Right-wing talk show host Dennis Prager has raised a firestorm charging that Rep.-elect Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim elected to Congress, must swear in using a Bible. He said that if Ellison swears in with a Quran, it would “undermin[e] American civilization” and be akin to swearing in with a copy of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.”
Prager is not a typical talk radio host. In September, he was appointed by President Bush to a five-year term on the taxpayer-funded United States Holocaust Memorial Council. A statement announcing Prager’s appointment praised his “unique moral voice.”
Yesterday, the Council on American Islamic Relations called on Prager to be removed from this position:
No one who holds such bigoted, intolerant and divisive views should be in a policymaking position at a taxpayer-funded institution that seeks to educate Americans about the destructive impact hatred has had, and continues to have, on every society. As a presidential appointee, Prager’s continued presence on the council would send a negative message to Muslims worldwide about America’s commitment to religious tolerance.
Likewise, the Anti-Defamation League, a group battling anti-Semitism and other bigotry, issued a statement calling Prager’s views “intolerant,” “misinformed on the facts,” and “downright un-American.”