over the past few months, former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain has carved out a place as the most prominent anti-Muslim figure in the GOP presidential field, and, arguably, the country.I will say it until I'm blue in the face. Sharia law is not protected by the First Amendment. It is PROHIBITED by Article VI, which says the US Constitution shall be the 'Supreme Law of the land,' something sharia law aspires to be.
First, earlier this year, he promised he would not hire any Muslims to be in his future cabinet, subsequently repeating various versions of that pledge. Then, on a trip to Tennessee last week, Cain came out against the construction of a mosque project there. On Fox News Sunday, he expanded that stance, endorsing the idea that any American community could bar construction of mosques.
To get a response to Cain's new comments, I spoke to Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., who is one of two Muslim members of Congress and who has emerged in recent years as a loud anti-anti-Muslim voice.
"It seems like a week doesn't go by without Cain saying something incredibly offensive, so I can only guess that he's doing it on purpose," said Ellison. "He's probably figured out that he can get headlines if he says something really ugly, so he doesn't disappoint."
Ellison said he feels moved to address these issues because when people "start whipping up hatred against a certain group over the course of years, bad things happen. History teaches us that if you continue to stir the pot, stir the cauldron, it will not be long before something awful happens."
A partial transcript of our conversation follows.
What's your reaction to Herman Cain's comments on Sunday that communities should be able to ban construction of mosques?
This is ridiculous and has no foundation in American law. In fact, the U.S. Constitution says Congress shall make no law establishing a religion and shall not abridge the exercise thereof. He runs right into the First Amendment. But the larger question is, why is he trying distinguish himself as the religious bigot of the presidential race of 2011 and 2012?
Sorry, Keith. The two are not compatible.
Read entire interview.
h/t Weasel Zippers