CFI Joins Coalition in Condemning House Reps for Muslim Brotherhood Claims

July 26, 2012

The Center for Inquiry (CFI) today joined 41 religious, secular, and civil rights groups in writing to members of the U.S. House of Representatives to express our disappointment over the lawmakers' allegations that several Muslim individuals who work with the American government might be trying to spread the influence of the Islamic organization Muslim Brotherhood.

Last month, five legislators -- Reps. Michele Bachmann, Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, Thomas Rooney and Lynn Westmoreland -- wrote the inspectors general of several federal agencies to request an investigation of the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood. Their letters targeted State Department official Huma Abedin and advisers to the Department of Homeland Security. 

Our letter today argued that the lawmakers unfairly, and without good reason and evidence, targeted Abedin and other workers simply because of their religious affiliation. It reads, in part:

These letters question the loyalty of faithful Americans based on nothing more than their religious affiliations and what is at best tenuous evidence of their associations. As such, your actions have serious implications for religious freedom and the health of our democracy. ...

Far from supporting the safety of our country, these accusations distract us from examining legitimate threats using proven, evidence-based security strategies. Moreover, we know all too well the danger of casting suspicion on loyal and innocent Americans simply because they hold  particular beliefs. We will not stand idly by and allow our country to revive federal  investigations into innocent individuals based on their religious adherence. We will continue to  speak out in support of people of all faiths and no faith, and the religious freedom of all  Americans to practice — or choose not to practice — a religion without fear of criticism or suspicion.  

You can download our full letter here

The effort was led by the Interfaith Alliance. Other groups to sign the letter include: ACLU, American Atheists, American Humanist Association, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty, NAACP, Secular Coalition for America, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.