LOUISIANA – Louisiana Republican congressman Clay Higgins has called for a holy war against “radicalized” Muslims, urging all Christians to hunt them and kill them all.
“Not a single radicalized Islamic suspect should be granted any measure of quarter,” the Louisiana Republican posted on Facebook on Sunday, The Washington Post reported on Monday, June 5.
“Their intended entry to the American homeland should be summarily denied. Every conceivable measure should be engaged to hunt them down. Hunt them, identify them, and kill them. Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all.”
The post, which was shared more than 1800 times and received more than 2500 comments, was released hours after three men using knives and a vehicle killed seven people during a bloody rampage in central London.
The hateful message has triggered angry comments on Facebook, with many users equating him with the terrorists he claims to oppose.
“Wow, you are no better than a terrorist,” Misty Johnson wrote.
“I’m more afraid of people like you than a refugee who was vetted for 2 years by 7 Intel agencies. I think we need better vetting for our representatives. You are an unhinged lunatic and playing right into what ISIS wants.”
“This is extremely hateful,” Tyler F. Thigpen wrote.
“I didn’t vote for you, but you represent me and I’d like to hear a lot less hateful speech from the politicians that serve me.”
Facing waves of angry comments, Higgins told The Washington Post that he was surprised that his message was interpreted by some as hateful or an indictment against Islam.
He said he was calling for the death of Islamic terrorists, not peaceful Muslims. When he used the word “Christendom,” he said, he was referencing the Western world, not calling for a war between Christianity and Islam.
“I can tell you that there weren’t many Muslims in that part of Louisiana, but those that I have met have been very cool and very loving,” Higgins said.
“Many Muslims are American citizens and I’d give my last life’s blood for any one of them, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to speak out boldly and from my heart about the threat we face as a nation and as a world.”
Ibrahim Hooper, the national communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said that Higgins’s comments follow a familiar pattern of public officials walking back broad generalizations about Islam in the wake of tragic incidents.
“Unfortunately, we see this each time after one of these tragic incidents,” said Hooper, referring to the attack in London.
“When there’s no push back against Islamophobic rhetoric, people see that as tacit endorsement of anti-Islamic rhetoric.”
“In particular, an elected official at the national level should not be making emotional statements, but should respond to tragedy with well-thought out statements that don’t make the situation worse,” he added.