As this CBS story points out, this is a reference to U.S. General Anthony McAuliffe, whose forces were surrounded in Bastogne by the Germans during WWII’s Battle of the Bulge. When asked to surrender he responded with a one-word letter — “NUTS!”

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) — A South Florida Muslim group sent Congressman Allen West a letter asking him to disassociate himself from activists the group considers anti-Islamic.

Congressman West did respond and the letter he sent back is raising some eyebrows.

If it looks like the shortest letter you’ve ever seen from a member of congress, it probably is. How short? Try one word, in capital letters: “NUTS!”

“I was shocked at first. I didn’t expect this from a congressman,” said Nezar Hamze, the executive director of CAIR Florida — the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“We stand up for the civil rights of the Muslim community. That’s what we do,” said Hamze.

Hamze says he wrote to the congressman earlier this month with his concerns about the congressman’s relationships with groups and people Hamze considers to be anti-Islamic.

“When I first saw that, I wasn’t sure if he was calling me nuts, or he was calling my concerns nuts,” said Hamze.

Constituents in West’s district 22 are just now reading the letter.

“It doesn’t look too professional to me. It doesn’t look thought out,” said one constituent named Chuck.

Simone Oliver, another district 22 constituent thinks it’s fine, but says it needs a little more.

“Maybe another sentence, explaining,” she said.

West has not fully explained his position, but in other letters to CAIR Florida, he has said he is neither anti-Islamic nor anti-Muslim.

Then CBS4 News discovered that during World War II, General Anthony McAuliffe famously wrote a one-word letter to the Germans in response to a surrender ultimatum. The word used: “Nuts!”

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