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Tea party leader says all Muslims a ‘threat’ to U.S.; seeks recall of McCain

Sen. John McCain. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

A prominent Phoenix tea party leader who believes Muslims cannot be trusted to be loyal to the United States and should not be working for the federal government is incensed with U.S. Sen. John McCain’s defense of a top State Department official and is eying a recall drive against Arizona’s senior senator.

Wes Harris, the founder and chairman of the Original North Phoenix Tea Party, said he plans to take out a recall petition against McCain. While Harris has many problems with McCain, a mass email he sent out focused solely on the senator’s recent defense of Huma Abedin, a top aide to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Harris accused Abedin of having ties to an Islamic extremist group, and he objected to the fact that a Muslim was working for the State Department in the first place.

Harris said he believes Muslims’ loyalty to the U.S. is questionable because their ultimate loyalty is to the Quran and Islam, which he described as “more a fascist type of organization.”

“Have you ever read the Quran? I suggest you do so, because anyone that is a Muslim is a threat to this country, and that’s a fact,” Harris told the Arizona Capitol Times. “There is no such thing as a moderate Muslim. If they are Muslim they have to follow the Quran. That’s their religion and that’s their doctrine.”

Harris said he plans to circulate recall petitions against McCain. In his email, he said, “We must find a way to get rid of this embarrassment.”

The email Harris sent includes a forwarded item from the blog Bare Naked Islam that castigates McCain for defending “Islamic enemies of America” and attacking U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican and tea party favorite. The blog piece ends by saying, “Go to hell, Senator, it’s time for you to take your final dirt nap.”

Bachmann was one of five members of Congress – a list that includes Arizona’s Trent Franks – who signed a letter to the State Department’s inspector general alleging that the Islamic group Muslim Brotherhood was influencing the department. The letter also alleged that members of Abedin’s family had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Harris said McCain’s impassioned defense of Abedin on the Senate floor was far from the only reason he’s seeking the senator’s ouster, but it was a major factor.

“He just took Michele Bachmann over the coals on the floor of the Senate for her warning about the infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood into our government,” Harris said. “It’s just one of many things. It culminates in this latest debacle.”

Harris is also a precinct committeeman in the Legislative District 6 Republican Committee.

Recalls against federal officials are not legally binding, and McCain would not be required to leave office if Arizona voters rejected him in a recall election. But state law allows federal elected officials to file statements with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office pledging to resign if they lose a recall election, and McCain has filed such a statement.

No federal elected official in Arizona has ever faced a recall election. McCain critics on both sides of the aisle have pursued several unsuccessful recalls against him in recent years.

Harris said he believes Abedin has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. But ultimately, he said it doesn’t matter whether she’s linked to the group or not because he doesn’t believe Muslims should work for the federal government.

On Wednesday, McCain rose to Abedin’s defense in response to a June 13 letter that Bachmann, Franks and three other congressmen sent to Harold Geisel, a deputy inspector general at the State Department asking Abedin and other agency employees be investigated for alleged ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. He said the allegations involving three of Abedin’s relatives were unsubstantiated, and criticized the members of Congress who sent the letter for launching “specious and degrading attacks.”

“These allegations about Huma and the report from which they are drawn are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman, a dedicated American and a loyal public servant,” McCain said. “These attacks on Huma have no logic, no basis, and no merit. And they need to stop now.”

Harris disagreed with McCain’s assessment of Abedin, saying she shouldn’t be working for the State Department, regardless of whether she has Muslim Brotherhood ties.

“Is she a Muslim? Is she an active Muslim?” Harris said. “I rest my case. That’s all she needs to be.”

Zuhdi Jasser, the founder and president of the Phoenix-based American Islamic Forum for Democracy, an organization dedicated to opposing Islamic extremism, said Harris’ views are misguided, ignorant and dangerous.

Jasser said there is no inherent conflict between Islam and American values, and that Harris is confusing the religion of Islam with the political ideology of Islamism. Jasser, a Valley doctor, said there’s no reason why Muslims can’t be good Americans, though he believes Islamists cannot be, and he noted that thousands of American Muslims have served with honor in the U.S. armed forces.

