Tancredo condemned by Arab Americans

Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo faces resentment expressed by Muslims worldwide. As PRAVDA.Ru earlier reported, Tancredo's remarks were harshly criticised by Turkey's Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, and reaction from an Arab American group followed Tuesday.

A leading Arab American group described as "dangerous" and "irresponsible" the Colorado congressman's suggestion that the United States "take out" Islamic holy sites should terrorists launch nuclear strikes on the United States.

The condemnation by the Arab American Institute (AAI) in Washington; CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) came after Rep. Tom Tancredo suggested in a radio interview Friday that Islam's holiest site, Mecca, among others could be struck in retalliation for such an attack, says the AP.

In a statement Tuesday, nonpartisan Arab American Institute's president, James Zogby, said Tancredo's comments "are dangerous and not befitting a member of Congress."

"This kind of speech from an elected official is harmful to the war on terror and does not represent the sentiments of the American people. Irresponsible language such as this only widens the gap between the US and the Arab and Muslim world," Zogby said in a statement. "Tancredo should apologize immediately."

The Anatolia news agency quoted Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul as saying "this was nothing but a fanatic speaking completely personally, irresponsibly and without thought of how far his statements would reach or what kind of problems they would create."

Tancredo on Tuesday refused to apologize, saying his comments had been taken out of context by the media and others. Earlier, he had said that he was "just throwing out some ideas" when he suggested to an Orlando, Florida radio station host that bombing Mecca might be a possibility if Islamic extremists were to attack several U.S. cities with nuclear weapons.

As Spiegel believes, the lack of understanding for Islam in the United States is disturbing. Spiegel cites as an example a decision of a North Carolina judge who ruled that witnesses in court cannot be sworn in on the Koran.

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