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. Clark, Chicago, Illinois

    Great... 1000+ years after the FIRST Tancred went off to fight the First Crusade, we get this guy spouting off about taking up where his namesake left off.

    Can't we make some progress here, now, or are we forever doomed to fight the same turf battles over and over again every millennium in the name of somebody's idea of salvation in the next life?

    Obliterating Mecca & Medina is as stupid an idea as is blindly supporting Israel's aggressions in the Middle East, in the name of peace & to the continuing detriment of Western Civilization.

    August 3, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  2. DES, LV, NV

    I've just become a Tancredo fan.

    Enough with the white flag waving Dhimmicrats and the elitist mealy mouthed PC Incompeticans.

    If some brain dead jihadist wants to
    try for his 72 raisins, then it is time
    to Rock and Roll big time.

    Don't Tread On Me.

    August 3, 2007 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. anonymous, Chicago, IL

    Here's why Jihadists have already won: people over here wanting to "kill them all" in the name of Christianity. Apparently, the jihadists have their holy war already...and all you flag-waving zealots are giving them all the ammo they need.

    Way to doom us all, rednecks. Perhaps Tancredo and the rest of the Christian-zealotry is right..because apparently, we haven't evolved much at all.

    Yeah! World War! Sweeeet! Whoo-hoo! And we'll drive our Hummers to victory!!! Go go AMERICA!!! Jesus is awesome!!!

    August 3, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. Deby, Gresham OR

    I never ceases to amaze me what incredible morons we have in this country, with the likes of people like Tancredo leading the bunch.
    Ignorant, knee-jerk testosterone overloaded right-wing sheep count for too many reasons why America is despised throughout the world. Please do us rational, sane, thinking Americans a favor: volunteer to fight in Iraq if you are so hell-bent on "defending" America. Put your money where your mouth is. Being an arm-chair supporter is the coward's way out.

    August 3, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  5. Kutub, Jersey City, NJ

    This is one of another "Trancredo Gimmicks" for cheap publicity to put forward a wow-factor-statement.

    It is indeed surprising how such people get elected.

    August 3, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  6. Mirza, Chicago, IL

    Apparently Rep. Tancredo needs to go back to his trailer and wash his 'Nuke 'em' tatoo.

    What about crazy catholic priest that molest little boys because 'God told them to do it'? Do we start bombing churches and catholics.

    Let's all sit back and take a religion 101 class. We must be able to isolate issues and criminals accordingly, and not ignorantly associate terrorism based on skin color or religion.

    The fundamental flaw in a terrorist logic is that you can achieve piece through violence. That's not the policy we need to perpetuate through our own leaders.

    August 3, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  7. Leftcoaster

    Proving once again that extreme republicans are just plain scumbags (and the rest of them aren't too far behind.)

    August 3, 2007 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  8. seb, dfw, tx

    This guy is awesome! Let them live in Fear for awhile.
    Posted By J, Killean Thornton CO :

    Yeah I know right!?! They are over there living it up going to disneyland , drinking sodas and playing video games all day.

    August 3, 2007 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  9. Stehen Nedeham Browne, Mexico City, Mexicop

    Wirh Cretins like Tancredo in Government, God and Allah help us all...

    August 3, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. Lyn F.; Durham, NC

    Comments like this make Tancredo stoop down to the level of the terrorists he condemns. It is reprehensible, his views. Imagine if a Roman Catholic gang would come in and attack the United States. Will that mean he will want to bomb Vatican City?

    If this git gets the Republican nomination, you can bet who I will never vote for!

    August 3, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  11. Andy, United Kingdom

    This man is too ignorant for words...
    Is it so hard to see the only reason that there are terrorist attacks against the west are because we are considered by extremist "enemies" of islam...

    Will bombing their holy sites and causing yet more innocent civilian casualties really do anything to deter extremism or strengthen relations between the east and the west?

    Think about it..

    August 3, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  12. Zack Highstreet

    Moderate Unicorns

    In medieval times, people created fairy tales and magical creatures to make sense of their world. One of the most endearing is the unicorn, a horse with a single horn that symbolized purity and wholesomeness. In our modern times, people in Europe and the United States consider themselves more sophisticated and rational than people from the Middle Ages, but we still create myths, albeit more subtle ones.

