Loretta Sanchez

Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who upended Orange County politics by ousting Republican Bob Dornan from Congress in 1996, announced in May she was running for U.S Senate. Mark Boster TNS

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
December 10, 2015

  • Sanchez says they are willing to use terrorism to target ‘our way of life’
  • Her office issues statement seeking to clarify remarks to Larry King
  • Sanchez adds: ‘I strongly support the Muslim community in America’

California Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, said as many as 20 percent of Muslims desire to form an Islamic caliphate, “to institute that in any way possible,” and go after Western norms, “our way of life.”

“We know that there is a small group, and we don’t know how big that is – it can be anywhere between 5 and 20 percent, from the people that I speak to – that Islam is their religion and who have a desire for a caliphate and to institute that in any way possible, and in particular go after Western norms,” Sanchez said on the program “PoliticKING with Larry King.”

“They are not content enough to have their way of looking at the world, they want to put their way on everybody in the world,” she added. “And again, I don’t know how big that is, and depending on who you talk to, but they are certainly, they are willing to go to extremes. They are willing to use and they do use terrorism.”

Islam is the world’s second-largest religion with an estimated 1.6 billion adherents, or 23 percent of the world’s population, according to the Pew Research Center. Taking Sanchez’s high estimate, that would be 320 million Muslims want to caliphate and are willing to resort to extremes and terrorism to satisfy their goal. Academics said the number is exceedingly difficult to know because there are no worldwide surveys but they questioned the range she provided as overly broad and likely too high.

The Christian Science Monitor, in a report on Muslim extremists, cited the research of Angel Rabasa, a senior political scientist at the RAND corporation, who while researching a book he co-authored called “Euro Jihad,” found Western European intelligence agencies estimated less than 1 percent of the Muslim population living there were at risk for becoming radicals.

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