WASHINGTON - A leading Muslim advocacy organization Sunday condemned as "inaccurate and offensive" remarks by Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum for saying that the concept of equality comes from "the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob," and not from Islam or "Eastern religions."

In a statement, the Communications Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Ibrahim Hooper, said:

"The Quran, Islam's revealed text, is the best refutation of Mr. Santorum's inaccurate and offensive remarks, which are unbecoming of anyone who hopes to hold our nation's highest office. Christians, Jews and Muslims all worship the same God and share religious traditions that promote justice and equality.

"God states in the Quran: 'Say ye: 'We believe in God and the revelation given to us and to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and it is unto Him that we surrender ourselves.'

"The Quran and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stress racial and gender equality. The Prophet said: 'All people are equal as the teeth of a comb.'

"As the Prophet said in his last sermon: 'All humankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab. Also, a white person has no superiority over a black person, nor does someone who is black have any superiority over someone who is white -- except by piety and good action.'

"The Prophet once told a companion: 'You are not better than people (of other races) unless you excel them in piety.'

"Islam's holy text also promotes gender equality when it states: 'So their Lord answers their prayers, saying: 'I will never let the (good) work of any of you, whether male or female, be wasted. You are members one of another.' The holy Quran also states: 'The believers, men and women, are protectors, one of another.'

"The Prophet Muhammad said: 'Whoever has a daughter and does not bury her alive (a pre-Islamic practice forbidden by Islam), does not insult her, and does not favour his son over her, God will enter him into Paradise.'

"We suggest that Mr. Santorum educate himself about Islam and the American Muslim community by reading the Quran that we will send to his campaign headquarters next week."

[NOTE: CAIR has an initiative designed to send free copies of the Quran to the nation's opinion leaders and policy-makers. The Qurans are sponsored and distributed through CAIR's ongoing "Explore the Quran" campaign.]

Hooper noted that CAIR recently called on Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and other Republican representatives to reaffirm their support of an American republic that treats citizens of all faiths as equals after Gingrich told a South Carolina town hall that he would only support a Muslim for the presidency if that person would "commit in public to give up Sharia [Islamic principles]."