A prominent California Democrat is warning after the San Bernardino attacks that a small but significant minority of Muslims support terrorism to establish an Islamic caliphate.
Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), who is running for U.S. Senate to replace outgoing Democrat Barbara Boxer in California, told Larry King on Politicking with Larry King on Ora.TV on Thursday that “anywhere between 5 and 20 percent” of Muslims may support terror.
She qualified her comments by adding: “This is not about all Muslims in our country. Many of them are helping us in this heroic fight against ISIS and ISIL.”
Sanchez serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security and the House Armed Services Committee. She may have been referring to a study last month by the Pew Research Center, which revealed that while an overwhelming majority of Muslims oppose the so-called Islamic State, it does enjoy some support–from 20% of Muslims in Nigeria, for example.
King had asked Sanchez specifically to address Republican criticism of President Barack Obama for not using the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” Her response:
Oh, well, you know–what’s in a name? That’s always the issue…
But certainly, we know that there is a small group–and we don’t know how big that is, it can be anywhere between five 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 any way possible, and in particular go after what they consider Western norms, our way of life. 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. And, again, I don’t know how big that is, and depending on who you talk to, but they’re certainly, they are willing to go to extremes. They are willing to use, and they do use, terrorism. And it is in the name of a very wrong way of looking at Islam.
I don’t fault the president on his verbiage. I want him to understand it–to go after this ISIL, ISIS, Daesh state that people are trying to form. Because it’s going after us.
Asked whether she believed the U.S. can “wipe them out,” Sanchez replied: “We must.”
Sanchez’s concerns echo those raised recently by Republican president frontrunner Donald Trump, though she is no fan of his. Last month, Sanchez led efforts to push NBC to drop Trump as guest host of Saturday Night Live.
Currently, Sanchez trails California Attorney General Kamala Harris in the polls, though Harris is known to be having money problems.