GOP Hillsborough court clerk candidate declares Islam is 'not a religion'
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."