August 5th, 2007
10:50 AM ET
11 years ago

Tancredo defends threat to bomb Muslim holy sites

Tancredo defended his comments on Sunday

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo continued to defend his comments that threatening to bomb Muslim holy sites would be the right way to "deter any kind of aggression" from terrorists and said that anyone who wouldn't do the same "isn't fit to be president" on Sunday morning.

"I'm telling you right now that anybody that would suggest that we should take anything like this off the table in order to deter that kind of event in the United States isn't fit to be president of the United States," the GOP presidential candidate said.

During a campaign stop in Iowa on Tuesday, Tancredo said that “an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina.” Tom Casey, a deputy spokesman for the State Department, told CNN that Tancredo's comments were "reprehensible" and "absolutely crazy." But Tancredo said that when the State Department complains about things he says, he feels more confident.

"Yes, the State Department. Boy, when they start complaining about things I say, I feel a lot better about the things I say, I'll tell you right now," Tancredo said, to laughter from the audience.

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich


Filed under: Iowa • Race to '08 • Tom Tancredo
soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. Danial, DFW TX

    I guess when Maronite Catholic Phalangists butchered 2,000 Palestinian Muslims in Sabra and Shatila, the perfect revenge would be to bomb the Vatican now?

    What the hell? His district doesn't seem to be the hillbilly type, but I guess looks can be deceiving.

    He's all talk, even Jeb Bush hates him.

    August 5, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. Paula Roller, Naples, FL

    Tom,
    I am with you on this one! I don't think al Qaeda would be so anxious to do damage to the US if they knew we would blow up their holy sites. We play fair and they don't, that has been the problem from the beginning.
    Paula

    August 5, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  3. Mrs. America

    Should we also blow up places in Britain because of that Richard shoe bomber wannabe? Outrageous. Tancredo's comments show that he has reached his level of imcompetence.

    On the other comment, those towers sure looked imploded, but we'll never know the whole truth.

    August 5, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. Jay, Corona, California

    I'm ashamed that the U.S. has idiots that have no common sense as their leaders. This makes no sense! Forget Al-Quida, the U.S. would have to worry about the whole world if that happened. Terrorism is not another country's fault. It's not a religions fault. It's crazy people who have a crazy view of their idea's and use their religion to gain support.

    Terrorist Tancredo should be removed from office.

    August 5, 2007 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  5. kent. vercana italy

    Regarding the nuclear threat to Mecca, et. al.:

    Does anybody really think that terrorists are going to be deterred by the prospect of losing some monuments and the death of millions of innocent muslims?

    This is not the time for recycled cold war tactics like MAD. We are not dealing with reasonable people and no matter what anybody would like to say, the Soviets were quite reasonable enough to avoid annihilation.

    Shallow, shallower, shallowest.

    August 5, 2007 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    Will someone please call the men in the whitecoats for this man before he hurts himself, or worse, someone else!

    August 5, 2007 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. Joe, NJ

    Enemy combatants that do not abide by the Geneva Conventions and those that harbor them should not be afforded protection under its bylaws. Saudi Arabia funds terrorism and educates its citizens with anti-western rhetoric, so they should be held partially responsible for the situation that America is currently in if they do not renounce their pro-terrorist ways.

    August 5, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. walter biscardi, buford, georgia

    Rep Tancredo is insane. Attacking Muslim holy sites would justify everything the terrorist organizations have said about America. It would make us at "war" with the Muslim religion and that is far from the truth. Muslim people are a wonderful people and we are only at "war" with a very small minority who are using religion as a shield to terrorize people of other nations.
    Rep Tancredo should be ashamed of his statements and he certainly does not represent the best interests of the United States and other democratic countries.

    August 5, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. Ronda Badwan, Columbia, SC

    This is probably one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. What a fabulous way to deter terrorists and show the world that the United States is against terrorism-commit it ourselves. If we did do this, what would separate us from the terrorists?

    It is naive and just plain ignorant to believe to lump all Muslims as terrorists and ignore the fact that millions of civilians would be injured. Most of these terrorists who claim to be Muslims are extremeists (which exist in all religions). To label a religion as "terrorists" is highly unintelligent and perhaps this man needs to take Religion 101 and study the basics of Islam before he threatens to destroy holy sites.

    Perhaps if the next terrorism attack is committed by a Catholic, we should hold the Pope hostage-that's a sure way to teach them a lesson.

    Although this man has almost no realistic chance of becoming President, it is sad and embarassing that he is defending his words and thoughts and not apologizing to not only the Muslims around the world, but to his fellow citizens for making the Unite States look as narrow minded as we are so often perceived.

    August 5, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. Riaz, Jersey City, NJ

    Howmany Bullets did Gandhi fire to get freedom for India from British?

