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. Tony Y Bronx,N.Y.

    Very stupid idea Tom!Don't mess with peoples religious beliefs!You might as well start WW3.You want to hurt them stop buying there oil,hurt them in there wallets!

    August 4, 2007 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. Omar, New York, NY

    As a Muslim who attests to the sanctity of Mecca and Medina, I absolutely condemn Terrorism. With that said, I believe that Tancredo's remarks demonstrate how an increasing number of politicians ignore the hard-working and loyal Muslim-Americans like myself who do not espouse any extremism. Instead of dividing Americans by insinuating collective punishment, Tancredo should set forth plans to promote and galvanize activism amongst Muslim Americans who can assuredly play a vital role in combating domestic terrorism.

    August 4, 2007 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. Anonymous

    and you expect your self to lead

    August 4, 2007 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  4. R. Wheatley, Phoenix, Arizona

    As American citizens, we must not rule out any means of preventing further attacks on our homeland, including this one. Is any one of their holy sites more important than our World Trade Center? Is any pilgrimage location more important than our Nation's Capitol building is too us? Which of those sites is more sacred than the Pentagon, the center of the military that has fought to preserve freedom throughout the world?

    August 4, 2007 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. Rick Delaplaine, San Francisco, Ca.

    If a sitting president of the United States makes it public policy to destroy Mecca if Muslim terrorists successfully perform another attack of 9/11 scale, then, the Muslim terrorists would be the ones destroying Mecca. And, an added benefit would be this: the Saudis would finally be motivated to stop supporting fascist Islam, and to capture Osama Bin Laden. It's a fundamentally moral question: what's more holy? Protecting pile of stones? Or, protecting human lives?

    August 4, 2007 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. notsocrazy in CA

    His comments are being taken out of context. Should he have used better restraint? Yes... However while I personally don't completly agree, with his point a view.

    I think he has some valid point, most of the comments here on this board are missing the point and just goes to show how liberalism has certainly tainted this country.

    We need a President that will fight back if we are attacked.
    Oh... And know doubt about it, the bad guys will attack again. This time with a weapon alot worse than anything before. Lights out at that point. Then he can say I told you so, then we need to fight back 100 percent. It's coming down to us or them.

    People were passive too, right before the bombing of Pear Harbor. Now that being said. Let's get the job done peacfully or nobody wins.

    August 4, 2007 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. Sylvia, Nashville, TN

    Go, Tom! That kind of plan has worked so well for Israel that everyone in the area now practically lives in an armed camp. Is that what you want for you children and grandchildren? Well, it's not what I want for mine. You idiot. It's people like you who have turned this country into a pariah among nations. As a country, we know almost nothing about mainstream Islam and its practitioners, and, so far, I haven't seen one administrative hand reaching across the bullets to try and understand and make friends with anyone but the most fundamentalist of all Muslim countries, Saudi Arabia. Now, you are even talking about fighting them, too! God, I'm glad you'll never be elected president.

    August 4, 2007 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. David, Holland, MI

    Tancredo apparently thinks it's a good idea to punish all muslims for the extremists actions. He is willing to bomb centers of historic/religious/cultural significance because of a disruptive few. Just what we need: another person trying to continue the Bush Doctrine of American isolation.

    August 4, 2007 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. Anonymous, Texas

    I think this shows the fundamental ignorance in holding a religion accountable for actions of a handful of lunatics.

    August 4, 2007 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. alien - Cairo

    To tancredo & his fans who think its a good idea.
    1- Meccans & Medinites have not committed a crime against the US. So you are basically comitting a crime worse than the terrorists.
    2- terrorists are outlaws & fanatics, the US government should not be the same.
    3- It would seem you are equating terrorists with muslims, would it be ok then to kill any muslim walking in the street anywhere just because of his faith?

    A guy before tried in many evil ways to destroy followers of a faith & failed, his name was Hitler, as repugnant & vile he was, so is tancredo & those who support his stupid idea.

    Another thing for those bigoted supporters, since you belive its a good idea to nuke civilians who did nothing, except being muslim, how do you feel when an american is killed abroad because of his nationality? if you think you are right in your approach, then i guess you must believe that they are right too, its pathetic what you have come to.

