In a statement released Monday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) thanked those members of the Republican party who openly criticized Republican Presidential candidate Tom Tancredo, representing Colorado in the House of Representatives, for his remarks that if he were President he would not hesitate to bomb the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in order to humiliate fanatical terrorists.
Tancredo made the statement in the context of planning how he would retaliate to a hypothetical first strike on U.S. soil by Islamic terrorists.
CAIR has called on Tancredo to retract his comment.
Mecca and Medina are both located geographically in what is today Saudi Arabia, but they are absolutely revered by all Moslems around the world. Moslems who are in prayer are to bow in the direction of Mecca from wherever they are in the world, and Moslems are supposed to do this five times every day.
Mecca was the birthplace of Islam’s founder, Mohammed, believed by the devout to be God’s last and greatest prophet, who gave the world God’s final revelation, which became the writings of the Koran, the Islamic holy book.
Medina was the city to which Mohammed migrated in 622 CE, and it was in Medina where the full vision of Islam came to fruition for him. Here he established the Islamic brotherhood, within which devoutness, rather than wealth or birthright, was what mattered.
Despite present attitudes towards Israel such as those vehemently expressed by Iran, Mohammed had immense respect for the Jews and he personally invited them to establish themselves in peace and independence within his newly developing kingdom. They accepted and signed the Covenant of Median, which is widely regarded as the world’s first written Constitution.
In the early centuries of the flourishing and expansion of Islam, Jews and Christians were known as the People of the Book, and it was mandatory that they be accepted in peace in Islamic nations until the demise of the Ottoman Empire.
“The Republican candidates and the Department of State are correct in rejecting threatened attacks on Islamic holy sites as a deterrent to terrorists. Representative Tancredo’s extreme and counterproductive proposal to threaten Mecca and Medina fails any reasonable test for strategic viability. It only serves to further damage our nation’s interests and image in the Muslim world and will inevitably be used as rhetorical fodder by extremists. America’s relationship with Islam and Muslims worldwide will be a central issue for the administration of our next president, whoever that may be,” said CAIR’s statement.
“I sincerely believe that bombing religious artifacts and religious holy sites would do nothing but unify 1 billion Muslims against us,” said former Wisconsin governor and Republican Presidential candidate Tommy Thompson.
Council on American-Islamic Relations (PR Newswire), “Muslims Welcome GOP Rejection of Threat to Attack Mecca”