Sep 30, 1997

Columbia, S.C. - Americans United for Separation of Church and State today called for the resignation of Dr. Henry Jordan, South Carolina school board member, after he once again criticized Muslims and their faith. The incident follows public outrage over his "screw the Buddhists and kill the Muslims" comments describing minority faiths just four months ago.

In a response to a letter from a concerned Muslim citizen regarding the May incident, Jordan wrote a letter on personal letterhead on Sept. 2 saying, "If you are not smart enough to read through the news and see what really transpired from this news event, it is no wonder you think salvation can be obtained by good works and having faith in Allah."These comments, in conjunction with his previous intolerance, have led Americans United to write letters to Jordan and Gov. David Beasley calling for Jordan's resignation.Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United, said the state of South Carolina and the students Jordan claims to represent deserve better and that he should step aside immediately."First Jordan tells the school board that Buddhists and Muslims should be 'screwed' and 'killed.' After some prodding, he says he's sorry," Lynn said. "But as soon as media attention has died down, he goes right back to his bigoted and hateful ways. Maybe he assumes we'll have forgotten his dangerous rhetoric. We won't. Now more than ever, it's time for him to go."Jordan's letter goes on to say that the Muslim faith ignores "Biblical prophecy" and urges the concerned citizen to ask the "God of the Bible, Jehovah, not Allah, and God, the Son, Jesus, to remove the veil from your eyes and heart and reveal the truth to you before it is too late.""These comments sound more like an evangelist trying to convert than a public official trying to represent. This is a slap in the face to Muslims and people of faith everywhere," Lynn said. "He embarrassed and threatened the trust of the citizens of South Carolina the last time he let his true colors show. Now he's done it again.

"Should we continue to forgive and forget every time Jordan insults religions he hates?" Lynn asked. "What would it take for the governor to say 'enough is enough?' Imagine if Jordan was a minority faith telling the board that Jews should be killed, Christians that they aren't 'smart enough' for trusting Jesus and that people should read his religious text to remove the veil from their eyes. Would Jordan then be asked for his resignation? I believe he would. The State Board of Education, representing children, is no place for this kind of radical extremist."