“A Muslim is anybody that follows and adheres to the faith of Islam. An Islamist is a supremacist that believes the state should be guided by a particular interpretation of Islam,” Jasser said. “It is extremely dangerous, and I think misguided American policy, to mix up being Muslim with being an Islamist.”

Though Jasser disagreed with the five congressmen’s decision to name Abedin in their letter, he said he shared many of the other concerns they shared about the Muslim Brotherhood and the threat of Islamic extremism to the United States. Islamism is a genuine threat to America, he said.

But statements like the ones Harris made make it harder to combat extremism by alienating Muslims who believe in America’s values, he said, both in this country and abroad. Jasser said moderate Muslims are America’s greatest asset in the fight against Islamic extremism.

“If you want moderate voices of Islam to marginalize the supremacists that seek global domination, then they need to feel supported in countries that share our values, like the United States,” Jasser said. “If the sentiment becomes that it’s incompatible, then it becomes very difficult for me to get traction in the Islamic community that this country will defend our rights.”

Abedin is the wife of former Congressman Anthony Weiner, a New York Democrat who resigned last year after he was caught sending women lewd photos of himself via Twitter.

One signer of the letter, Congressman Tom Rooney, a Florida Republican, later told Politico that naming Abedin “was not the wiser path to go down,” and that the focus of the letter was to improve national security, not go after her.

A McCain spokesman declined to comment on Harris’ comments or his recall threat.


  1. Where do I sign? I think that John McCain is a pathological blatant liar, and a war loving, warmongering, war happy war nut!

  2. If Amedin is so loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood and is an extremist, why would she marry a Jew, Anthony Weiner? That would seem incompatible with Muslim orthodoxy, unless her marriage is that part of some Muslim Brotherhood plot to make her look loyal to the U.S.? Bachmann and Franks are looney like so many of the Tea Party fringe we have in the Congress and Arizona Legislature.

  3. Concerned Citizen

    Have we forgotten the McCarthy era witch hunts?

  4. “…anyone that is a Muslim is a threat to this country, and that’s a fact,” Harris told the Arizona Capitol Times. “There is no such thing as a moderate Muslim…”

    Turkey is part of Nato. Is Harris advocating Turkey be expelled? What percentage of Turkey’s population is Muslim? I’d like Mr. Harris’ answer.

    You have my e-mail addy. I’d like to hear from Mr. Harris.

  5. Harris is a moron. If he is able to read, he may want to check Article VI of the US Constitution which reads in part \no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.\ One would think that Article VI, the First Amendment, and the fact that there have been Muslim American soldiers who have died for this country in virtually every war we’ve ever fought would be enough to suggest to dimwits like Harris that the government cannot and should not exclude people from public service because of their faith.

  6. Senator McCain: Some American and your constituents come pre-diminished.

    I hope someone investigates this clown for the not-so-subtle \dirt nap\ comment.

  7. The republican party is overrun with fascists. Wes Harris is another symptom of that tragedy. Hopefully the american people will wake up and realize the teas party movement for what it is. Before it’s too late.

  8. Does this remind anyone else of the “Red Scare” during the Cold War?
    This is devolving into, basically, what McCarthy did with black listing.
    Aren’t religion and state separate anyway? Isn’t this the country that doesn’t persecute people because of their beliefs?

    Harris doesn’t sound much different from Islam extremists either. The rhetoric of hate and fear is the same. Plus, he is exacerbating a problem he is trying to avoid.

    The irony kills me.

    If all Muslims weren’t against America to begin with, there’s at least one American that’s definitely dropped to the bottom of the popularity list.

    I’m so glad I don’t live in Arizona right now. Where else are public officials voted in for this type of hateful agenda?

  9. I meant voted out in defense of this hateful agenda.
    Go John McCain. Thank you.

  10. Just a bunch of patriots! Just a whole bunch of grassroots, real, old-fashioned, All-American patriots here in the Tea Party!

