Flake: Roy Moore's views on Muslims 'should concern us all'

Flake: Roy Moore's views on Muslims 'should concern us all'
© Getty Images

Republican Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat Sasse: RNC help for Roy Moore 'doesn't make any sense' Sasse calls RNC decision to resume support for Moore 'bad' and 'sad' MORE (Ariz.) criticized his party's Alabama Senate nominee on Tuesday for previously saying that Muslims should not be able to serve in Congress.

Flake warned against "applying religious tests to those who heed the call of government service," in a speech on the Senate floor, a reference to a 2006 column by former Alabama Supreme Court judge Roy Moore.

"When a judge expressed his personal belief that a practicing Muslim should not be a member of Congress because of his religious faith, it was wrong. That this same judge is now my party's nominee for the Senate from Alabama should concern us all," Flake continued. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"Religious tests have no place in the United States Congress. Standing up for people of faith, whether Muslim or Catholic, who are facing unfair prejudice should be an act of basic conscience that should be expected of all of us, regardless of party." 

Flake also cited comments from some Democrats over one of President Trump's judicial nominees, questioning whether her Catholicism would unfairly influence her on the bench.

"To suggest that somehow a Roman Catholic judge would discard the Constitution in favor of church doctrine, which she has emphatically and repeatedly said she would not, is as wrong as suggesting a Muslim judge would be somehow forced to follow Sharia law over the Constitution," he said. 

"Religious liberty must not depend on the religion in question."

Moore blasted Rep. Keith EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonDemocrats turn on Al Franken The nearly 60 Dems who voted for impeachment Franken resignation could upend Minnesota races MORE's (D-Minn.) Muslim faith in a 2006 column, where he said that "Muslims can't swear to uphold the United States Constitution and still be a Muslim, because the law of Allah as expressed in the Quran is supreme."

He went on to add that Islamic law is "simply incompatible with our law."

He went on to compare taking the oath of office on a Quran with allowing an oath of office to be taken with Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" in 1943 or Karl Marx's "Communist Manifesto" during the Cold War.

Ellison eventually took the ceremonial oath with former President Jefferson's Quran.

Moore, during a visit to the Senate on Tuesday, said he did not support a religious test for public officials and accused the media of distorting his views.

"There should be no religious test, no. That's against the Constitution," he told reporters.

Moore, who beat incumbent Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeGOP sen: ‘Just a fact’ Moore will face ethics complaint if elected Trevor Noah: Trump must be ‘morally degenerate’ to back Roy Moore Moore gets boost from Bannon in final days of campaign MORE (R-Ala.) in a primary, is headed to the general election against Democrat Doug Jones.

Flake's comments come a week after he announced he would not seek reelection in 2018. In a speech on the Senate floor, Flake criticized the direction of the Republican Party under President Trump.

Moore briefly addressed the article in an interview with NBC News.

"I didn't say he couldn't [serve], I said — go read my World Net Daily article that says 'should,' not 'could,'" he said, according to a tweet from NBC journalist Garrett Haake, who conducted the interview.

- This report was updated at 4:22 p.m.