August 4th, 2007
02:08 PM ET
10 years ago

Tancredo: Threaten to bomb Muslim holy sites in retaliation

Republican presidential hopeful Tom Tancredo

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo's campaign stood by his assertion that bombing holy Muslim sites would serve as a good "deterrent" to prevent Islamic fundamentalists from attacking the United States, his spokeswoman said Friday.

"This shows that we mean business," said Bay Buchanan, a senior Tancredo adviser. "There's no more effective deterrent than that. But he is open-minded and willing to embrace other options. This is just a means to deter them from attacking us."

On Tuesday, Tancredo warned a group of Iowans that another terrorist attack would "cause a worldwide economic collapse." recorded his comments.

"If it is up to me, we are going to explain that an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina," Tancredo said. "That is the only thing I can think of that might deter somebody from doing what they would otherwise do. If I am wrong, fine, tell me, and I would be happy to do something else. But you had better find a deterrent, or you will find an attack."

Tom Casey, a deputy spokesman for the State Department, told CNN's Elise Labott that the congressman’s comments were "reprehensible" and "absolutely crazy." Tancredo was widely criticized in 2005 for making a similar suggestion.

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Tom Tancredo
soundoff (1,648 Responses)
  1. Joe, Alamagordo NM

    I've got a better idea–how about we start with Tom's house instead?

    August 3, 2007 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. Summer, Houston, TX

    I cannot believe this IDIOT!!! It sounds like they get worse and worse after Bush. Watch out America, we are doomed with DUMBER leadership.

    August 3, 2007 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. what an idiot

    I am a Muslim in the U.S. I am very patriotic and do not support extremists or radicals, whether they are muslim or any other religion. However, in case someone listens to this moron and actually follows up with his "idea", I guarantee I would be next in line to light a match to the Vatican and holy Christian sites in Jerusalem or anywhere around the world. What an idiot...

    August 3, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. Trent, Ottawa, Ontario

    Can you really be that stupid! You think that bombing a holy site will deter Islamic fundamentalists. Bombing Mecca would cause many Muslims who do not hate the US to hate them to the point of taking up arms. Something the Iraq war has already done to a lesser extent and something the radicals desperately want.

    August 3, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  5. John Bosa, Stuart, Florida

    Im with you Tom. Kill them all!

    August 3, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  6. Greg San Diego, CA

    I absolutely 100 percent agree with Tancredo! The only politician who has the guts to stand up to the environment of PC. It is all about survival and this is the best idea I have heard in a long time from any politician.

    August 3, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. Chris, Herndon, VA

    OMG! Democracy certainly doesn't gurantee good government does it? You have to admit, though, after reading the few supportive comments on Tacredo's 'solution' that he accurately represents an extremely ignorant section of our society. Sad isn't it?

    August 3, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Mike, Brooklyn, NY

    great idea!

    August 3, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. Concerned Citizen

    As severe and barbaric as this may seem, Tancredo has a fresh idea (perhaps in need of some refinement) that is actually cognizant of the political dynamics in the region and the realities of dealing with fundamentalists.

    Its clear that our current leadership and policy makers are at a loss to understand this, and unwilling to take drastic action to establish security or stability. By comparison, the previous regime in Iraq was profoundly more effective in establishing and maintaining order, because of the sanctions or tactics that they were capable of.

    As an example, if you are a fundamentalist wacko who has demonstrated some intentions to commit a terrorist act (or, previously someone who didn’t like Saddam’s mustache), you might be deterred if you knew that everyone you were remotely related to by birth would be made to “disappear” and be turned into an immense compost pile once you were discovered.

    Fundamentalists are capable of horrible things, domestically or abroad, Christian or Muslim. Trying to apply patience, reason, and good intentions will not cause changes in their behavior, because they do not speak this language, and do not wish to be part of a civilized society. Lateral thinking, openmindedness, pragmatism and a strong stomach are prerequisites to doing business in this political climate. If we’re not prepared to swallow this, we need to stay out of the Middle East.

    August 3, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    This is the most idiotic comment that I have ever heard. If any one votes for him I will be shocked. I wonder what is his agenda ...

    Is this really coming from him or his senior advisor .......

    August 3, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. Canadian Infidel, Ontario, Canada

    Considering the Saudis have been the primary sponsor of terrorism around the world since the early seventies and are actively involved in undermining western civilization. I think this would send a loud and clear message to the Islamic fundamentalists there that there is a great price to be paid by them for trying to undermine and destroy our civilization.

    Nuke'em all.

    August 3, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. Jon, NY

    What Tancredo said is one of the most absurd comments I've ever heard.
    First of all, not all Muslims are terrorists. Second, Not all Muslims hate America. Third, by bombing Mecca or even threating to do so would create an enmity so strong that it could create a never ending war between "US" and them.
    Now, let's talk a bit about what the act really is. By definition terrorism is
    "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce especially for political purposes". Terrorists arent just arabs in that region and we need to stop stereotying them as such. What would we be if such an act was committed.
    Also Mecca is as holy as the Vatican City in Rome. To destroy Mecca can only be compared to a similar act on the Vatican City. America is NOT the Holy Land and one can't even compare the two. What a ludicrous comment.

    August 3, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. Dennis, Fredon NJ

    What an utterly shameful statment by this so called "representative." Seems he should realize that an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. It seems that Tancredo doesn't realize that such an action would result in WWIII and completely extinguish any chance that the U.S. has in regaining any respect in the world.

