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The Denver Post today takes Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo to task for not apologizing for his radio comments about the possibility of bombing Muslim holy sites.
Tancredo, who has refused to apologize, has agreed to meet with certain, hand-picked Muslim groups — those which he deems to be moderate.
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He has rejected calls to meet with The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which was among the first groups to criticize the remarks. However, Tancredo has agreed to meet with Muslim leaders he considers more moderate. Tancredo’s spokesman would not confirm specifics, but one meeting could happen as early as today and include representatives of the Washington, D.C.-based group, Free Muslim Coalition.
Why this particular group? Probably, because they like him.
“We are aware of Congressman Tancredo. We think he’s a good guy. We really do,” Nawash said. “We think this controversy was blown out of proportion. We want to talk about finding a way to, I guess, mend fences with the community.”
CAIR is not happy it has been excluded from the meet:
“If they want to talk to mainstream, moderate Muslims, this is the organization to talk to,” said Corey Saylor, government affairs director for CAIR. “We work regularly with government officials. We’ve trained FBI members (in sensitivity to Muslims). I don’t think you can get more mainstream than that.” “What we’d like to see Tancredo do is meet with organizations that represent large constituencies of the American Muslim community,” Saylor said.
Don’t expect an apology from Tancredo at the meeting. He has another plan in mind:
“We look to talk to moderate Muslims about Islam in general and also talking about ways we can be helpful getting moderate Muslims to stand up to extremists in their faith,” [Tancredo spokesman Will] Adams said.