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.
In a speech in London, Bobby Jindal, the Republican Governor of Louisiana, said in some European countries, certain immigrant communities lived outisde the reach of the law and police.
“[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. 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.
Steven Emerson, an American author who often is asked about terror networks, told Fox News that in Britain “there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don't go in”.
Prime Minister David Cameron responded by calling Mr Emerson a “complete idiot”. Mr Emerson later apologised and said his comments were in error. Fox News also issued apologies for broadcasting the comments, which were made following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in France that left 17 people dead.
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.
Mr Jindal’s parents came to the US from India, shortly before he was born. He converted to Christianity from Hinduism and has been active in courting the support of conservative Christians as he evaluates the prospect of a White House run. Reports say his advisors consider the comments he made on his overseas trip as truth-telling about the radical corners of Islam.
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.
However, Democrats said Mr Jindal’s comments were a mistake.
“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.”Reuse content