02/24/2014 10:16 am ET Updated Feb 24, 2014

Former Bush Strategist Matthew Dowd Equates Arizona's Anti-Gay Christians To Islamic Terrorists

President George W. Bush’s former chief strategist Matthew Dowd equated Arizona’s anti-gay Christians in support of SB 1062 -- newly passed legislation discriminating against LGBT people on the basis of religious liberty -- to Islamic terrorists during Sunday’s "This Week" on ABC.

"We’ve used religion to go to war. People have criticized Islam because they use religion to fight people and kill people," Dowd told host Martha Raddatz. "This is the problem with that [bill]."

Arizona legislators are using religion as a tool to "enforce discriminatory practices," Dowd argued, drawing parallels to pro-slavery advocates who used religion as a justification for prejudice.

"People used religion back in the 1860s when they defended slavery," Dowd said.

The former Bush strategist also predicted that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) would likely veto the bill "because of everything that’s going in the business economy there."

Numerous private sector leaders have echoed Dowd’s sentiments, urging Brewer to veto the controversial religious freedom bill.

"So much of the cultural transformation going on in America right now is towards acceptance and tolerance," Barry Broome, president of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, told CBS 5 News on Friday. "I think it's going to be very difficult to attract any kind of talent or investment or events. It's going to destroy the goodwill between our state and the rest of the world."

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who voted in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act last year, also joined opponents of SB 1062 in calling for the governor to veto the state bill.

"I hope Governor Brewer vetoes SB 1062," Flake tweeted on Saturday.

Brewer has five days from when she receives the bill to veto it. Otherwise, the bill becomes law.

(h/t Raw Story)


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