Jindal stuck after spreading discredited myth

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Bobby Jindal slams ‘no-go zones,’ pushes ‘assimilation’.

A senior US politician tipped as a possible presidential candidate has weighed into the controversy over alleged Muslim no-go areas in Europe claiming that some minority communities are seeking to “colonise” the West.Washington — Some countries have allowed Muslims to establish autonomous neighborhoods in cities where they govern by a harsh version of Islamic law, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), as expected, traveled to London yesterday and delivered a striking set of remarks, arguing among other things, “It is startling to think that any country would allow, even unofficially, for a so-called ‘no-go zone.’” To briefly recap, far-right voices have pushed a line, amplified by conservative media, that in Britain and elsewhere, there are Muslim-majority communities in which non-Muslims – even local law enforcement – simply do not go. In a speech in London, Bobby Jindal, the Republican Governor of Louisiana, said in some European countries, certain immigrant communities lived outide the reach of the law and opolice “[Some immigrant communities are trying to] colonise Western countries, because setting up your own enclave and demanding recognition of a no-go zone [is] exactly that,” he said during a speech at the Henry Jackson Society, right-wing think tank.

Bobby Jindal on Monday decried the prospect of so-called “no-go zones,” in which countries supposedly give up local control of certain areas to autonomous Muslim immigrants, days after Fox News issued several corrections in the wake of a guest’s assertion that such areas exist in places like Britain and France. He said Muslim leaders must condemn people who carry out terror attacks in the name of jihad as “murderers who are going to hell”. “I knew that by speaking the truth we were going to make people upset,” he later told CNN. “The huge issue, the big issue in non-assimilation is the fact that you have people that want to come to our country but not adopt our values, not adopt our language and in some cases want to set apart their own enclaves and hold onto their own values.” The comments of Mr Jindal, 43, who is currently considering a run for the White House, followed similar comments by presenters on the Fox News channel, among them a now notorious claim that non-Muslims were not welcome in the city of Birmingham and that “Muslim religious police” enforce faith-based laws. The Republican, who is considering a presidential campaign in 2016, later defended — and repeated — the statement after facing reporters’ questions about his claims.

But pressed for specific examples of such no-go zones, Jindal demurred, saying he had met with “elected officials and others” to discuss them and noted a report in UK tabloid the Daily Mail that purported to highlight the challenges facing law enforcement in such areas. I’ve lived here a long time; I don’t know of any ‘no-go zones.’” The Republican replied: “Well, I did say ‘so-called no-go zones.’ I think that the radical left absolutely wants to pretend like this problem is not here. Jindal was also unable to offer examples during an earlier interview with CNN’s Max Foster, saying that he’s “heard from folks here that there are neighborhoods where women don’t feel comfortable going in without veils …

Pretending it’s not here won’t make it go away,” he told Foster. “I know the Left wants to make this into an attack on religion and that’s not what this is. Mr Jindal, who served in the government of George W Bush, has been seeking to promote himself as a social conservative and define his brand in what is becoming an increasingly crowded field of early potential candidates for the Republican nomination. He opposes abortion and gay marriage, and pushed for the creation of a voucher program in Louisiana that uses tax dollars to pay for children to attend religious schools. Muslim leaders need to “condemn anyone who commits these acts of violence, and clearly state that these people are evil and are enemies of Islam,” he added. Such rhetoric may help his standing among evangelical pastors, who have sway over many voters in early nominating states in the presidential race such as Iowa and South Carolina, the Associated Press reported. “It’s no surprise that Bobby Jindal would go abroad and butcher the facts in an effort to divide people; this is exactly what we’ve come to expect from Jindal here at home,” said Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Rebecca Chalif. “Jindal is just embarrassing himself.”

Fox News, however, issued a formal apology for the remarks, with host Julie Banderas retracting the comments as “regrettable errors” and saying the network “deeply regret[s] the errors and apologize[s] to any and all who may have taken offense.” But a Jindal aide said the governor stuck largely to the text as prepared, which included the criticism of the zones. And the remarks have drawn praise from conservatives and national media attention at a time when the potential presidential contender is looking to raise his profile in time for a White House bid. “It is the toughest speech I have read on the whole issue of Islamic radicalism and its destructive, murdering, barbarous ways which are upsetting the entire world,” Kudlow wrote in an op-ed. He is abroad while Louisiana is facing a budget crisis of his own making — he can’t even govern his state, he is the last person we want wading into foreign policy.”

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