Herman Cain Endorses Religious Discrimination: "Go Work Somewhere Else"

March 28, 2011 12:46 pm ET — Julia Krieger & Brian Powell

Herman Cain, former CEO of Godfather's Pizza and potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate, added to a recent series of disparaging comments he's made about the Muslim faith when he told Political Correction that the U.S. Department of Justice's efforts to enforce the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against a public school that allegedly discriminated against a Muslim teacher were "purely political," and that freedom to practice religion is "dividing this country."

PC: Let me ask you, the Obama administration, Eric Holder's DOJ, is going after public schools - he's suing public schools, for - there was a case where he's suing a public school for releasing a Muslim woman, letting her go because she wanted to go on a pilgrimage. Do you think that's political, what they're doing, or do you think that's the job of the federal DOJ?

CAIN: That's political...purely political is what that is. I would rather the DOJ enforce the Defense Of Marriage Act than worry about whether a lady was let go because she wanted to take off an inordinate amount of time. Rules are rules in the workplace. The last time I checked, if you work for somebody, you work for an institution, and they've got work rules, you don't go take the job and then you want to change the rules later because of your religion. Go work somewhere else.

You know, this is what's...this is what's dividing this country. You know, employers have rights. Employees have rights. And I don't believe in trampling on the rights of the employers. When I ran Burger King division, when I ran a group with the Pillsbury company, when I ran Godfather's Pizza, National Restaurant Association, getting ready to hire somebody - here are the rules. Now don't say yes to this job and come back later and complain about the rules of the workplace. That is totally, totally wrong.

You shouldn't have gotten me off on that tangent.


Cain made his comments to Political Correction earlier this week while preparing to give a speech at the Conservative Principles Conference sponsored by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) in Des Moines. Afterward, he added to his anti-Islam sentiment when he told ThinkProgress that if he were elected president, he would not appoint a Muslim in his administration.

Last week, Cain told Christianity Today that Muslims should be allowed to practice their religion freely, but added, "Based upon the little knowledge that I have of the Muslim religion...they have an objective to convert all infidels or kill them."

Although he's touted by some as evidence of diversity within the conservative movement, Cain's comments suggest that he's trying garner support by being the most stridently anti-Muslim candidate in the field and by calling for an end to federal enforcement of some civil rights.