State lawmaker defends opposition to Syrian refugees, comments about Muslims

OLYMPIA -- A state lawmaker said he stands by comments he made on Facebook calling Islam “barbarian medievalism” and suggesting Muslims are “incompatible with western civilization.”

However, Representative Jay Rodne, R-Snoqualmie, told Q13 FOX News on Wednesday that he did not mean to imply that all Muslims are “barbarians.”

“Of course not, no,” he said. “And I stand by those comments. The atrocities committed by ISIS are barbaric. The vast majority of Muslims in the world are peaceful and want nothing more than to live in peace with other faiths. Unfortunately, there’s a small percentage of that 1.5 billion Muslim practitioners who prescribe to a medieval interpretation of their faith that commands them to commit acts of atrocity against our civilization.”

Rodne has joined a growing chorus of lawmakers demanding that President Obama halt plans to settle roughly 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States. The opposition come amid revelations that one of the terrorists who carried out recent attacks in Paris came into the country with a group of refugees fleeing war-torn Syria.

“Radical Islam is at war against us and we have a serious security issue because we cannot differentiate between who is a peaceful refugee who wants nothing more than to come to our country and enjoy the freedoms and live in peace and enjoy economic prosperity, with the terrorist who wants to come and exploit our freedoms against us,” Rodne said.

On Monday, Gov. Jay Inslee said he would welcome Syrian refugees into Washington state, despite at least 30 other governors announcing their opposition to such a plan.

“It is my belief and it is the state of Washington’s position that we will continue to accept refugees who are the victims of ISIS – and let’s be clear, these are the victims of ISIS and they are those who reject ISIS,” Gov. Inslee said on a conference call Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers in Washington, D.C., have pledged to draft legislation that would halt or block the refugee resettlement.