Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

CALIFORNIA CHRONICLE: Dr. Maher Hathout Criticizes Bigotry of South Carolina Board of Education Member

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

CALIFORNIA CHRONICLE: Dr. Maher Hathout Criticizes Bigotry of South Carolina Board of Education Member

Article excerpt

CALIFORNIA CHRONICLE: Dr. Maher Hathout Criticizes Bigotry of South Carolina Board of Education Member

South Carolina state board of education member Dr. Henry Jordan stirred up a nationwide hornets' nest when he publicly cast aspersions on the Buddhist and Muslim religions in America. The Columbia, SC surgeon, who failed to win the Republican nomination in his state's race for the lieutenant governorship, used inflammatory language at a May 13 board of education meeting as he dismissed anyone who might object to a display of the Ten Commandments in public schools. "Screw the Buddhists and kill the Muslims," he retorted to the possibility that Buddhist and Muslim groups might not like exhibits that excluded their faiths. Furthermore, Jordan told the secretary, "put that in the minutes."

When word spread of Jordan's taped comments, they were released under the Freedom of Information Act and protest press conferences were called May 22 in Washington, DC and Los Angeles by the Interfaith Alliance and Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Speaking at the Islamic Center of Southern California, Dr. Maher Hathout stated: "It is unacceptable for a member of any board of education to speak vulgarly with a message of poison and hate. We want this man fired. The governor of South Carolina said he should be forgiven in true Christian spirit. Maybe Dr. Jordan can be forgiven, but he should still be fired. We are not seeking vengeance; this man simply does not qualify to be on a board of education."

Carol Lehvi, director of the American Jewish Congress in Los Angeles, commented: "Words are powerful. …

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