Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode (R), facing a backlash for a letter mailed to constituents decrying arrival of Muslims in the country, insists he did nothing wrong, reports the Charlottesville Daily Progress:
U.S. Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr. will not apologize to Islamic groups for a letter he wrote that decries Muslim immigration to America, his press aide said Thursday.
"He stands by the letter," said Linwood Duncan, aide to the 5th District Republican. Duncan refused to say more.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations demanded an apology Tuesday night for the letter, which Goode, of Rocky Mount, sent to hundreds of constituents and which the council labeled Islamophobic.
Indeed, when asked by Fox News today whether he believes "there are too many Middle Easterners here now," Goode responded by saying "I'm not gonna say yes or no."
Meanwhile, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the Muslim American who instigated Goode's backlash, notes that Goode's comments -- made in a letter about immigration policy -- were bizarre given that Ellison is not an immigrant:
Mr. Ellison dismissed Mr. Goode's comments, saying they seemed ill informed about his personal origins as well as about Constitutional protections of religious freedom. "I'm not an immigrant," added Mr. Ellison, who traces his American ancestors back to 1742. "I'm an African-American."