The chairwoman of an Otero County Republican women's group on Tuesday defended a letter to the editor in which she wrote, “I believe Muslims are our enemies.”
Marcia Stirman, a 56-year-old interior decorator, also called Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama “a Muslim socialist.”
A national Islamic group expressed outrage over Stirman's letter and called on state and national Republican Party officials to repudiate the publication of “anti-Muslim comments.”
“Because these hate-filled remarks were made by a prominent Republican, it is incumbent on state and national GOP officials to repudiate her divisive and intolerant views,” said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Officials with the Republican Party of New Mexico had no immediate comment.
The letter ran Tuesday in the Alamogordo Daily News. It was titled “Why I'm a Republican” and listed 16 reasons for her party affiliation.
The list ends with Stirman saying Obama is “a Muslim socialist.” She also wrote, “I believe war is a fact of life and we should always win.”
Stirman told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that she was surprised by reaction to her letter, which she said included support from all over the country. She wrote it after the newspaper recently published another reader's letter titled “Why I'm a Democrat.”
Asked for a response to Awad's concerns, she said of Muslims: “I don't trust them at all. They've sworn across the world that they are our enemies. Why we're trying to elect one is beside me.” (MORE)