  11. Arizona: you are nuts! Stay crazy! It is very entertaining!

  12. Though I cannot stand John McCain I loath the tea party that snubs the Constitution of the Untied States and cuts and pastes what they like or dislike. It was written to be used in whole and Wes Harris should be investigated for what appears to be a death threat of a Seated United States Senator! These people do not represent a majority, they are a loud minority, the majority of this country would be; Hmmm, lets use NYC, Detroit, SE Houston or LA inner city. They would slit Wes Harris throat for his cheap watch. You think the care about our Constitution, Muslims and Laws when they do not know where their next meal might come from? Its people like Wes Harris that created what is called White Flight from the inner cities and created the Ghetto’s they so dislike. Hope they arrest and convict you for your malicious death threat of John McCain and maybe you can meet some of those inner city people yourself.

  13. The Tea Party is a threat to democracy. Why do they advocate McCarthism. They do not respect any one else’s opinion. They will and now are self-destructing.
    John McCain probably should have run again for the Presidency. He is a true American and thank god he speaks out against the oppressive antics of stupidos like bumbleheaded Bachmann.

  14. Anyone remember Sen Joe McCarthy? Looks like he is back.

  15. “Have you ever read the Bible? I suggest you do so, because anyone that is a Christian is a threat to this country, and that’s a fact,” “There is no such thing as a moderate Christian. If they are Christian they have to follow the Bible. That’s their religion and that’s their doctrine.”

    See how that goes both ways? How hypocritical to be onse sided. We all know not all Christians think and act the same way Unitarians are not the same as the Westboro Baptists, why should it be the same for any other religion.

  16. Wes Harris sounds like a guy who couldn’t get past 2nd grade…..for 10 years in a row.

  17. Wes Harris is obviously not a supporter of the U.S. Constitution…or perhaps, he’s never read it.

  18. The Constitution of the United States does not provide for citizen recalls of elected federal officials. They can only be removed by expulsion or resignation. This (self appointed I’m sure) head of the TEA Party is trampling on the Constitution with this idea.

  19. North of the border

    Good God. Wes Harris is a “leader”? John McCain is one of the few honorable Republicans left standing. No-nothing demagogues like Harris are dragging America into the gutter.

  20. Thank you God and Jesus for ensuring I was born anywhere but Arizona!!! Somalia has better leadership than this tea-bagger bigot.

  21. these tea party people are just plain insane.

  22. Harris is nothing more than a political nutcase. I am confident Arizona voters will not fall for his BS.

  23. Hey Wes, ever read The Bible? The Bible also tells us that there’s a Jewish movement that worships at the “Synagogue of Satan.”

  24. The Tea Party, and people like Harris and Michelle, have destroyed the Republican party. I have never seen such hatred amongst people like there is now. Funny thing, they so think they represent America as “true Americans”. Really?

  25. I loath the traitorous amigo to the illegals, Juan McAmnesty so I’ll happily sign a recall petition even though I’m no fan of Wes Harris either. I stand with Dr. Jasser on this.

  26. In addition to McCain, Boehner, Lindsay Graham and Ed Rollins, USA Today has an article that shows the Republican chairman of the House Intel committee has also called her out:

    Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., a former FBI agent, said Bachmann’s assertions about the Muslim Brotherhood’s infiltration efforts are false.

    “That kind of assertion certainly doesn’t comport with the Intelligence Committee, and I can say that on the record,” he told USA TODAY, aligning himself with party leaders who have defended Abedin. “I have no information in my committee that would indicate that Huma is anything other than an American patriot.”

  27. Forget McCarthyism…these idiots want to restart the crusades. What, do they want to start a war to wipe out Islam?

  28. Good for him! Muslims cannot be trusted! Not after 911 and most certainly not after the last 4 years of having one in the white house!

  29. I have never been a supporter of John McCain but now I definetley am. McCain for senetor 2012!

  30. Why does Arizona Capitol Times give Harris any credibility? His group is small. The guy is a convicted felon. I have asked him about his veteran status that he said he served – but will never say what branch or when or if honorably discharged.

