SHOCKER! GOP candidate says, "Islam is not a religion but an anti-American, totalitarian ideology littered with human rights violations."

Gotta love this guy, a courageous, honest politician. Scott Barrish of Florida, a Republican candidate for Hillsborough Clerk of Circuit Court, has stirred up a major firestorm with an email to a Muslim Brotherhood front group (CAIR), saying “Islam is not a religion.” (If only the GOP candidates for President would be this candid)

TAMPA BAY  Barrish sent his email to Hassan Shibly, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or TERRORIST FRONT GROUP CAIR. He was responding to a Tampa Tribune opinion piece by Shibly that criticized the Hernando County Republican Party for hosting U.S. Rep. Allen West and Senate candidate Adam Hasner, who have voiced anti-Islamic opinions.

In an email to Shibly headed, “Dear Hizballah Apologist,” a reference to a Middle Eastern terrorist group, Barrish wrote, “I have done my research and can see right through your feeble attempts at promoting Islam as a religion of peace and under persecution by non-believers.”

“Your tactics are exposed. Islam is NOT a religion, but rather a theocracy. … It seeks complete domination; to say otherwise is a complete and utter lie. It is totalitarian and littered with human rights violations. … This is us vs. you.”

“Am I opposed to Islam? Absolutely!” He wrote in an email. Barrish equated Islam to communism, and said the U.S. should take the same approach to Islam it did during the Cold War. He said because it is not a religion, it doesn’t deserve the protection of constitutional freedom of religion, but didn’t advocate banning it because, “You can try to ban something, it will never go away.”

Barrish said he thinks Islamic law is infiltrating the court system. He said Muslims are not following a faith, but a political system “that uses elements of religion.” He said he expected his remarks to be controversial.  “I’ve spent two years of my life studying this,” he said. “The folks who defend Islam, the tactic is, ‘He’s an Islamophobe’ or ‘He’s a bigot.’ But I challenge them, where have I misstated fact?”

But the Florida chapter of CAIR used Barrish’s letter in a press statement Monday. “It is imperative that Republican Party leaders at the state and national levels repudiate these bigoted comments and take concrete steps to challenge the growing perception that the GOP is not a big tent party that welcomes Muslims,” said Tampa executive director Hassan Shibly. (It DOESN’T welcome Muslims. No room in the tent for terrorists and Islamic supremacists)

Barrish signed his email as a member of the Hillsborough County Republican Party executive committee, prompting a rebuke from county party Chairman Debbie Cox-Roush. “He was absolutely in error using his title as a member of our committee – he does not speak on behalf of the Republican Party or Republicans across Hillsborough, and I have told him that,” Cox-Roush said today, after a conversation with Barrish. Cox-Roush said she expects no further party action on the matter.