GOP Congressman on Suspected Islamic Terrorists: “Kill Them All”
In a post to his campaign’s Facebook account on Sunday, Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) argued all “radicalized Islamic suspect[s]” should be killed. The post followed terror attacks in the UK ISIS took credit for arranging.
In the Facebook post Higgins said:
The free world…all of Christendom…is at war with Islamic horror. Not one penny of American treasure should be granted to any nation who harbors these heathen animals. Not a single radicalized Islamic suspect should be granted any measure of quarter. Their intended entry to the American homeland should be summarily denied. Every conceivable measure should be engaged to hunt them down. Hunt them, identity them, and kill them. Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all.
Higgins’ statement is problematic at best.
For starters, any crime suspect in the United States – even those suspected of terrorism – are tried for their crimes in a court of law before being summarily executed. Extrajudicial killing is a feature of authoritarian regimes, not functioning democracies.
Moreover, his statements about other nations (“any nation who harbors”) is vague as it could potentially apply to allied nations that don’t agree about summarily executing terrorism suspects before convicting them.
With his declaration that Christendom is “at war with Islamic horror,” Higgins was embracing a theme of the far right: the fight against extremist jihadists is part of a fundamental clash between Christian society and Islam. And in this Facebook post, he was calling for killing not just terrorists found guilty of heinous actions, but anyone suspected of such an act. He did not explain how the United States could determine how to identify radicalized Islamists in order to deny them entry to the United States. It was unclear whether his proposal to deny any assistance to any nation that harbors “these heathen animals” would apply to England, France, Indonesia, Spain, and other nations where jihadist cells have committed horrific acts of violence.
Higgins call to assassinate terrorism suspects follows a contentious speech on the floor of the House of Representatives earlier this year calling out media and Democrats for their lack of support for Donald Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban.
In that speech Higgins said in part:
Thank God that President Trump has upheld his oath to protect American lives…
I’ve watched carefully and prayerfully as terror attack after terror attack has shed American blood on American soil, and I’ve been privy to many Jihadist plots that were stopped because of the dedicated courage of skilled law enforcement investigators, the same cops that have been for years maligned, attacked, and murdered across our nation by Americans incited to violence by dangerously irresponsible rhetoric from the left.
While some outlets initially reported Higgins’ remarks as targeting Muslims as a whole, Higgins’ staff clarified he is only calling for the extrajudicial killing of terrorism suspects. “Rep. Higgins is referring to terrorists. He’s advocating for hunting down and killing all of the terrorists. This is an idea all of America & Britain should be united behind,” the spokesperson said.
Before serving as a congressman, Higgins briefly served as captain and public information officer of the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office before being forced to resign for outlandish and reckless public remarks. Before that, he served on the Opelousas Police Department (but was forced to resign after allegations of using excessive force).