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County and state GOP officials criticized the head of a New Mexico Republican women’s group for calling Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama a “Muslim socialist” and stating that “Muslims are our enemies.”

Marcia Stirman, the head of the Republican Women of Otero County, will be asked to step down, Sassy Tinling, the chairwoman of the Otero County Republican Party, said Wednesday.

In a letter published Tuesday in the Alamogordo Daily News, Stirman wrote that she believes “Muslims are our enemies.” Stirman told The Associated Press in an interview: “I don’t trust them at all. They’ve sworn across the world that they are our enemies. Why we’re trying to elect one is beside me.”

Obama, an American-born Christian, has fought false rumors that he is a Muslim throughout the presidential campaign.

Tinling told KOAT-TV that Stirman’s opinions do not reflect those of the county GOP or the Republican Women of Otero County. The executive director of the Republican Party of New Mexico, Matthew Kennicott, has said Stirman does not speak for the GOP and that her comments do not reflect its values and beliefs.

Stirman, 56, an interior decorator, wrote in the letter titled “Why I’m a Republican” the 16 reasons for her party affiliation.

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