Rochester area state representative and DFL gubernatorial candidate Tina Liebling is calling on Republican candidates to denounce GOP gubernatorial candidate Phillip Parrish's historically ignorant Islamphobic remarks.
On Thursday, in Republican gubernatorial candidate Phillip Parrish won't talk with interfaith leader about faith because "Islam is ultimately not a faith" Bluestem reported on Phillip Parrish's Islamophobic response to interfaith leader and former CD1 congressional candidate Regina Mustafa.
Mustafa had requested a meeting after Parrish attended a presentation by anti-Muslim speaker Usama Dakdok (read the post below).
Here's Liebling's statement:
Rochester resident Regina Mustafa, founder of Community Interfaith Dialogue on Islam (CIDI), recently reached out to Phillip Parrish, a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor, to arrange a a meeting to discuss Islam. Mr. Parrish responded with a shocking diatribe that establishes his lack of fitness for any elected office. He refused to meet with Ms. Mustafa unless she would “discuss and accept these truths”: that Islam is not a faith and that “Islam, Sharia and the Quran are the antithesis of the U.S. Constitution.” Parrish said he would call on Mustafa to “publicly denounce Sharia and swear to adhere to, protect, comply with, accept, and defend the United States Constitution.”
Muslims have been part of the fabric of America for over 200 years and have made enormous contributions in all areas of American life, including science, medicine, music, and military service. American Muslims are Americans. Parrish’s demand regarding the constitution is particularly offensive because Regina Mustafa’s grandfather and father are American military veterans and her brother is currently a Commander in the U.S. Navy serving overseas. Parrish’s comments violate the spirit of our constitution and display an intolerance unbecoming in a person seeking high office. [Emphasis added]
I call on all Republican candidates for elected office to denounce Mr. Parrish’s ignorant, islamophobic statements and pledge to encourage peace and understanding among Minnesotans regardless of race, religion, or national origin.
Liebling is right to stand up for the Rochester interfaith leader and point out Parrish's ignorance.
Our post from Thursday includes the text of the email exchange between Mustafa and Parrish:
After reading Taylor Nachtigal's article in the Rochester Post Bulletin, About 80 attend meeting critical of Islam, interfaith leader and former CD1 DFL congressional candidate Regina Mustafa sent Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidate this email:
According to Mustafa's personal Facebook page, Parrish replied:
Thank you for reaching out to me. Please note my campaign manager, Connie Thorp, in the Cc line. We can do our best to arrange a time.
Before we agree to meet. I must say up front and ask you to accept a few things. I have a very unusual in-depth level of training, experience, and understanding regarding multiple faiths and the practice of Islam. I separate Islam from the word faith because faith takes belief and Islam requires only submission. I will not participate in any faith dialog because Islam is ultimately not a faith. I am not concerned with what you may or may not believe. Example, I personally have chosen to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior and he is the only true path to my Father in heaven.
I will however talk about law, United States Law, and the Constitution. I will be asking you if you are willing to publicly denounce Sharia and swear to adhere to, protect, comply with, accept, and defend the United States Constitution. Sadly, if you are a “practicing Islamist” you will most likely not agree to such a stance which is why the conversation will most likely end before it begins.
The whole point of America is you are free to believe what you freely choose to believe regarding your personal faith which requires belief. Our Constitution and the law of the land allows you and all other persons the freedom to believe. It does not provide for nor allow you or anyone else to set up and practice law of any kind that is the antithesis of the U.S. Constitution and our rule of law. Islam, Sharia, and the Quran are the antithesis of the U.S. Constitution. It is not compatible with nor any version of it will ever be compatible with our Constitution.
If you are willing to discuss and accept these truths I look forward to meeting you soon.
The notion that Islam is not a faith is a standard talking point of the anti-Muslim conservative right; those espousing it conceive that it would allow them to deny First Amendment protections to Muslims. We'll refrain from considering how many pinheads dance on Parrish's divisions between faith, belief and obedience, and remark only how convenient this is for those who want to deny fellow human beings basic civil rights.
The Post Bulletin article reported that Parrish wasn't the only Republican leader at the meeting:
The two-and-a-half hour event drew about 80 people to the library's auditorium, including Rep. Cindy Pugh, R-Chanhassen, and Phillip Parrish, a Republican gubernatorial candidate.