    August 4, 2007 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  11. Dan, Albuquerque, NM

    The bombing of Muslim holy sites would not be a deterrent...It would motivate would-be terrorists. If they attack us and we attack Mecca & Medina in return, Bin Laden would have what he has always wanted...full-scale West vs. Islam jihad.

    I assume Muslim media is all over this story and using it to fuel even more anti-US sentiment. Politicians should be forced to appear on that tv show, "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?" before they are allowed to serve. If they are not (smarter, that is), they are fired.

    August 4, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. J, Dubuque, Iowa

    Are psychotic urges all that drive Republicans anymore? Do they not realize that doing that would only cause more problems than they would solve?

    August 4, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. stan, Tampa, Florida

    is this guy stupid or what?

    August 4, 2007 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  14. hart opelousas,la

    im all for it that's the best idea ive yet.hit them were it hurts.

    August 4, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  15. Brian,Newyork,Newyork

    Tancredo is right , Even though his suggestion is a little Tame, America should have went in Hard at the very start of this conflict , its laughable that America has all these nuclear weapons it wont use, America's enemies now see America as a Tiger with no teeth.

    August 4, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  16. Gary, KC, MO

    What I think he is unaware of is that this is a war on terorists, not Islam. Bombing Islamic holy sites would, as others have said, lead to a "crusade" type of war with fighting between religions. While the terrorists hide in Islam they are the lunatic fringe of it, just as the abortion clinic bombers are the lunaitc fringe of Christianity. There is no deterrent in making such idiotic statements, it only drives a further wedge between the normal (right thinking) members of all religions.

    August 4, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  17. Jay, California

    This guy is a racist, idiot and should be banned from politics! He thinks all Muslims should suffer for a few crazy idiots that use Islam to make terror around the world! It's Nazi Germany all over again, only this time it's Muslims, not the Jews!

    August 4, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. malik muhammad,chicago,ill.

    attacking those sites would only make the war of "armageddon" that's being fought now more hotter if not bring it to it's final stage of all out war,and would be hastening the doom and fall of this mystery babylon america,so clearly he's the wrong devil for president.

    August 4, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  19. Virginian1

    So typical of the GOPs, all guts, but no brain.

    August 4, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. John, Miami, Florida

    Does this guy has ANY Idea what he is saying?

    What he is saying is going to create a war of the religions, He wants 2 billion Muslims as his enemy's ?

    August 4, 2007 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. John Oly Gainesville Florida

    I agree and support Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo. This is deterrence and worked well during the cold war. The Muslim culture is at war with and wants to destroy Western Culture and values. This is a good defensive move to preserve our wellbeing and way of life. Protecting our own is the moral thing to do.

    August 4, 2007 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  22. Sam, Portland, OR

    That's like bombing the Vatican because some Catholic somewhere in the world killed a family member of yours. It's completely insane to think of bombing an ancient holy site, sacred to over a billion people because a few nutjobs attack our homeland. Muslims are not our enemy, its extremism like Tancredo and Osama Bin Laden thats the enemy.

    August 4, 2007 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  23. Eric, East Longmeadow MA

    Although seemingly a ludricrous suggestion, the point is accurate. In a culture that encourages martyrdom, the only thing fundamentalists value is their religion, and the only way to deter an attack is to threaten that which they hold sacred. Otherwise we can thwart them, but not deter them.

    August 4, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  24. Catherine, Manchester, NH

    I can't think of a better way to start WWIII...can you? Religion is at the core of someone's charecter, bombing Mecca will do exactly what fundamentalists want- unite the people of the Muslim religion. what they unite for will not be in the best interest of any American...or any civilization for that matter

    i feel so diappointed as a human being that this came out of someone's mouth...we can strive for better.

    August 4, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. Bossier City, Louisiana

    This trial balloon by Tancredo may not be the optimum precision directed parry to the coming attack, but it is refreshing to hear that someone in Washington is searching for ways to liberate the strength of this nation from the Lilliputian bonds with which the liberals have strapped it down. The day is soon coming when the healthy people of America will have to rethink the blessings of the dominant mindset of effinism and weakness with which we have been so lovingly bludgeoned by the earthshoe elite. The questions come down to this: will we choose to live or die? Are we willing to do what it takes to live?

    August 4, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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