Louisiana Republican Representative Clay Higgins says it’s time for U.S. officials to go on the offensive against radical terror suspects.
Higgins was elected to Congress after gaining notoriety for tough on crime public service announcements as a Louisiana sheriff.
In response to the weekend terror attack in London, the “Cajun John Wayne” on Sunday offered his thoughts about the U.S.’s best course of action amid increasing threats from Islamic terrorists.
“The free world… all of Christendom… is at war with Islamic horror. Not one penny of American treasure should be granted to any nation who harbors these heathen animals. Not a single radicalized Islamic suspect should be granted any measure of quarter,” he said. “Their intended entry to the American homeland should be summarily denied. Every conceivable measure should be engaged to hunt them down. Hunt them, identity them, and kill them.”
He concluded: “Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all.”
Higgins’ no-nonsense suggestion for handling radical terrorists is, unsurprisingly, drawing hefty criticism from the left.
In a post regarding his statement, Think Progress likened Higgins’ comment to calling for a U.S.-led holy war against Muslims:
Notably, Higgins advocated for the killing of anyone even suspected of having links to terrorism, and gave no definition of how that should be determined. He described the fight as a “war” between Christendom and “Islamic horror,” echoing a rallying cry of the far-right.
Such black-and-white rhetoric also dovetails with one of ISIS’ stated goals:To divide the world into two camps, those who believe their ideology and everyone else. In so doing, they aim to eliminate the “grey zone” and convince other Muslims that their faith is unwelcome and incompatible with the West, radicalizing them.
The statement also hedges close to allowing ISIS and other militant groups to represent Islam as a whole, even though the group is deeply unpopular in huge swaths of the Muslim world, and scores of prominent Muslim leaders have condemned them.
It is important to remember that American citizens accused of plotting terror of any kind are still protected by the Constitution. And we certainly don’t want to use international terror to give government total authority as judge, jury and executioner in all cases. If that’s what Higgins is calling for, it certainly is an indefensible position.
But Higgins’ congressional office has since clarified what most readers of his post likely understood from the outset, saying in an email to the website Jezebel: “Rep. Higgins is referring to terrorists. He’s advocating for hunting down and killing all of the terrorists. This is an idea all of America & Britain should be united behind.”
Indeed, British politicians like former UKIP party leader Nigel Farage do support hunting down individuals own known terror lists. According to Farage, populist calls for radical solutions to terror will explode if governments don’t initiate a strong response to domestic terror threats very quickly.
“We want genuine action, and if there is not action, then the calls for internment will grow,” Farage said. “We have over 3,000 people on a sort of known terrorist list, and we’re watching, monitoring their activities. But [there are] a further 20,000 people who are persons of interest, namely they’re linked in some way to extremist organizations. Unless we see the government getting tough, you will see public calls for those 3,000 to be arrested.”
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