Group Wants Congressman Virgil Goode to Explain Comments About Muslims

A Muslim group said Monday it had invited Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Va., to expand on biting remarks he made last week during debate on a House resolution disapproving of President Bush's decision to send more than 21,000 U.S. troops into Iraq.

The Muslim American Public Affairs Council has "extended this invitation to Congressman Goode to give him a venue to explain his recent comments about Muslims and Islam," MAPAC Executive Director Marc Conaghan said in a statement. MAPAC also asked Goode to share a dialogue with Jamal Badawi, an Islamic and comparative religion scholar.

Goode's position on the invitation wasn't clear Monday evening. Phone calls to Goode's office went unanswered. Most government offices were closed on Monday for observation of the President's Day holiday.

MAPAC, based in Raleigh, N.C., also did not immediately return messages seeking further comment.

Goode's remarks recently have raised eyebrows among U.S. Muslim groups.

Last week, Goode said the nonbinding resolution would provide "comfort and encourage the radical Muslims who want to destroy our country." He also said Islamic jihadists want U.S. currency to say "In Muhammad We Trust," with an Islamic flag flying over the White House and U.S. Capitol.

In December, Goode drew ire from Muslim groups when he sent a letter to constituents questioning Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison's decision to use a Koran for his ceremonial swearing-in photograph. Ellison was born in Detroit and converted to Islam in college.

At the time, Goode also told FOX News that he is "for restricting immigration so that we don’t have a majority of Muslims elected to the United States House of Representatives."

In its release, MAPAC said Rep. David Price, D-N.C., also will be speaking at the event.