    August 5, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. Brandon, Orlando, FL

    This guy is an absolute genius!

    Let's turn the ENTIRE Muslim community against us, thus playing right into Al-Queda's hands! Brilliant! And, hell, while we're at it, we might as well blow up mosques in the United States, too! That'll learn those evil Islamic fundamentalists!

    August 5, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  12. Richard Orlando, FL

    What happened to human decency when someone is willing to stoop to the level of terrorists? Tancredo is exactly what we do not need in our elected officials. I cannot believe anyone would agree with this nonsense. We deserve leaders that will respect a person’s faith and uphold the Constitution, including freedom of religion. Tancredo and his followers need to get educated about other religions and international laws to avoid making the same mistakes history has already taught us. Engaging sovereign areas does not achieve successful determents, and you do not have to go back that far to find proof.

    August 5, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. AK, Mumbai, India

    People like this should be immediately taken to a mental health facility. In this age of nuclear weapons, the entire fate of the human species (yes, only us. Most other life on this Earth will very probably continue) hangs by a tenuous thread, and nutjobs like this threaten us, our children and grandchildren and whatever the human race and the Christian Faith stand for.

    We should ask ourselves a simple question: Should not the governments an d those who make conspicuous public displays of their devotion to Christianity follow what is certainly among the central tenets of the faith?
    "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." If this cannot be done, then I think politicians who are practitioners of such religions ought to confess and admit that they are failed Christians or aspirant Christians, but not full-fledged, unqualified, unhyphenated Christians.

    The world will be a much better place without people like him in position of power.

    It is unfortunate that so many of share such narrow perspectives. When people stop thinking with their hearts, and start thinking with their brains (which is what I believe God intended), we can safeguard this tiny planet that we call home, and create a peaceful environment for future generations.

    August 5, 2007 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  14. Danial, DFW, TX

    So why doesn't he start at home by evicting Muslim residents from Colorado, thereby making Colorado a Muslim-free US state?

    August 5, 2007 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  15. O. Sativa, Chicago, IL

    How depressing! How could Mr. Tancredo have made such a dubious suggestion?

    I think he should stop his campaign and go back to school because he needs to learn (amongst others):
    1. Georgraphy (he seems does not know where Mecca and Medina are);
    2. Diplomacy (what kind of diplomacy does he subscribe to?);
    3. Logic and Common sense (How could you deter terrorism with such an out of mind threat?);
    4. Ethics (self-explanatory)
    5. Domestic politics (He does not give an impression that he even knows how many American muslims there are!)

    Wake up, Mr. Tancredo! Americans need a more sophisticated candidate president and barbarian approach does go too far.

    August 5, 2007 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  16. Lindsey, Corunna MI

    In regards to Joe's comment on the funding and harboring of terrorists, would you propose that we hold ourselves responsible for everything that has happened to us?? Look up some history and you'll find that the US has spent a great deal of money arming the Taliban, because they got rid of the russians!

    I am glad that most of the commenters on this post think this guy is a nutjob, unfortuately I worry about the people who agree with him, and I wish that each of those people could broaden their horizons a bit and realize just how connected the world is, and just how like us everyone else is. Get to know someone from another country... a lot of times they're nicer and more welcoming than many Americans are.

    August 5, 2007 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  17. Rob C, Pittsburgh, PA

    "International humanitarian law (IHL), also known as the law of war, the laws and customs of war or the law of armed conflict, is the legal corpus "comprised of the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Conventions, as well as subsequent treaties, case law, and customary international law."[1] It defines the conduct and responsibilities of belligerent nations, neutral nations and individuals engaged in warfare, in relation to each other and to protected persons, usually meaning civilians.

    The law is mandatory for nations bound by the appropriate treaties. There are also other customary unwritten rules of war, many of which were explored at the Nuremberg War Trials. By extension, they also define both the permissive rights of these powers as well as prohibitions on their conduct when dealing with irregular forces and non-signatories." (Wikipedia, 2007)

    "The LOAC specifically describes objects that shall not be the targets of a direct attack. Reflecting the rule that military operations must be directed at military objectives, objects normally dedicated to peaceful purposes enjoy a general immunity from direct attack. Specific protection applies to medical units or establishments; transports of wounded and sick personnel; military and civilian hospital ships; safety zones established under the Geneva Conventions; and religious, cultural, and charitable buildings, monuments, and POW camps. However, if these objects are used for military purposes, they lose their immunity. If these protected objects are located near lawful military objectives (which LOAC prohibits), they may suffer collateral damage when the nearby military objectives are lawfully engaged." (About, 2007)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_armed_conflict

    http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/wars/a/loac_3.htm

    August 5, 2007 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  18. Gary

    Islam against the world get use to it the war is on.
    They will not stop !!!! And there is away to stop it. It will take time and
    its not good.
    And it starts with Mecca and Medina.
    I hate it. But no peace in the future.

