Muslims' response to Tancredo muted

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  1. -Cp
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    Muslims' response to Tancredo muted
    An expert says the remark about bombing holy sites isn't linked to the military or Bush, preventing a furor like that over Koran abuse.
    By Mike Soraghan
    Denver Post Staff Writer




    Washington - When Rep. Tom Tancredo talked last week of bombing Mecca if Muslim terrorists set off nuclear devices inside the United States, the comments went beyond his audience of talk-radio enthusiasts. They wound up being discussed on the jihadist website al Ansar wal Sunni, a chat room frequented by Islamic extremists.

    "We told you so," the chat- room moderator wrote, according to a translation by Walid Phares, professor of Middle East studies at Florida Atlantic University. "Deep inside, all infidels are waging a war against Islam."

    But Phares said Tancredo's comments still took second billing on the site to the latest attacks in Iraq, and the remarks haven't spurred protests in Muslim lands like those following media reports of Koran abuse by U.S. military interrogators.

    "It will be used by the (terrorist) cells when they want something," Phares said. "Will that be on press releases they use in the future? Probably."

    In the more mainstream Arab press, Tancredo's comments made the papers but not the front pages, Phares said. They've been reported as "irresponsible" alongside denunciations from Arab officials and the U.S. State Department.

    And the State Department is one of the reasons Tancredo's statements haven't provoked more ire, Phares said. He said that if Muslims saw closer ties to President Bush or the U.S. military, Tancredo's comments would get more reaction.

    "It didn't catch," Phares said. "Short of major noise in the American media, I don't know if it's going to go higher."

    Phares, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington, looked for Tancredo references in the Arab press. Other Arab media experts surveyed Wednesday had not noticed significant references to Tancredo's comments.

    "Everybody has been calling doomsday, but I haven't seen it," Tancredo spokesman Will Adams said Wednesday.
    The tempest began Friday when the Littleton Republican suggested to a Florida talk-radio host that the U.S. "could take out their holy sites" if Muslim terrorists set off nuclear devices in the United States. Asked if he meant bombing Mecca, he answered, "Yeah."

    Tancredo has refused repeated demands from Muslim groups and others that he apologize, saying he was simply talking about a "draconian" response to an attack.

    Stateside denunciations of Tancredo's remarks continued Wednesday with the Anti-Defamation League condemning the comments as "outrageous, inflammatory and un-American."

    But there were signs that the furor is waning, overtaken by news of a Supreme Court nominee. Despite Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean's harsh attack Tuesday, Tancredo's Democratic colleagues in the House missed a chance to take a shot at his remarks on the House floor Wednesday.

    And even Democratic Sen. Ken Salazar of Colorado came close to defending his fellow lawmaker in a teleconference.

    "I think what he was trying to say is that if we get attacked, we'll attack back. I think that is correct," Salazar said.



    http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_2877756
     
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    As Salazar said...and according to native American philosophy..."If ya piss in the wind-you will get wet"!
     

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