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GOP Hillsborough court clerk candidate’s letter declares Islam is ‘not a religion’

4 November 2011 General 13 Comments Email This Post Email This Post


TAMPA — A Republican candidate for Hillsborough Clerk of Circuit Court on Monday fired off a letter saying Islam is “not a religion” but a theocracy that is “totalitarian and littered with human rights violations.”

Scott D. Barrish, a 35-year-old private security officer who previously ran unsuccessfully for the Hillsborough School Board, sent the letter to the Council of American-Islamic Relations. He signed it as a member of the Hillsborough County Republican Party’s executive committee.

“Your efforts in espousing Islam in America and Florida will not succeed,” Barrish wrote. “This is us vs. you. In the great words of the late President Ronald Reagan, ‘I win, you lose!’ ”

Barrish said in an interview that he sent the e-mail letter because the group had engaged in what he called publicity stunts. CAIR, for instance, thanked Gov. Rick Scott and Sen. Marco Rubio for declining to speak at the upcoming Florida tea party convention because it featured a presentation by an “anti-Islam extremist.”

“I don’t sugarcoat things and I don’t use (political correctness),” Barrish said. “I’m like a (New Jersey Gov.) Chris Christie. I say it like it is.”

Barrish, who said he had spent the past two years studying Islam, said he signed the letter as a member of the Hillsborough GOP to show his credentials, not to speak for the party.

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.

Deborah Cox-Roush, the Hills­borough GOP executive director, had not seen Barrish’s e-mail until a reporter sent it to her. “He’s not speaking on behalf of the party,” she said. She said he should not have invoked the Hills­borough GOP executive committee in his letter.

But she stopped short of commenting on the contents of the message, saying she wanted a chance to read it carefully and talk with Barrish.

“I’m really uncertain about what this is all about,” she said. But she acknowledged it would offend Muslim party members.

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?”

Shibly, the CAIR official, said Barrish’s message exposes his arrogance.

“To get an idea of how outrageous his e-mail is, just replace the word ‘Islam’ with any other faith and think how we would react if a politician issued a statement in their official capacity on any other faith,” he said.

Reach Jodie Tillman at or (813) 226-3374.

Original post: GOP Hillsborough court clerk candidate’s letter declares Islam is ‘not a religion’


  1. I’d love to see his “two years” of research.

  2. Well, he’s only partially correct. Its not a stretch to say organized religions have all the telltale signs of a political system, though he made a hateful and unnecessary generalization that in no way reflects the vast entirely of the Muslim world, the same as it may coincide with aspects of Christian religious groups but does not reflect the views and needs of every since aspect of the Christian faith.

    Anyone can say that organized religion is a faith-based hierarchical system closely resembling a political system, and anyone can say the Muslim world has serious civil rights issues being faced across the globe. Only a fool would deign to generalize and throw every since Muslim into the same black-label bag; as if every single individual of a given faith is at fault for the insanity and violence brought upon by a select minority with extreme views.

  3. “Religion is only a small part of this political ideology. It also fulfills most of the criteria of a cult. It’s difficult to pigeon hole, that’s what makes it so dangerous.

    Criteria of a Cult

  4. speaking of studies I found an interesting one about how mosques are actually a deterent from extremsim

  5. No one ever said muslims weren’t good at propaganda, I think they excel at it.

  6. @anonymous
    actually I would like to think paranoid delusional nutjobs like gaffney geller, and “terror babies” gohmert are good at that

  7. @ corey

    Tu quoqe NEVER wins an argument and is doomed for failure when you include outright lies.

  8. I don’t respect the way the messenger (Gohmert) extends his message but I do believe there is truth in what he says. How could i dismiss his claims after reading this quote by a muslim leader?

    “One day, millions of men will leave the Southern Hemisphere to go to the Northern Hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. Because they will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory.”
    Former Algerian President Houari Boumedienne
    Warning Europe in a speech at the U.N. General Assembly, 1974

  9. “outright lies” tell me what did I lie about and secondly what “proof” did you present about gomerts “terror babies” a quote from some speech at a general assembly made decades ago, really not very convincing to anyone who isnt an lunatic that thinks muslims are magicly going to appear in there fridges and attack them except maybe gohmert, geller, spencer and most likely the commenters at jw and atlas on drugs.

  10. @ corey

    You don’t really want or need an answer from me, your post says all at it needs to say about you not Geller or Spencer or Gohmert, but YOU!.

    I stand by my previous post and it’s quote which is re-quoted over and over again to the kuffar by muslims. When muslims threaten me or mine I believe them the first time and act accordingly.

  11. so you will believe a muslim if one is threatining you but won’t believe a muslim if one is trying to help you like how this one helped a jewish man when he was attacked

  12. sorry meant to say *will you believe one if one is trying to help you?

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    A lot of times it’s difficult to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and appearance. I must say you have done a excellent job with this. In addition, the blog loads super fast for me on Opera. Exceptional Blog!

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