An advocacy organization for Muslims is calling for Gov. Scott Walker to apologize for saying there are few “reasonable, moderate followers of Islam” while speaking to voters in New Hampshire on Friday.
At a campaign stop at a VFW hall in Derry, New Hampshire, Walker said radical Islamic terrorists are at war with America, Israel, Christians, Jews and “it’s a war against even the handful of reasonable, moderate followers of Islam who don’t share the radical beliefs that these radical Islamic terrorists have.”
“These types of inaccurate statements reflect a lack of understanding of Islam and Muslims that is, frankly, not presidential,” said Council on American–Islamic Relations spokesman Robert McCaw in a statement. “If Mr. Walker believes only a ‘handful’ of Muslims are moderate or reasonable, then he is ignoring the very clear reality that violent extremists murder more Muslims than they do people of any other faith.”
When asked if Walker was suggesting that almost all of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims are radical and/or terrorists, Walker campaign spokeswoman AshLee Strong said: “The governor knows that the majority of ISIS’s victims are Muslims. Muslims who want to live in peace – the majority of Muslims – are the first target of radical Islamic terrorists.”
Asked whether the governor simply misspoke earlier or planned to apologize, Strong did not respond.
At the campaign stop, Walker said the United States needed to strengthen its response to terrorism and exhibit leadership — which he said President Barack Obama’s administration isn’t doing.
“If you’re fighting a war, you’ve got to identify who the enemy is loud and clear,” he said. “We’ve said it repeatedly, it’s radical Islamic terrorism.”
— State Journal reporter Matthew DeFour contributed to this report.