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. Nick, Riverside, CA

    Although I do not agree with specifically targeting holy sites, I do agree with his tough stance on Muslim extremists and Islam as a whole. The Islamic world has proven to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is incapable with existing together with the West. We in the West have appealed for too long to the so-called "moderate Muslims". I do not believe there is such a thing. This Islamic world wants to make the rest of the non-Muslim world bow to its rules and ideas. I for one will have none of it. This is a war of culture, society, and ideas. I want nothing to do with the Muslim world or its values and ideas. I know what side I am on. At least Tom Tancredo does too, and he is not afraid of the politically correct backlash that is bound to come his way.

    August 3, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. Zack Highstreet Allston, MA 02134

    The idea that we can reason with or buy off the good will of the Islamic world will fail. We won't be able to win hearts and minds in any way we try. Why? The Islamic god, Allah, has divided the world into believers vs. infidels and into dar al Islam ( the house of Islam ) and dar al Harb ( the House of War i.e., where jihad must be waged to put infidels into submission and where Islamic law, sharia, needs to be put into place)

    Anyone not Muslim is a dirty infidel by the eternal commands of Allah in the Qur'an. Here's the proof:

    The Koran (Pickthall translation) says that disbelievers (non-Muslims) are “worst of created beings” (98:6), are “miscreants” (2:99, 24:55), are the worst beasts in Allah’s sight (8:22, 8:55); (some Christians and/or Jews were) turned into “apes and/or pigs” (2:65-66, 5:58-60, 7:166); are like frightened donkeys chased by a lion (74:50-51); are worse than cattle (7:179); are like dogs (7:176); they (idolators) are unclean (9:28); “evil” is upon them (16:27), evil (2:91, 2:99); “wicked” (80:42, 9:125); the “wrong-doers” (42:45, 2:254, 5:45); evil-doers (42:44); evil-livers (5:59); they have no good in them (8:23); are “guilty” for disbelieving (45:31, 83:29); on the side of Satan and are fighting for him (4:76-77); of the party of Satan (58:19); Allah assigns them devils for protecting friends (7:27); they choose devils for protecting friends (7:30); are partisan against Allah (25:55); are the “enemy” and “perverted” (63:4); have disgraced lives (22:9); are hypocrites (4:61); have a “diseased heart” (2:10, 9:125); are ill (84:20); are deaf, dumb, and blind, and have no sense (2:171); deaf and dumb and in darkness, Allah sends them astray (6:39); they have no sense (5:103, 10:100); a folk who do not understand (9:127); their fathers were unintelligent and had no knowledge or guidance (2:170, 5:104); are “a folk without intelligence”/ “most ignorant” (8:65, 6:111); losers who are deceived by Allah (2:6), and deceived by Satan (4:60); Allah sends devils against them to make them do evil (19:83); Allah cursed them for their unbelief (2:88-89), liars/they lie (2:10, 4:50, 9:42, 16:39, 16:105, 59:11), “losers” (5:53, 7:178-179); foolish and liars (7:66), liars and losers (58:18-19), in false pride and schism (38:2), among the lowest (58:20); the lowest of the low (95:4-6).
    In reading those insults, keep the following points in mind: These insults apply to disbelievers because they are disbelievers (disbelief is the worst crime); the insults are assumed to be the words of Allah and are therefore true of disbelievers for all time, until the Last Day; the disbelievers cannot do anything to improve Allah’s perception of them (He does not accept the good works of the disbelievers, see 5:5, 18:104-106, also 18:30, 33:19, 47:1-4, 47:32), except to believe in and obey Allah; and the insulting adjectives refer to the inherent character traits of disbelievers.

    August 3, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Eric Etheridge, Knoxville Tennessee

    Thank you Tom Casey! As I read this story I was worried that Tancredo spoke for some sort of majority- well I guess he does speak for a majority of people in colorado, which is scary. As the "biggest kid on the block", people are going to take shots at you. One has to really consider how these "shots" will be dealt with. Turning the entire muslim world against the US as the result of the actions of a few redical extremists is definitely NOT the answer.

    August 3, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. Calvin North Hills CA

    How is this man a representation of the United States? Comments like that don't even qualify him to be the village idiot.

    August 3, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. Jason DeSantis, Rochester, MI

    To "Rod Burnette" who asked the question of where in the Constitution do we have a separation of Church and State, and then made the claim it doesn't exist, I direct you to Article ONE of the Constitution of the United States of America, ratified on 12/15/1791.

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."

    First sentence of the First Amendment, so I must ask the question, since you struck against so-called "government education..."


    August 3, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. Mitchell Persaud, Toronto, Ontario

    His commment may be nuts, but what is more nuts is people defending Saudi Arabia as an ally. What are you smoking?

