Ill congressman defends 'savage religion' comment

AP News
Posted: Nov 17, 2009 8:32 PM

An Illinois congressman says his comment that suspected terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay follow a "savage religion" has been misinterpreted.

U.S. Rep. Donald Manzullo told WREX-TV in Rockford, Ill., that alleged terrorists imprisoned at the Navy base are "really really mean people whose job it is to kill people, driven by some savage religion."

The Republican lawmaker confirmed Tuesday those words were his. He said he never specified Islam and apologized for any misunderstanding.

Manzullo's remarks come as federal officials consider buying an Illinois prison to house Guantanamo detainees.

Most prisoners at the base in Cuba come from Muslim countries.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations says Manzullo's comments were an attack on Islam.