Longtime California Democrat Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is taking heat for telling Larry King that between 5 and 20% of Muslims support an Islamic caliphate and are willing to use violence to achieve it:
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% 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 what they consider Western norms – our way of life. They are willing to use, and they do use, terrorism, and it is in the name of a very wrong way of looking at Islam.
Sanchez’s estimate is in line of that of Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz who stated this figure in their book Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue. Others like Daniel Pipes have long put the figure between 10-15%. Whatever the precise figure there are a critical mass of Muslims who desire a caliphate and are willing to use or support terrorism to bring it about.
Now under normal circumstances, I don’t think there would be much attention paid to these comments by virtue of Sanchez being a Democrat and a Hispanic Democrat at that. But Sanchez is seeking the Democrat nomination for the Senate for the seat to be vacated by the retiring Barbara Boxer. California Attorney General and Obama ally Kamala Harris is the frontrunner, but given the anxiety that has been raised because of the San Bernardino terrorist attacks and given that California is an open primary state, many Republicans could opt to vote in the Democratic primary and could put Sanchez over the top.
Needless to say, liberal activists as well as Islamic organizations such as CAIR fear that Sanchez could be their next Senator and are trying to get to withdraw from the race. But so far Sanchez hasn’t budged. However, I suspect that the White House will find a way to get involved and bring pressure to bear against Sanchez. Assuming Sanchez continues to stand her ground this may turn out to be the most interesting primary fight in either party for 2016.
ADDENDUM: It has been brought to my attention that California abandoned the conventional primary system in 2012. Instead of Democrats and Republicans having separate primaries there is a single primary which includes both Democrats and Republicans. The top two vote getters in this primary face off in the general election. So it is not unusual for two Democrats to face off in the general election as was the case when Pete Stark, who had served in Congress for nearly 40 years, was upset by fellow Democrat Eric Swalwell in 2012.
In which case things are even more interesting if the top two vote getters are Sanchez and Harris. If that comes to pass it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to know which candidate Republicans will prefer. No wonder The Left is so eager to get Sanchez to withdraw from the race.