    August 3, 2007 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. Jim, Denver, Colorado

    This guy is a disgraceful embarrassment to our great State of Colorado. To see him in the media being identified as a Colorado Rep makes it appear as though he speaks for the entire state. This is not the case. We are good people here in Colorado.
    In reality, he only represents a very small, homogenous, wealthy, predominantly Republican district. And not everyone in his district voted for him. A real disgraceful embarrassment to Coloradoans.

    August 3, 2007 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. Justin, Seattle WA

    I guess if you can't beat em' ... join em'?

    August 3, 2007 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. Chris Sloan, Fredericksburg, Virginia

    No question that it would deter the extremists. Of course, the added effect would be to turn every muslim against us.

    August 3, 2007 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. Homer Simpson, Springfield, NJ


    Is he mentally insane, or is he just retarded? Doing such a thing would literally kill, MILLIONS at that site, excluding the billions of people who live in that area.

    This guy is a nut case. "Only option." What was your other option? To say, "Let's go over there and burn their flag!"

    This guy is ignorant, dumb, and seriously needs to see a psychiatrist who isn't his mom.

    August 3, 2007 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. Brad Chisholm Los Angeles California

    For all of you who disagree with TT, you should rememeber this is what we did in the cold war with the Soviets. It was called deterence -and gee whiz, it worked.

    August 3, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. adam, Phoenix, AZ

    Is this guy for real? No he's not! Is he? and he's running for president! Even Israel with all its problems with the arabs and the pals(muslim or christian) has never held a holy site as hostage.Thank god this guy is just a third rate politician who will never be elected as president. The RNC should boot him out of the republican party.

    August 3, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. MM , MECCA,NY


    August 3, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. J. Czeikus; Victorville, CA

    I agree with Tancredo's statements.

    There is no reason not to attack religious sites if those attacking us use that religion as the basis for their attacks.

    How else would we get the so-called 'moderate' Muslims to become involved and to reclaim their religion from the idiots?

    August 3, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  15. Joe, NJ

    The argument that terrorism is not primarily related to Islam is laughable. Nearly 1/4 of Muslims polled in the US support terrorist activities and nearly 60% consider themselves a Muslim first and an American second. Hyphenated Americans should not be tolerated and should be summarily removed from our great nation.

    August 3, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. Joe, Intercourse, PA

    Tom Tancredo is a hate-filled idiot. Violence will only beget more violence.

    August 3, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. Rebecca, Cleveland Hts OH

    Mr. Tancredo's suggestion won't work because he is (naively)accepting that the terrorists really are Muslims – they aren't. They hide behind Islam, but they're really mass murderers.

    August 3, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. Chris Knoxville, TN

    Republican's are so stupid.

    August 3, 2007 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. Bob Johnson

    This guy is nuts! Good thing he is nothing but a marginal candidate.

    August 3, 2007 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  20. Muhammad, Arab

    Sure HIT MECCA, it's the root of all evil.

    August 3, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  21. Nitin Gupta, Sunnyvale, CA

    I won't be surprised that he would say lets attack their God.

    August 3, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  22. Larry, Austin, TX

    I like Tancredo's idea. The Muslims can have their holy war, but it gets to be on our terms. And why stop with Medina, Mecca, and conventional weapons? Why not Riyad, Tehran, Damascus...and tactical nukes? Maybe then they'll start acting like responsible world citizens and stop picking fights with people who have the ability to anihilate them. Then again, maybe not. Genesis 16:12

    August 3, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. Jerry, Philadelphia, PA

    You liberal nutjobs must have forgotten to read the moem. The Islamists WANT TO KILL YOU. They don't care if what coler you are or how old you are. If you are not a muslim THEY WANT YOU TO DIE RIGHT NOW THIS VERY SECOND. They will do anything in their power to kill you. I agree with the congressman, if a terrorist detonates a nuclear bomb in an American city, I want to see at least 3 or 4 nuclear bomb go off in the middle east, holy cities, shrines, I don't care. Those people need a lesson in civility and if detonatin a nuke on their soil is the only way to get them stop trying to kill American civilians then so be it.

    August 3, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. John Chamberlain, Sturgis, SD

    What if the so-called fundamentalist Islamic factions aren't as devot to Islam as is reported. We (in the west) don't have a good understanding for the thought process/motives in that region of the world. I doubt that another milky white republican has the correct answer. Just like Bush announced "that I see what Vladimer (Putin) has in his heart". Wrong again GW, or as we now say "he Bushed this one up."

    August 3, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  25. Lee Carter, San Francisco, CA

    He must be off his rocker. Attacking Mecca would be the last thing on Earth to do. There are millions of Muslims of all nationality in the World.. We don't need to piss them off. The religion doesn't have anything to do with this. Terrorists groups are based on geo-political and economic issues hiding under the umbrella of religion. I swear people need to become more literate when it comes to religion.

    August 3, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
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