    Tancredo should take a class on Islam and learn its rich history and its peaceful roots before making such atrocious statements.

    August 3, 2007 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. David, Austin, TX

    If the Islamic Fundamentalist bombed the Vatican, would Christians surrender? I don't think so....

    August 3, 2007 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. Catherine, Appleton WI

    Good grief, is it stupid politics week? Between Tom "Lets bomb Mecca" Tancredo and Barack "I'll invade Pakistan if there's pressing evidence" Obama, our government seems to be supporting the current president's view that national boundaries are more like guidelines than actual rules. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are sovereign nations, and they're our allies to boot! You don't just attack other countries because it sounds like a good idea, or because there are people there that you really dislike.

    And Americans wonder why the rest of the world views us so dimly of late. My country continues to embarrass me.

    August 3, 2007 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. Luis, South West USA.

    Wow, talk about all the gutless wonders here. I haven't heard that much whining in a long time.

    People saying this is a bad idea, are having a knee jerk reaction and haven't really listened to the whole thing. Tancredo is not advocating first strike, but as an option for retaliation. He also express the desire to hear alternative.

    All, I've heard is name calling, and belly aching. Why are you acting like third graders? Instead of complaining, think of alternatives.

    You yellow bellies surely don't understand the Muslim religion. We are all infidels if we are not Muslim. Their holy book tells them to attack, drive out, and kill all infidels. That means you, the ones cozy in your apartments.

    So much for the religion of peace.

    August 3, 2007 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. Marty Daniels, Tyler Texas

    You go dude!!

    August 3, 2007 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  18. Linda, Sparta, NJ

    Tom is right. This political corectness junk doesn't work. They only understand forces bigger than theirs. They want to kill us if we don't joing them. Time to take back our country. How about the people dropped off a few blocks after getting picked up from an airport because the cabby refused to drive them because they had liquor bottles with them? Against their religion. Throwing a koran in the toilet is a hate crime? We've gone too far. I would rather have Tancredo as my rep than Mendez, who is for open borders and pro North American Union and socialist health care.

    August 3, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. María Soledad Cervantes Ramírez, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico

    Dear Sirs,

    From Mexico it seems incredible to me, and most dangerous to the U.S. community, that this person Tancredo can be, in the first place, a "presidential hopeful", and secondly, that he is given space to utter such foolish, crazy, even wild suggestions. Having read my homework on what Tancredo defends, I think the man should be known by now for his spreading hate and violence even if only in words at this stage, and shouldn't even be taken seriously. Mr. Tancredo asks to be presented with other possibilities to deter Islam fundamentalists from harming the U.S.A. Well, he is blatantly in need of considering other options. He lacks the political, moral (forget spiritual) ground to propose solutions on these matters. I bet bombing Islam mosques would only lead to total war and the firmest pledge by Muslim fundamentalists to completely "erase this evil from the face of the Earth". Reagan did harm to countries like Nicaragua in his time. If Tancredo had then been president of the U.S., I guess Nicaragua wouldn't even exist by now. The man is a racist, a fascist and his discourse is evil. You know, some currents of esoterism preach that "this dark evil era" will end in 2012 either with a war or a huge show of solidarity. I don't believe that. But God almighty, how I wish that hate- and bigotry-mongers like Tancredo be not allowed in politics.
    Why do I worry being a Mexican myself? Because I've know his opinions regarding immigrants and the value as human beings of Blacks and Browns, that's why.
    May the U.S. citizens wake up, take their blindfold off and see what kind of people they are allowing to speak and even worse, influence them.

    Thank you,
    María Soledad

    August 3, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    This guy makes us Republicans look bad.

    August 3, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  21. Amjad Khan, Merrick NY

    I'm proud to be an American Muslim and I am myself in a state of shock to see a very small percentage of muslims killing innocent civilians in the name of religion. I also feel very strongly about muslim shrines and mosques getting desecrated in Iraq. In spite of that I cannot ever imagine harming any non-muslim or any religious site, be it a Church, a Synagogue or a Temple.

    Instead of looking for a political situation and trying to understand the reasons behind the conflict, he wants to blow away centuries old sacred sites for 1.5 billion muslims all around the globe.

    This guy is insane, he needs to get a psychiatric evaluation. To me he is suicidal.

    August 3, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  22. Martin, Accokeek, MD

    The American people elected this fool to Congress. Blame the Americans who sent him and the others to Congress to screw up our country.

    Wake up America! It's time to vote these morons out of Congress

    August 3, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  23. George, Houston, Texas

    Wow. Not only is that probably one of the most insensitive and ignorant things I've ever heard, it's simply a ridiculously BAD idea. That certainly would not have the desired deterrent effect. It seems many ideas that certain Republicans are throwing out in the guise of 'deterrents' all have the common trait of most likely radicalizing more people.

    August 3, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. Brook Bollinger, Denver, CO

    Bombing Mecca to deter attacks by Muslim extremists is akin to bombing the Vatican to deter priestly pedophilia. Tancredo is a complete NUTJOB! He shames the great State of Colorado every time he opens his mouth!

    August 3, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. Adem St. Louis, MO

    What an absolutely idiotic statement. Thats one way of getting the rest of the world to loathe us even more than they already do.

    August 3, 2007 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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