Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez (Calif.) sparked controversy during an interview Wednesday evening when she said that between 5-20 percent of Muslims are willing to use any means necessary — including terrorism — to establish a caliphate.
Speaking on “PoliticKING with Larry King,” Sanchez explained that her range was only an estimate but that those inside the range will not be “content” with the world until everyone is living according to how they see fit.
“But certainly, we know that there is a small group, and we don’t know how big that is — it can be anywhere between 5 and 20 percent, from the people that I speak to — that Islam is their religion and who have a desire for a caliphate and to institute that in anyway possible, and in particular go after what they consider Western norms — our way of life,” Sanchez remarked.
“They are not content enough to have their way of looking at the world, they want to put their way on everybody in the world,” she continued. “And again, I don’t know how big that is, and depending on who you talk to, but they are certainly — they are willing to go to extremes. They are willing to use and they do use terrorism.”
When asked by King if she believes the United States can really “wipe them out,” Sanchez said, “We must.”
“It’s no longer a matter of containing, it is a matter of eliminating that threat to America, to Americans and to the peace-loving world,” she concluded.
In the wake of her comments, Sanchez was forced to issue a statement. In the statement, Sanchez said that she believes the overwhelming majority of American Muslims do not support the Islamic State or terrorism.
“I strongly support the Muslim community in America and believe that the overwhelming majority of Muslims do not support terrorism or ISIS,” the statement read according to Politico. “We must enlist the voices of the Muslim community in our fight against ISIS instead of alienating them through fear-mongering and discrimination.”
Earlier this year, Sanchez announced her intention to seek election to the seat of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who is retiring at the end of her term.
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