Gubernatorial Candidate Dumps Anti-Islam Preacher

September 23, 2006

Source: The Miami Herald

On September 23, 2006 The Miami Herald reported, "The Rev. O'Neal Dozier suffered another political slap Friday.

Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist told his staff to take the Pompano Beach minister off all his campaign committees. The move comes after the Rev. Dozier characterized Islam as a 'cult' and a 'dangerous religion,' on a South Florida radio talk show in July.

Dozier also recently announced plans to distribute booklets to residents living near the site of a future mosque in a black Pompano Beach community.

'While Charlie Crist respects Rev. Dozier's right to express his political and religious beliefs, he does not agree with Rev. Dozier's recent statements and writings concerning Islam,' according to a statement issued Friday by Crist's deputy press secretary Erin Isaac.

'While radical jihadists give Islam a bad name, Charlie Crist believes that we must not confuse those who practice any religion with a prayer toward peace with extremists who pervert religion to further a radical cause.'

The Rev. Dozier initially made his remarks on the radio show and several times in discussing his opposition to construction of a mosque in a 'black Christian' Pompano Beach community.

Dozier and others opposing the mosque -- which has been approved -- have also said they would rather see affordable housing on the roughly 5-acre property.

Dozier confirmed that someone from Crist's campaign called Friday about his removal.

'I'm just simply doing what I think any true pastor would do,' Dozier said."