The Rev. O'Neal Dozier, 57, is a clergyperson from Broward
County, Florida, an advisor to President Bush, a minister of the
Worldwide Christian Church, and an appointee of Governor Jeb Bush. In the latter position, he
was on Broward's
Commission -- a group that selects judicial nominees.
Dozier was surprised by the strong reaction to his words. He expressed
concern that they might impact his appointment to the
Judicial Nominating Commission. However,
the did not withdraw his comments. He said: "I
don't look for everyone to believe what I believe, because
everyone is not as astute about religion as I am. That's my life.''
Dozier was later asked to resign from the Commission. He submitted his letter of
resignation on JUL-09. 2
Denigration of Muslims at a public meeting:
According to the Miami Herald, on 2006-JUL-11, about 70 dissidents -- mostly
blacks with some whites and HIspanics -- held
signs and marched outside Pompano Beach City Hall to protest the city's approval of
city zoning approval building permit for the Islamic center on JUN-14.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, the Rev. Aaron Wiggins of Mount Zion
Missionary Baptist Church said:
"A mosque is more needed in a community where you have Muslim people
already dwelling. I believe they are trying to expand their territory. They
are bringing Islam in[to] a Christian community.''
According to According to the Miami Herald, Rev.
"...went to the podium and denigrated Islam, a 'cult'
he called it, and reduced all its practitioners to stark, one-dimensional
bomb-wielding American-hating stereotypes. Dozier accused ''Moooslims''
(stretching out that first syllable for mocking emphasis) of picking a
Christian neighborhood where they could convert young black men to Islam.
'We don't need young black men to become more angry, to hate white men. We
don't need any more violence'. Dozier's words brought shouts of 'Amen!' from the
audience. His three-minute diatribe brought applause and then a standing
Willie Lawson, president of the North Broward NAACP, spoke on the need for
religious tolerance, of America's founding principles and on the evil of
discrimination. He was booed loudly.
John Petrone, a 34-year white resident of Pompano Beach, said he supports the
proposed center. He mentioned the names of names of American Muslims, such as
Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Malcolm X, whom he described as a "great
man." He said: "Would they deny him a church in their neighborhood? I
don't think so." 3
Brendan Farrington of the Associated Press wrote:
"Dozier says black men are receptive to Islam and he doesnít want their
souls to be lost. He also believes Islam uses the Qur'an to teach violence.
He said black men are angry enough without being taught violence against
those who donít share their believes. It could create situations like the
terrorist plot to blow up the Sears Tower that the FBI says it discovered in
Miami, he said."
" 'If you look at the Qur'an, all the way from the beginning to the end
it speaks of evil and violence,' Dozier said. 'The problem is, I find that
most people who are apologetic for Islam are those persons who have not read
the Qur'an'." 4
The Miami Herald described some of Rev. Dozier's other past concerns:
"Dozier was known for intolerance long before the mosque issue. But it
was his stunning denunciations of gays that brought him his earlier
notoriety. And Dozier also likes to rail against the notion of a secular
government. He once complained to The Daily Business Review, 'There is no
such animal as separation of church and state in the Constitution'.''
The Florida Chapter of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) later wrote:
"The Rev. Dozier asserts that he has the right
to express his opinions -- and on that point he is correct. The U.S.
Constitution protects his right to freely express himself so long as his
speech isnít inflammatory. The Rev. Dozierís statements about Islam are
harmful nonetheless. They also are irresponsible and flat-out wrong. He
broad-brushes all who practice Islam -- and there are hundreds of millions
of believers worldwide -- as belonging to a cult. Surely the Rev. Dozier and
his supporters recognize that kind of blanket characterization as
"The Rev. Dozierís re marks ill-serve the African-American community that he
purports to represent -- and the good people of that community should let
the reverend and his supporters know that they donít condone his brand of
religious bigotry any more than they would support racial bigotry."
We have been unable to find any indication that any
non-Islamic religious leader has come to the defense of the Muslims' civil and
religious liberties. To our knowledge, they have all remained silent -- a
silence that many will regard as agreement with the Rev. Dozier's beliefs and
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Darran Simon, "Jeb Bush ally slams Islam," Miami Herald, 2006-JUL-08,
- Fred Grimm, "Religious tolerance is booed loudly," The Miami Herald,
- Gregory Lewis & Ana Ribeiro, "More than 60 people gather in Pompano to
protest construction of mosque," South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 2006-JUL-12, at:
- Brendan Farrington, "Pastor appointed by Bush won't apologize for remarks on
Islam." Associated Press, 2006-JUL-12, at:
- "Bias against Islam: Our opinion: Community should speak out against
religious prejudice," 2006-JUL-14, at: