Makkah Attack Threat Draws Flack

A Republican presidential hopeful's suggestion to attack Islam's holiest sites in order to deter a nuclear attack on American soil has come under scathing criticism from the Bush administration and Muslims.

Makkah Attack Threat Draws Flack

A Republican presidential hopeful's suggestion to attack Islam's holiest sites in order to deter a nuclear attack on American soil has come under scathing criticism from the Bush administration and Muslims.

Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo has said that the best way to deter a nuclear terrorist attack on the US was to threaten to bomb the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.

Casey said the Republican aspirant's statements were "reprehensible" and "absolutely crazy".

"Any suggestion that the defense of the American homeland or the defense of American interests would ever justify attacking holy sites or religious sites is just simply an idea that goes against the length or breadth of US history," he said.

"…we want to have good, positive relations with countries certainly in the Middle East and broader Muslim world."

A spokesman for Tancredo's campaign, Alan Moore, said the Republican White House aspirant stands by his statements.

In 2005, Tancredo threatened to "take out" Islamic holy sites if terrorists ever launched a nuclear attack against the US.

The threat was the latest in anti-Islam statements warning Americans of "militant Islamism, "radical Islamism" and Muslims in general.

Last year, prominent pastor Rev. O'Neal Dozier, a former adviser to President George W. Bush, told a Radio show that Islam was a "cult" and "dangerous" religion.

Prompt action by US Muslim leaders have forced radio hosts and pastors critical of Islam to offer on-air apologies and backtrack on their racist remarks.

Unworthy

Tancredo's statements were strongly condemned by Muslim leaders.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said Tancredo's statements were "unworthy of anyone seeking public office in the United States," according to The Denver Post.

"Perhaps it's evidence of a long-shot candidate grasping at straws and trying to create some kind of a controversy that might appeal to a niche audience of anti-Muslim bigots," said CAIR Spokesman Ibrahim Hooper.

Tancredo's statements also fueled anti-US sentiments in Pakistan.

"Such threats appear real, if seen in the prospect of the deployment of a large number of US troops in Saudi Arabia," Sen. Sajid Mir, the Vice President of the Mttahida Majlis-e-Amal, was quoted as saying by The News daily.

He called Tancredo's statements absurd, provocative and an expression of sheer insanity and arrogance.

The Pakistani leader also called on Muslims to snub cooperation with the US on the so-called "war on terror".

"It is high time for Muslim countries to dissociate themselves from the so-called US-led war against terror and chalk out a collective strategy to combat US designs," he said.

On Wednesday, August 1, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama warned to strike Al-Qaeda in Pakistan without gaining Islamabad's approval if Pakistan failed to take on the Osama Bin Laden's network.

IOL, Agencies

Last Mod: 06 Ağustos 2007, 02:03
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