New York, July 28 (ANI): Likening Islam to a "cult" and casting doubt about whether it is even a religion, has landed US Republican politician, Ron Ramsey in hot waters.
Ramsey, Tennessee's current lieutenant governor, said he had reservations about whether the American Constitution, which guarantees "freedom of religion", applied to followers of the world's second largest faith.
Critics denounced 54 year-old Ramsey's comments, made at a party meeting earlier this month, as a part of "disturbing" trend in American politics, The Telegraph reports. ut political experts said the real estate agent, who hopes to win the Republican nomination for governor in next month's primary with support from Tea Party activists, was using it to garner support after lagging third in the polls.
During a question-and-answer session at the Hamilton County meeting, Ramsey, from Blountville, was asked about the "threat that's invading our country from the Muslims".
He said: "You could even argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, way of life, cult whatever you want to call it," he said in comments that were caught on video and later uploaded to YouTube.
"Now certainly we do protect our religions but at the same time this is something we are going to have to face. Now, you know, I'm all about freedom of religion. I value the First Amendment as much as I value the Second Amendment as much as I value the Tenth Amendment and on and on and on," he added.
"But you cross the line when they try to start bringing Sharia Law here to the state of Tennessee, to the United States. We live under our Constitution and they live under our Constitution," he said.
"It's time for American Muslims who love this country to publicly renounce violent jihadism and to drum those who seek to do America harm out of their faith community," he added. (ANI)