A Republican congressman is facing backlash for a post he made after the June 3 terror attacks in London in which he took aim at radicalized Muslims, writing, "kill them all."
Republican Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana, who has been called the "Cajun John Wayne," posted the controversial message on Facebook on June 4 in the wake of the London terror attack that left seven dead and 48 injured, the Daily Mail reports.
Higgins formerly worked in Louisiana's Opelousas Police Department, but resigned before he was about to be disciplined for excessive use of force.
"The free world ... all of Christendom ... is at war with Islamic horror," wrote Higgins. "Not one penny of American treasure should be granted to any nation who harbors these heathen animals."
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"Not a single radicalized Islamic suspect should be granted any measure of quarter," Higgins continued. "Their intended entry to the American homeland should be summarily denied."
"Every conceivable measure should be engaged to hunt them down," he wrote. "Hunt them, identify them, and kill them. Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all."
The post included an image of a victim from the attacks.
Higgins received a swell of negative comments from his constituents and others, calling his remarks hate speech and saying that they bordered on calling for genocide.
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"This is extremely hateful," wrote one user. "I didn't vote for you, but you represent me and I'd like to hear a lot less hateful speech from the politicians that serve me. Your disparaging rhetoric is disheartening and it's prime propaganda verbiage for the folks you're advocating we kill."
"Wow, you are no better than a terrorist," added another. "I'm more afraid of people like you than a refugee who was vetted for 2 years by 7 Intel agencies. I think we need better vetting for our representatives. You are an unhinged lunatic and playing right into what ISIS wants."
"As a U.S. Army veteran, an American, and a human being, I find your attitude revolting," wrote another. "You have no business representing anyone."
"Something I've never heard ANY of my Muslim friends or immigrant neighbors say," wrote another user, who tagged the FBI in her comment. "Never. But I did just see it come from the mouth of a Louisiana congressman with a background in law enforcement."
Religious leaders have also condemned Higgins' statement, reports HuffPost.
"It would be hard to find a statement more antithetical to Christianity, or more lacking in the most elementary understanding of Jesus," said Jesuit priest James Martin. "Jesus didn't say, 'Hate your enemies.' He said, 'Love your enemies.' He didn't say, 'Hunt down your persecutors.' He said, 'Pray for your persecutors.'"
A statement provided by a spokesman for the congressman attempted to clarify Higgins' comments.
"We are a world at war," said the statement in part. "The enemy is radicalized Islamic jihadists. The terrorists certainly take advantage of the politically correct madness that consumes the West. They revel, that many in the western world are frightened to speak freely. I've never been accused of being politically correct. I call things the way I see them."
Sources: Daily Mail, HuffPost / Photo credit: Dana Barciniak/United States Congress/Wikimedia Commons