CHICAGO, November 5, 2001 ( – Republican businessman James Oberweis, who announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in Illinois yesterday, is in hot water with the Catholic League after remarks comparing pro-life politicians to the Taliban.

On two occasions recently, Oberweis, who is Catholic, explained that the reason he is not a pro-life candidate is because that would put him in the same camp with the Taliban. He was quoted in last Sunday’s Springfield Journal Register as saying, “I think the Taliban is the best example that we’ve ever had about what is wrong about my trying to impose my religious views on you.” On the “Steve Dahl Show” (WCKG-FM) on October 24, Oberweis said, “I think that right now we’re getting a very, very strong symbol in the Taliban of what can happen if we try to impose our religious beliefs on others.”

Catholic League president William Donohue commented saying, “James Oberweis compares those who want to stop the killing of innocent babies to those who routinely stone to death women and starve little children. He said this not once, but twice. This was deliberate, calculated and designed to smear his opposition.” When the League demanded an apology Oberweis refused comment and said later in a newspaper he had no intention of apologizing. The League has promised to “commence a media campaign providing free advertisement for his despicable comments.”

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