Herman Cain, one of the foremost Republican presidential candidates, said today he believes many Muslims living in America let their religion command them to have “extremist views.”
In an interview with GQ Magazine published today, Cain talked about a variety of topics, from ice cream to his GOP competition, but the dialogue garnering the most attention dealt with his already-controversial stance on Muslims and Muslim-Americans.
When asked about his thoughts on the Muslim community, Cain said: “I have had one very well-known Muslim voice say to me directly that a majority of Muslims share the extremist views."
Cain would not reveal the source of his information, but said he took the man at his word because, “That's his community. I can't tell you his name, but he is a very prominent voice in the Muslim community, and he said that.”
Amid a media firestorm surrounding sexual harassment allegations, criticism of his 9-9-9 economic recovery plan, and a host of other questionable one-liners, the last thing Cain needs is more attention that is negative. Cain, however, said several times that he favors honesty over political correctness.
“People like my directness and my bluntness… when you become so worried about being politically correct, you find yourself not saying anything. Because you're trying to offend the least number of people. I'm trying to attract the greatest number of people. Different strategy,” Cain explained.
Apparently, Cain is not trying to attract Muslims.
This is not the first time the business executive landed himself in trouble because of hastily made statements. In an interview in March of this year, Cain said he would not be “comfortable” allowing Muslim-Americans to work in his Cabinet, he told Think Progress.
Cain then reaffirmed his position in a Fox News Sunday interview. When asked if a community could ban a mosque, he said: “They [would] have a right to do that.”
The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO was commenting on a Muslim religious center proposed in Murfreesboro, Tenn., when he claimed it “wasn’t an innocent mosque.”
As far as the GQ interview, Cain admitted that there “are peaceful Muslims,” but that they do not truly represent the sentiments of the Islamic community as a whole.
Even though many voters assert that Cain is a likeable candidate because of his directness, the GOP frontrunner acknowledged his comments would probably become a nuisance to his campaign.
At the end of the interview questions, Cain laughed and said: “That probably wasn’t politically correct, was it?”