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Herman Cain Backslides on Anti-Islam Conspiracy Theories

October 3, 2011, 12:16 pm | Posted by Nick Sementelli

Early in the Republican presidential campaign, Herman Cain made a name for himself as the candidate most willing to publicly endorse the conspiracy theories of anti-Islam extremists and openly supported requiring loyalty oaths of Muslim candidates for public service.

But in a hopeful turn, Cain changed his tune after visiting with a Virginia Islamic center and meeting some actual Muslim-Americans face-to-face. His subsequent apology was a real victory for religious freedom and American values.

But apparently this conversion was short lived. Asked about sharia law conspiracy theories on ABC’s This Week yesterday, Cain reverted to his old self:

CAIN: Call me crazy. … Some people would infuse Sharia Law in our courts system if we allow it. I honestly believe that. So even if he calls me crazy, I am going to make sure that they don’t infuse it little by little by little. … American laws in American courts, period.

Faiz Shakir at Think Progress gives the context:

The “creeping Sharia” threat, as CAP explained in our report “Fear, Inc.,” is the product of a hate campaign organized by a small number of Islamophobic actors who are trying to cast suspicion on the presence of all Muslims in America. In fact, Cain’s language of “American laws in American courts” is lifted directly from a right-wing lawyer named David Yerushalmi, who has been leading an effort to pass anti-Sharia measures in roughly two dozen states.

Needless to say, this news is severely disappointing for those of us who greeted Cain’s previous change of heart as real progress toward marginalizing Islamophobia on the campaign trail.

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