Some Muslims Question Lieberman

August 12, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On August 12, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that on the previous Friday Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan "questioned the national loyalty of Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph I. Lieberman, asking if his Jewish religion would make him more faithful to Israel or the United States." Farrakhan incorrectly asserted that, "Mr. Lieberman, as an Orthodox Jew, is also a dual citizen of Israel. The state of Israel is not synonymous with the United States, and the test he would probably have to pass is: Would he be more faithful to the Constitution of the United States than to the ties that any Jewish person would have to the state of Israel?" Farrakhan made his remarks at a news conference before an appearance in Los Angeles.

However, "earlier this week, the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council issued an invitation to Lieberman and Vice President Al Gore to meet with the Muslim community during the Democratic National Convention next week. The letter praised the Clinton administration for offering Muslims an 'unprecedented pattern of inclusion'--appointing several Muslims to key posts in government, including the first Muslim to be a U.S. ambassador, for instance, and celebrating Muslim religious holidays at the White House." Yet the letter also "urged Lieberman to 'clarify his views' regarding the issue of Jerusalem and statements he made in the Jerusalem Post this month critical of President Clinton's 'policy of evenhandedness' in the Mideast...Salam Al-Marayati of the Muslim council said his office has received several calls and e-mails registering "apprehension" over Lieberman's positions on the Mideast. 'He takes a very staunch position on the Mideast that could result in the exclusion and discrimination of Muslim Americans in his administration,' Al-Marayati said, summing up those fears."