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. Anonymous

    Dear god he will get us all killed!

    August 3, 2007 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. Bill

    Tancredo is exactly right. Liberals/Democrats believe you sit down and talk out differences with everyone. You can with civilized people.
    The Arab enemies of the US and Israel believe talk is weakness and action strength. Seems they need to see an awful lot of their supporters eviscerated before they realize they can't push us around/intimidate us anymore.

    August 3, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. Lance, Nashville, TN

    I have supported Tom Tancredo from the beginning because of his stance on immigration reform.

    To hear this statement made by him just solidifies my opinion of this man. This is the type of candidate this country needs at a time like this!

    I truly hope that he does well in Iowa, and if nominated by the GOP, he certainly has MY vote!

    August 3, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. KD, St Louis, MO

    Are you trying to catalize another wave of violence to justify further rapes and extorsions against Arabs and Muslims

    August 3, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. nick Atlanta, GA

    Don't you think that the benladins of the world are trying to do the same thing. Which side are you on?

    August 3, 2007 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. David, Salinas, CA

    Terry from New Haven:

    This is not a "Christian nation". It is a secular nation with equal protection for all faiths.

    And since when is the wholesale murder of innocents a Christian value?

    I don't believe the so-called religious right understand the constitution or the new testiment.

    August 3, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. MB Omaha NE

    Please, people. This is war, not a garden party. Hide your head in the sand, and that is where you will be buried. Go Tom.

    August 3, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. Andy Wills

    If Tancredo wants to win even a single vote he must stop making such idiotic comments.

    August 3, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. Grumpy Sasquatch. Portland, OR

    Diplomacy does not and will not work against an ideology which believes in conversion by the sword. Thomas Jefferson learned this the hard way-read the article "Jefferson's Quran" sometime. "When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to [accept] Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them."-Sahih Muslim, Book 19, Number 4294
    So it is pretty clear, pay the money or fight against Islamo-facist expansion. Now the question is do we fight to win or fight to drive the war machine?

    August 3, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. Victor Pavamani, Snellville, GA

    I bet Tancredo is a good Christian – an eye for an eye. Doubt he heard of the New Testament, however.

    August 3, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  11. Lena, St Paul, MN

    This sounds like something out of the movie "Idiocracy."

    August 3, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Grumpy Sasquatch. Portland, OR

    Modernist interpretations notwithstanding, it is clear that military jihad—even in its expansionist form—is an authentic part of Islam. No matter how you cut it, Muhammad was not only a religious leader, but a military leader who waged war against his enemies as soon as he had the means. Following his example, Muslims quickly carved out an enormous empire. And what ended Muslim expansion was not a change of heart or doctrine, but European military might.

    Furthermore, the traditional doctrine of jihad remains alive to this day.

    This means that Christians should not accept the sweeping claim that Islam is a religion of peace. There’s just too much contrary evidence.

    On the other hand, Christians shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that their Muslim neighbors are bomb-toting fanatics: Even Muslims who believe in militant jihad don’t necessarily like violence.

    August 3, 2007 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. Sara Seattle, WA

    Wow- I am astonished to hear about this... but also hear about other folks that actually think this is a good idea.

    If you hate illegal immigration coming in from Mexico- would bombing the Vatican be a good idea because Catholicism is one of the dominant religions in Mexico? No way!

    I am embarassed as an American for these stpuid comments and even more embarassed for those Americans who may actually think this is a good idea because that is exactly the way terrorists who have started these conflicts think and talk... As an American I stand for far better values.

    August 3, 2007 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    As a Muslim Kuwaiti who lived through the first Gulf War, and am grateful to the United States for leading the world in liberating my country, it breaks my heart that someone would threatened the religion I believe in to deter few people who call themselves Muslims, but are not acting like Muslims.

    Kuwait is a very strong ally of the US, and has cooperated greatly in the war on terrorism. Words, actions and beliefs like those strike at the heart of who we are as an Islamic country.