    Dr. Jassar, a noted member of this community, served our nation as a Navy doctor. Under Harris’ definition Dr. Jassar is a threat. And to say he wants to recall a decorated Navy veteran – John McCain – adds to stupidity factor.

    I think Wes Harris sounds like a religious racist. As a national level officer of a major veterans service organization and someone active in Arizona veterans affairs, I take great exception to Capitol Times giving this guy credibility and state for they many veterans I represent – we are offended.

  31. what is with the tea party thinking that it’s there way or the highway. The tea party has one single purpose by their so called leaders thinking that they can attack a Vietnam Veteran / POW during Vietnam and get away with it. Doesn’t he realize how many Vietnam Vets are in this country. I may not always agree nor support John McCann but he is a brother in arms. It’s time the Tea Party folds

  32. I guess it must be the sun baked brains… Wes Harris, Jared Loughner, Joe Arpaio, etc. Examples of fine \patriots\ that can’t read the constitution because their vision is obscured by Tea Bags. Real Patriots would not demean the brave acts of the Boston colonists that risked their lives to create a nation where freedom of religion is a right enjoyed by EVERY American.

  33. Here’s something fun to do with this article.

    Replace the word Muslim with Mormon, the Quoran with Book of Morman, and Islam with Mormonism, and Islamist with Fundementalist

    Or Replace Muslim with Evangelical, the Quoran with the Bible, Islam with Christianily, and Islamist with Fundementalist

    and let’s not forget Jew, Torah, Judism, Zionist

    Hate is hate no matter who is spewed against.

  34. Fredk,

    Easy for you to wipe everything under the ‘hate is hate’ rug, replace Buddhist with Nazi while you’re at it, see how that works for you, but do try and get a spine replacement and have the courage to investigate this matter before offering up ‘moral equivalence’…

  35. hatred is wrong, but so is tolerating the intolerable…

  36. No dhimmi fool like some

    OMIGOD. The leftist loonies all sound so completely retarded. I’m appalled.

    Islam is a horrendous threat to our very existence – any liberal with half a brain should understand that fact. I’m embarrassed to be a liberal with such idiocy as I see concerning Islam.

    “McCarthy!!! Squawk!! Screech!! McCarthy!!”

    Do you really think you sound intelligent? Wow – you read a newspaper article once! I’m impressed.

    In the meantime, Islamization is real, and it’s time to use our brains about it instead of our emotions.

  37. it’s absolutely amazing just how proudly ignorant these morons are. beyond amazing, its just down right embarrassing. it makes us look like a nation of imbeciles and I really feel that we should all actively shun these morons. tolerance is one thing but stupidity deserves to be mocked and ridiculed, imo.

  38. mudslum brotherhood is heavily invested in our politicians – they need results!

  39. how soon they forget what muslims did on 911

  40. Mr Harris is correct. Muslims are only loyal to Quran not to country.
    Warning to America:
    Current Muslim polulation : 2% and gradually increasing
    If it increases to 10% then Muslims will rule country. Do allow this to happen. Now you can stop it.
    It has happened in India.

  41. I read many folks mentioning the McCarthy era like what that man talked about wasn’t true. True enough, back then, nobody believed him about the communists in America. But sure enough, years and years later, with the advent of the internet to help, and released documents, McCarthy was by and far correct with his assessments. In fact, we are controlled a great deal today (the government over us) by the socialists and communists who have taken free reign within our country, families and government. I suggest those of you who only mention one side of the story regarding the McCarthy era to do some more updated fact checking before spouting off to refute the Tea Party leader. Islam teachings do NOT convey to Muslim’s to assimilate into American society. It is ONLY because we are so weakened by the socialists that we have allowed pretty much every type of group to come here and propagate their behaviors and them being acceptable now. When in fact these things are contrary to the Constitution/Bill of Rights/Declaration of Independence/Federalist Papers and so on. Our country is rooted in Christianity as the vast majority of our Founder’s were in fact, Christian’s or in a sub-section of Christianity (Deist’s for some of them). God, Jesus Christ and a Creator were all talked about and preached about from the Founder’s. I suggest most of you stop bad mouthing everything they fought for and contribute some worthwhile commentary.

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