ISTANBUL, Turkey ”” Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul today condemned comments by Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., that the United States could “take out” Islamic holy sites if there were a nuclear attack on America by Muslim fundamentalists. Gul, whose nation is officially 99 percent Muslim, commented on the congressman’s remarks at a news conference with Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern in the Turkish capital of Ankara. Gul said that he didn’t think the people or the government of the United States shared Tancredo’s view. “The United States has a Muslim population,” the Anatolia news agency quoted him as saying. . . The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a U.S. group, demanded an apology. Spokesman Ibrahim Hooper called Tancredo’s remarks irresponsible, inflammatory and “unworthy of an elected official.” “These kinds of comments just serve to fuel negative perceptions of the United States in the Muslim world that create a downward spiral of hostility,” Hooper said. (MORE)


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