    The door was open for an alternate suggestion. If I may propose one: Get rid of the notion of Islamic Terrorists. A person can either be a muslim or a terrorist, because fundementally they mean the opposite (Islam means peace). Those considering themselves fighting a holy war are either delusional and living in a very distant past, or using something very common to a great many people (Islam) to further their own personal intentions. Make no mistake, Saddam Hussein new the world would turn on him when he invaded Kuwait, but he benefitted greatly from attacking Kuwait: he preoccupied his people with the illusion of trouble and an emergency, which inturn distracted people from a poor economy and gave them no room to voice opposition; thus further securing his throne (that's why he was in a war with Iran for 8 years). Most of these fanatics actually have plans that involve financial, political, media, religious, and manpower planning. They know how to cause certain reactions.

    A winning idea is to

    1) Treat "Islamic fanatics" as terrorists as they have always been. This term has existed for at least 40 years, throughout the world and governments have dealt with them accordingly.

    2) Empower and hold accountable governments for creating, maintaining and expanding peace, through economic and political developments, as well as human rights, industry, education and trade. When governments and people have something that they themselves created with their own sweat, they will have something to loose, and thus they would feel the loss of others; they are awake to what truly is life. That wakes people to using communication as an avenue to resolving differences.

    August 3, 2007 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. Paul, Staten Island, NY

    Many of these comments seem driven by fear. Fear that we'll make the Muslims angry (too late). Fear of what they might do to us (guess what, they'll do it anyway). Could it be that you've been effectively...terrorized?

    August 3, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. Mike, Dallas Texas

    Somebody needs to buy that boy a map. Mecca and Medina are both located in Saudi Arabia which, if I remember things correctly, is one of OUR ALLIES. We would strike at a friend because an enemy hit us? That is beyond a "carry a big stick" way of thinking. That is more like an episode of the Three Stooges where a big stick is a featured prop.

    August 3, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  17. Kashmiri, New York, NY

    If this clown Tancredo can call for the bombing and demolition of Mecca and Medina, so what's wrong with Iranian President calling for the destruction of Israel?

    Remember, a terrorist for one is a hero and a martyr for another.

    Stop this violence now and let's all live in peace!!!

    August 3, 2007 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  18. Big Pat Jackson Mi

    Tancredo got balls unlike the rest of u wimps. Islam is a disease , and he is the cure.

    August 3, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  19. Francois labiche, Arnold , Mo

    Unfortunately, Al Qada does not seem to place any value on shrines or holy sites, as evidenced by their willingness to blow-up mosques and other moslems at prayer. Threatening to bomb their holy sites would not be a deterent to them, but could quite possibly alienate the remaining moslem world.

    August 3, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  20. Amy

    Looks like he lost about 3 million votes in this country.

    August 3, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  21. Joe, San Francisco, California

    When a country issues a passport, they are vouching for the holder to be a lawful citizen of that country and, hopefully, represent that country well abroad. If that persom commits mayhem in another country then I believe that the country which issued the passport should be held reponsible for the damages committed. Who paid the USA for 9-11?

    August 3, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  22. Anne Marie Newman, Cincinnati, OH

    What a wacko! There are more effective ways to deter crime than by destroying historic and significant sites that mean a lot to a lot of people–then we're no better than the terrorists.

    August 3, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  23. JS, Toronto, ON

    And the US wonders why they are hated, I just wish the rest of the west would stop being lumped in with George and crew.

    August 3, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  24. Brian Schaaf, Wichita Falls, Texas

    Represenative Tancredo is seriously out of touch and by this statement is showing he has no right to sit in our President's chair. America is held to a higher standard in our world. To knowingly attack civilian sites and religious areas, makes him no better then the terrorists that attack our civilian population. It's takes an adult to be able to stand up to these attacks and state that we will not sink to their levels and act as they do. If we attack Mecca or any other religious site, then we can no longer condem terrorists for doing what they do. In addition, no President can order the attack on such an area. Our military Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement prevent such an attrocity from occuring. Tancredo has shown that he is no longer fit to lead our nation, in any capacity within our government.

    August 3, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  25. Rebma, Denver, Colorado

    I don't know. Improbable as it is, it's curiously tempting.

    August 3, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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