Washington: Presidential hopeful Herman Cain on Sunday sided with communities that want to ban mosques, saying Americans have a right to oppose the construction of places of Islamic worship.
During a discussion on "Fox News Sunday" of a proposed mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn. that has drawn protests, legal challenges and even arson, host Chris Wallace asked the former Godfather`s Pizza CEO his feelings about communities that wish to ban mosques.
"Yes, they have the right to do that," Cain replied.
Last week, Cain, who is Christian, referred to the planned Murfreesboro mosque as an "infringement and an abuse of our freedom of religion" during interviews with reporters at a campaign stop in Murfreesboro. There, the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro is planning to build a new, larger facility to accommodate its growing congregation.
Cain and others believe leaders at this mosque are trying to force Islamic extremism upon the community. "I don`t agree with what`s happening because this isn`t an innocent mosque," Cain said.
Cain repeated that argument Sunday, adding during his Fox interview that he`s generally opposed to Islam.
"Our Constitution guarantees separation of church and state. Islam combines church and state," Cain said Sunday. "They`re objecting to the fact that Islam is both a religion and a set of laws," Cain said of the opponents.
When asked if his beliefs constitute discrimination, Cain disagreed, saying: "I am willing to take a harder look at people that might be terrorists. That`s what I`m saying."
You can watch Cain`s Fox News Sunday interview below, via Mediaite:
Cain provoked questions about discrimination earlier this year when he said that he would not be comfortable appointing a Muslim to his cabinet or as a federal judge if elected.
Cain told Fox host Glenn Beck in June that he would appoint Muslims who pledged loyalty to the U.S. Constitution--and conceded that we would not require the same pledge from believers who have faced past charges of divided loyalties in U.S. politics, such as Catholics.