ALAMOGORDO, N.M., Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Accusations by a New Mexico Republican that Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama is "a Muslim socialist" are offensive and wrong, critics say.
In a letter published in the Tuesday in the Alamogordo (N.M.) Daily News, Otero County, N.M., Republican Women Chairwoman Marcia Stirman professed a belief "in a sovereign God who sometimes gives us what we deserve," adding that "Muslims are our enemies" and saying, "I agree with a two-party system, but Obama isn't a messiah or a Democrat. He's a Muslim socialist."
The letter has sparked an outburst of negative reaction from around the country, The Albuquerque Journal reported. Rabbi Joseph Black of Congregation Albert said the GOP leader's comments were worse than ignorant, telling the newspaper, "I'm sickened. History has taught us the dangers of mindless hatred based on religious affiliation. Absolutely -- they're dangerous."
Some who e-mailed the Daily News, however, supported Stirman. She refused to retract her comments in an interview with the Journal, saying, "It's pretty strong, but it's exactly how I feel. And it's exactly how a lot of people I know feel. They just wish they had been able to say it."