ISTANBUL, Turkey – Top U.S. and Turkish officials on Tuesday condemned comments made last week by Rep. Tom Tancredo that the United States could “take out” Islamic holy sites if there was a nuclear attack on America by Muslim fundamentalists. The Colorado Republican refused to apologize Tuesday, telling The Associated Press that his comments had been taken out of context. U.S. State Department spokesman Adam Ereli called the statements Tancredo made Friday “insulting and offensive.” He said Americans “respect the dignity and sanctity of other religions.” Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul labeled them irresponsible. “This was nothing but a fanatic speaking completely personally, irresponsibly and without thought of how far his statements would reach or what kind of problems they would create,” Gul said, according to the Anatolia news agency. The Foreign Ministry confirmed Gul’s remarks. On Friday, Tancredo was asked by a radio talk show host how the United States should respond if terrorists struck several of its cities with nuclear weapons. “Well, what if you said something like _ if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites,” Tancredo answered. (MORE)


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