- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 23, 2002

From combined dispatches
Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson drew criticism yesterday from Arab Americans and others for describing Islam as a violent religion that wants to "dominate and then, if need be, destroy."
"The rhetoric is exactly the same as traditional anti-Semitism. All you can do is change the word 'Jew' to 'Arab' or 'Muslim,'" said Hussein Ibish, spokesman for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, a Washington-based civil rights group.
Mr. Robertson was speaking on his "700 Club" television program Thursday after watching a segment about Muslims' views on terrorism.
Co-host Lee Webb asked Mr. Robertson why he thought Muslim immigrants would want to live in the United States "if they have such contempt for our foreign policy."
Mr. Robertson replied: "Well, as missionaries, possibly to spread the doctrine of Islam." He went on to say that Islam "is not a peaceful religion that wants to coexist. They want to coexist until they can control, dominate and then, if need be, destroy."
Americans United for Separation of Church and State said Mr. Robertson's attacks expose what it says are his hate-tinged views.
Mr. Robertson's comment on Islam "is just one in a long history of Robertson's bigotry toward non-Christians," said Barry W. Lynn, the D.C.-based watchdog group's executive director.
"It's unfortunate that this intolerant TV preacher has a national platform to spew hate on a daily basis," Mr. Lynn said.
Mr. Lynn noted that in January 1991, Mr. Robertson equated Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Methodists with "the spirit of the Antichrist." That same year, he said Hindus are "devil worshippers." In recent years, he's attacked Wiccans, Mormons and nonbelievers.
"Robertson is running out of people to hate," Mr. Lynn said.

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