Congressman posts controversial anti-Islam meme, draws ire from CAIR

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The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has condemned last week’s Facebook post by a Republican congressman regarding the growth of Islam in Europe. The lawmaker deleted the post but did not apologize for his sentiments.

Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina posted an image of a white-masked man—representing Europe—with a noose around his neck, holding a watering can over a small tree—representing Islam—to which the opposite end of rope is attached. The picture was meant to convey the idea that Islam will ultimately grow enough to kill Europe.

“Chew on this picture a little,” Duncan wrote in his Facebook post. “The tree, IMHO, is much taller today…..”

A screenshot of Duncan’s picture and comments were posted Tuesday by a chapter of Indivisible—a national anti-Trump organization—in the 3rd Congressional District, which Duncan represents. The chapter posted a tweet calling the image a “white supremacist meme.”

CNN contributor Bakari Sellers, a Democrat who served in South Carolina’s legislature, tweeted, “Jeff I know you’re not racist. Let’s put that to the side. But this is bigoted, ignorant and embarrassing.”

Duncan deleted the post prior to being chastised by Sellers, and issued a statement Wednesday regarding his post.

“I’ve never been politically correct, nor do I care to be,” Duncan told the Post and Courier. “The truth is that Europe has allowed radical Islam to grow unchecked for too long, which has led to their current predicament. I want to keep America safe. Sometimes that means having to shove political correctness aside, being honest about the threats facing our country, and taking precautions like the ones President Trump has tried to implement.”

A spokesman for the congressman told the newspaper that Duncan “figured the media would probably choose to sensationalize something this trivial, instead of engaging in an actual dialogue about how to keep America safe, which has always been his goal.”

On Thursday, CAIR, the largest Islamic advocacy group in America, called on Congress to rebuke Duncan.

“Rep. Duncan’s clearly racist and Islamophobic message is unworthy of a member of the United States Congress and he should be rebuked by his colleagues of all political stripes,” said CAIR government affairs director Robert McCaw.

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