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Lawmaker won't apologize for 'Islamophobic' letter

Story Highlights

• NEW: Virginia representative refuses to apologize for 'Islamophobic' letter
• NEW: Virgil Goode said without immigration reform "more Muslims elected"
• NEW: Council on American-Islamic Relations asked Goode to apologize
• Goode mad that Muslim Rep. Keith Ellison wants to be sworn in with Quran
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Virginia congressman will not apologize for writing that without immigration overhaul "there will be many more Muslims elected to office demanding the use of the Quran," his spokesman said.

Republican Rep. Virgil Goode's letter to constituents also warns that without immigration overhaul "we will have many more Muslims in the United States."

Spokesman Linwood Duncan said Goode's letter was written in response to complaints his office received about Minnesota Rep.-elect Keith Ellison's request to be sworn in using the Quran.

Ellison is the first Muslim to be elected to Congress.

Goode's office released the letter to CNN Wednesday.

In it, Goode wrote, "When I raise my hand to take the oath on Swearing In Day, I will have the Bible in my other hand. I do not subscribe to using the Quran in any way.

"The Muslim representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Quran.

"We need to stop illegal immigration totally and reduce legal immigration and end the diversity visas policy pushed hard by President Clinton and allowing many persons from the Middle East to come to this country.

"I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped."

He added, "The Ten Commandments and 'In God We Trust' are on the wall in my office. A Muslim student came by the office and asked why I did not have anything on my wall about the Quran.

"My response was clear, 'As long as I have the honor of representing the citizens of the 5th District of Virginia in the United States House of Representatives, the Quran is not going to be on the wall of my office.' "

The Council on American-Islamic Relations asked Goode to apologize.

"Rep. Goode's Islamophobic remarks send a message of intolerance that is unworthy of anyone elected to public office," the council's Corey Saylor said in a statement. "There can be no reasonable defense for such bigotry."

Duncan told CNN that Goode stands by his comments.

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Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode, a Republican, is being criticized for writing a letter that slams the Quran and Muslims.



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