Time to rumble.
Tea-Party backed Congressman Allen West, R.-Fla., has stirred a bees nest with negative comments about Islam. West, appearing on the “Shalom Show,” told producer Richard Peritz that Islam was the “antithesis” of America’s founding principles.
At the outset of the 11-minute interview, Peritz asked West how he was going to deal with members of Congress he disagreed with, especially Rep. Keith Ellison, D.-Minn., who is a Muslim.
“Well I think it’s most important that I stand upon the principles [of the] people that elected me to go to Washington, D.C., and represent them on Capitol Hill,” West responded. “So that when you run into someone that is counter, or someone that really does represent the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established, you’ve got to be able to defeat them intellectually in debate and discourse, and you just have to be able to challenge each and every one of their assertions very wisely and very forthright.”
According to various media reports, Ellison released a response to West’s comments; saying he was surprised as West had never expressed those views to him directly. Ellison disagreed with West’s assertion that his religion precluded him from representing the principles of America.
“Contrary to the views expressed by Congressman West, I work to represent the highest ideals of our great nation – ideals like freedom of worship and respect for all faiths, equal protection under the law as well as a civil and open public discourse,” Ellison said.
“Americans across the country want their public servants to reject the toxic and corrosive chatter that yields more heat than light,” he continued. “I hope to have a productive and respectful dialogue with all of my colleagues, including Allen West.”