    Daily we hear reports of violent acts committed by Islamic terrorists on every inhabited continent. We try to wish it away with the myth of the ‘Moderate Muslim’, telling ourselves the Islamic agenda has been’ hijacked’ by a ‘tiny minority of extremists’ and that soon the huge, silent, moderate majority of Muslims will take charge and change things. However, post 9/11 very few Muslims have condemned terrorist actions. We are still waiting for moderates to stand and deliver, identifying and removing extremist thugs from their mosques and their communities. Waiting for this self-correction is our modern version of unicorn hunting.

    Moderate Muslims will not be able to wrest control of the agenda for several reasons. First of all, Mohammed, the Messenger of Allah’s eternal word, was not moderate. No moderate can legitimately tell another Muslim to stop doing the extremist things Mohammed himself did. Also, the Qur’an condones violence and coercion to further the Islamic agenda. People whom we call moderates are labeled hypocrites by Allah Himself in the Qur’an. Moderates will always lose the argument because, as ex-Muslim author Ibn Warraq says, “There may be moderates in Islam but Islam itself is not moderate.”

    Islamic expert Daniel Pipes and others estimate ten percent of the Islamic world to be militant. In 1933 when the Nazi party took control of Germany it had 2 million members, comprising only three percent of Germany’s sixty-six million citizens. A tiny minority of extremists can control a vast number of moderates, making them irrelevant.

    Placing hope in ‘The Moderate Muslim’ is like searching for unicorns in the forest.

    August 3, 2007 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  13. BPE, Huntington Beach CA

    If we do what Tancredo proposes then we will lower ourselves to the level of terrorists. This guy makes me ashamed to be a republican. Mr. Tancredo, you truly are an idiot.

    August 3, 2007 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  14. Martin Toronto Ontario

    What i believe is, right now, These comments sound absurd, crazy and very ignorant. Also, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1946 sound very evil and unjust right now years after it happened.
    But you guys need to put yourself in this position. Imagine these muslims, in the name of god, decide to blow up the entire city of New York with nuclear weapons from the center of the city which as a result kills millions of new Yorkers and flattens the city. Since new york is the countries' finacial capital and one of the centers of the global economy which makes it probably the most important city in the world,Say the entire global economy greatly suffers from this effect. Then tom toncredo brings up his idea of considering an attack on mecca and medina. After imagining this cituation, tell me if you think that retaliating against the muslims by destroying their holy sites sounds totally crazy at that time. We are afraid to critisize islam and thier prohphet for fear that some muslim will come blow us up. when the danish papers show pictures of mohammad with bombs, the entire muslim world protests in anger. Pope benedict calls islam violent, again the entire muslim world erapts in anger, churches are burnt, calls for the pope to be killed even fromm the iranian president.
    We are afraid just to say or do something that they would view negatively. Why are we so afraid when Islam is just a religion. Why are we so afraid of this religion. We all know religions to be peaceful, loving, holy, but why are we scared to death of this one.
    Thats because Islam has turned from a holy religion to an evil ideology.
    One were it's people justify the killing of inocent non muslims as well as muslims, suicide bombings and other evil acts. They seem like an army and not a religion. When bush threatens an invasion of afghanistan after 9/11, they say it would be an attack on Islam. A muslim gets killed by a westener, thats an attack on islam. What kind of religion is that, why should we tolorate all the injustice they cause. Are you telling me the world most powerful nation fears not another country but a religion?
    Its rediculous, These people need to be dealt with accordingly. And if it means striking them at the center of all thier craziness then so be it. They wouldnt mind destroying the most important city to the united states and the entire global economy so why should we care about destroying thier holy cites in an event of a nuclear attack.
    Whats more important,new york(the center of the gobal economy, millions of lives, the countries' finacial capitol) or a mosque with a rock in the middle of it?

    August 3, 2007 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    I disagree with his comments and his strategy. Instead of issuing threats to fellow human beings, we should be reaching out to find a way to better understand each other.

