Anti-Muslim Rhetoric in the 2012 Primary

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 Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum arrives for a press conference on January 19, 2012 in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. According to certified results released, he won the Iowa caucus.
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While political mud-slinging is de riguer in primary races, 2012 has brought several not-so-thinly-veiled anti-Muslim soundbytes from its frontrunning candidates. Last week, Newt Gingrich said that he would not support a Muslim president unless they would "commit in public to giv[ing] up Sharia." Rick Santorum also expressed his thoughts on Islam, saying that the concept of equality "doesn’t come from Islam" or "Eastern Religions." Instead, he said, "it comes from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."

Nezar Hamze is executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations in South Florida, and is a Republican. Hussein Rashid is professor of religion at Hofstra University.