Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips is defending an email he wrote calling on supporters to help “retire” Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) because, among other reasons, “He is the only Muslim member of congress.” In an email to supporters sent last night and in an interview with The Daily Caller, Phillips said he wouldn’t apologize for having a “problem” with Islam.
“A majority of Tea Party members, I suspect, are not fans of Islam,” Phillips told The Daily Caller. “I, personally have a real problem with Islam. With Islam, you have a religion that says kill the Jews, kill the infidels. It bothers me when a religion says kill the infidels. It bothers me a lot more when I am the infidel.”
Tea Party Nation has come under fire from other tea partiers, who have called the for-profit group a fraud.
In his email last night (republished in full by the Minnesota Independent), Phillips said that the the “liberal blogoshere” was wrong when “they claimed we said do not vote for him because he is a Muslim.”
“No we didn’t and I might think about correcting them, except it is too much fun to watch them lose their minds,” Phillips wrote. Phillips original email read as follows:
There are a lot of liberals who need to be retired this year, but there are few I can think of more deserving than Keith Ellison. Ellison is one of the most radical members of congress. He has a ZERO rating from the American Conservative Union. He is the only Muslim member of congress. He supports the Counsel for American Islamic Relations, HAMAS and has helped congress send millions of tax to terrorists in Gaza.
In his latest email, Phillips wrote, “[s]hould we vote out Keith Ellison just because he is a Muslim? No.” But then he wrote that Ellison’s “beliefs define his character” and “[d]o we want someone who supports and defends the Constitution or someone who supports the imposition of a theocracy?”
Phillips did admit to The Daily Caller that he was wrong when he identified Ellison as the only Muslim member of Congress (Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) is the second).
In the rest of his long email last night, Phillips bashed the left, saying “consistency has never been one of the liberals’ strong points.” Of Islam, he asked: “why do we tolerate an ideology that at best, promotes genocide and ethnic cleansing?” He also offered a brief meditation on the promise of 72 virgins for suicide bombers.
Why do we tolerate adherents to an ideology that tells someone, go kill people for your religion and you will get 72 virgins? I have always been curious about that. You would think that after a point, you would have 72 no longer virgins. Or perhaps they are going to be tricked into a form of hell, where they get the 72 virgins, but they stay virgins.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com