    I was born in the U.S. Growing up I was taught that other countries (like China and Russia) were giant propaganda machines.

    What I learned over the years is that U.S. also spits out propaganda with the best of them. For example, we have been told that the U.S. is the best and the smartest country on the planet. Assuming that is true, then how come we can't figure out how to be friends with so many people around the world?

    Although I'm not surprised by his comments, I'm ashamed and embarrassed.

    August 3, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  16. S Begtson, Phoenix AZ

    I can’t believe that he actually said that. Well first there is the pesky moral implications, there aren’t going to be any combatant’s at a “holy” site it will be women and children then we are no better. Then they well respond like they have every time before. How did Tancredo get elected he really is not that smart.

    August 3, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  17. Will Henderson, Houston Texas

    This man is crazy. The consequences of doing such an action is scary. He needs to be kick out immediately.

    August 3, 2007 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    What a nut case.

    August 3, 2007 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  19. New York

    As a muslim, to kill anyone (whether jew,muslim,christian,athiest,hindu or ANY human being without just cause -as in self defense)is a sure way to get youreself into Hell. I am glad to see most of us are bothered by this mans comments. But to those who agree with him, you are Stereotyping the entire religion due to the act of a few. Dont you realize that "Crazy terrorist people" are enemies to all mankind,including muslims. And luckily most of them cant even get out of their neighborhoods. 99.999999999% of muslims disagree with any form of terrorism and anyone who bombs a country and kills even once innocent person, will answer God for that. The people who terrorize others also terrorize their own neighbors, so please dont hold everyone responsible for the act of a few. Just imagine if the rest of the world thought that America was like this senator and believed what he did? Lets not do the same to others. God Bless All the Good people of the world, and guide the others who need Guidance.

    August 3, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  20. Rony, Seattle, WA

    Is this guy for real. That is like probably the worst thing I have ever heard a politician say. I really dont understand how this individual can look at himself in the mirror in the morning and call himself a represenative of the people.

    August 3, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  21. Jim - Austin, TX

    As a deterrent, the threat of bombing these sites would be ineffective. The fanatics and terrorists who pretend to be Muslims have no concern for sanctity of Islam. They are simply using religion as a platform from which to manipulate the ignorant into carrying out their evil in order to attain power. I would speculate that these infidels would be delighted to have Mecca and Medina bombed to dust. It would give them an excuse to escalate their destruction and recruit more poor slobs to blow themselves up. The comments made by Tancredo are of the same ilk as those of the terrorists. He is evil and is trying to gain power and wealth by advancing his political career at the expense of all logic, reason, and humanity. Any American who believes that "showing them that we mean business" is a meaningful statement in anyway is guilty of diminishng the democracy we so proudly claim to uphold . This is the kind of meaningless rhetoric that takes our minds away from real issues, like how much Tancredo and other members of Congress are stuffing their pockets with from special interest groups. These comments foment discussions based in ignorance and devoid of logic. Anyone can say "let's kill 'em all 'cuz they ain't like us" without reading, talking, or learning. To actually resolve an issues require that we educate ourselves, not simply spout opinions that are unfounded and not even our own.

    August 3, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  22. LaWanda Kansas City, MO

    I agree. Why not attack their holy sites? They attack their own people, women and children are not even off limits. They are radical and crazy. We had better act accordingly if we want to survive. What is more important, a building or lives?

    August 3, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  23. Audrey in Juneau, Alaska

    Just GREAT!!! Let's fight violence with MORE??? Grow up!!!

    I'm wondering about being a Republican, and am more and more embarassed to admit it and things like this just makes me cringe!!!

    August 3, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. Billy The Kid, Texas

    Might as well do a kick off for world war 3. Tancredo is an idiot.

    August 3, 2007 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  25. Chris Jackson

    Rep. tom Tancredo,

    Making statements should not be elected Presendent. He would have us in a war just to show the world his testrostone level is higher that any person in the world or to show all the nations that he is strong on defense. Right wing governments start wars, germany, korea and japan. the village idot (President Bush) is a good example,

    August 3, 2007 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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