    August 5, 2007 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  19. Gary M, Parma Ohio

    How can anyone criticize this guy. Finally someone that knows how to deal with these murderers. I do not like the idea that our government spends billions of dollars fighting terrorism only to acknowledge that it will happen again only to have more innocent lives slaughtered while they play the costly childish games. Tancredo has my vote and I'm spreading the word. How time heals all wounds. Does anyone remember 911

    August 5, 2007 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  20. masood ansari

    Tom is just an erroneously created human, who does not know that the Mecca, which was built by Abraham(peace be upon him), the ancestor of all three religios, Christianity, Islam and Judiasm, is the house of God who has preserved it for thousands of years despite the evil intention and efforts of so many Toms who themselves were destroyed in the past. God has the well capable of preserving his house again. So we don't have to wory about these idiots. They will face their logical fate.

    August 5, 2007 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  21. Tim, Washington, DC

    I agree with Tom Tancredo, he's a great American for defending the our homeland against muslims, marxist and liberals. We should actually make an example out of China and Iran to prove to the rest of this heathen world that America means business.

    God Bless America!

    August 5, 2007 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  22. roger,grand rapids

    Before we retaliate we should be sure who is responsible we still think that foriegn parties brought down the twin towers when it has been proven that they were demolished from within the planes were just a prop in a play

    Posted By Dale Nams Rochester New York : August 5, 2007 12:10 pm

    where is this "proof"?

    Yeah, and if a Catholic attacks us we should blow up the Vatican. That’ll show ‘em!
    This fringe candidate is clearly so desperate for attention that he’s reaching for outrageous things to say
    even knowing that they make no sense. Seems to be working for him . . .

    Posted By Jeff C, San Francisco : August 5, 2007 11:58 am

    when the cathlocs start to behead people then yes

    Muslims are not our enemy. Extremism like Osama Bin Laden, and Tom Tancredo is the enemy. Attacking Mecca does not strike back at those who attack us, it strikes over a billion decent Muslims who are not terrorists. Muslims are good people, clearly Tom Tancredo has never gotten to know any of them.

    Posted By Sam, Portland OR : August 5, 2007 12:49 pm

    a billion muslims and their all "decent"

    most of the hijackers were from saudia araibia,their wahbinism islam is the hate that was preached too them,nobady wants to know why our president is seen holding hands with the prince of the country that hates us?the bushies are in his pocket.why are they allowed to build mosque's preachin hate for us?in our own country?

    August 5, 2007 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  23. Sgt in Colorado

    ** Original posting removed by CNN for making common sense **

    If the extremist Muslims are just a small percentage of a peaceful Islamic Nation – why is not the majority of Muslims calling for these terrorist to be rooted out of their religion?

    I will tell you why – because they either don't want to (and earnestly desire a holy war and world domination) or they are held captive in their own religion.

    When Congressman Tancredo’s retaliatory logic is applied to another faith, it is totally irrelevant. "What if a Catholic person was a terrorist? Would we bomb the Vatican?" Catholic Priests were found to have molested hundreds of children and the church was held accountable. When radical Christians were targeting abortion clinics, those extremist were brought to justice.

    Putting creditable threats to sacred Muslim holy sites will hopefully bring their own religious members to deal with the terrorist. Trust me, there are Muslims all around the world that know where the terrorist are and could provide the information to the proper authorities (not just the United States). My surmise is they don't want to, primarily because their faith and beliefs says that all infidels (That mean's all non-Muslims – are you listening liberals?) must convert to Islam or die by the sword.

    I suggest you order a Quran on Amazon.com and pick a new, really cool Muslim name or realize they will kill you, your spouse and all your children because you are not of their faith. (Regardless of what you think or feel).

    This is the way they believe – their faith defies our logic. Either deal with them in terms they understand, or face their judgment – Conversion or Death – Your Choice.

    August 5, 2007 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  24. Robert Fegley, Austin Texas

    I agree with Tancredo. I think Great Britain could have solved their problems with the IRA in Northern Ireland much more quickly had they only had the guts to bomb the Vatican. Likewise, in response to Eric Rudolph, Tim McVeigh, and other fundamentalist Protestant terrorists, we should immediately bomb Liberty University and 700 Club headquarters. That'll show'em who means business in the global war on terror.

    August 5, 2007 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  25. Charles, MA

    Mr. Tancredo clearly does not realize that many Americans are also Muslims. And they vote, too.

    August 5, 2007 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
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