Bobby Jindal's new 2016 strategy: Islamophobia

Louisiana governor fans fears of Muslim "no-go zones," but can't identify any that exist

Published January 20, 2015 3:26PM (EST)

  (AP/Molly Riley)
(AP/Molly Riley)

Deeply unpopular at home and eclipsed by flashier contenders, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal no longer looks like the Republican version of Barack Obama, circa 2008, ahead of his potential White House bid next year. But Jindal is determined to break through, pandering to the elements of "the stupid party" he once decried and even adding pounds to his once-gaunt frame. In the wake of this month's terror attacks in France, Jindal sees yet another way to revive his sagging political fortunes: Islamophobia.

During a speech before the Henry Jackson Society in London on Monday, the governor decried so-called "no-go zones," areas in some European countries where non-Muslims allegedly are not allowed to enter.

"In the West, non-assimilationist Muslims establish enclaves and carry out as much of Sharia law as they can without regard for the laws of the democratic countries which provided them a new home,” Jindal said, per CNN. “It is startling to think that any country would allow, even unofficially, for a so-called ‘no-go zone.’”

Fox News attracted widespread ridicule last week after network"terrorism expert" Steven Emerson claimed that there were entire areas in Britain where non-Muslims were prohibited.

"In Britain, it’s not just no-go zones," Emerson said. "There are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in. And parts of London, there are actually Muslim religious police that actually beat and actually wound seriously anyone who doesn't dress according to Muslim, religious Muslim attire."

Fox later apologized for Emerson's remarks, noting that there are no officially designated "no-go zones" and that Birmingham is not, in fact, "totally Muslim." But in its apology, Fox still seemed to suggest that there may be de facto "no-go zones," even if there aren't any de jure ones.

Jindal adopted that tack, too, insisting in a post-speech interview with CNN's Max Foster that in some neighborhoods, police and unveiled women dare not enter.

"There are people here in London that will tell you there are neighborhoods where the women don't feel safe walking through those neighborhoods without veils," Jindal said. "There are neighborhoods where the police are less likely to go."

But when pressed to identify such neighborhoods, Jindal demurred, launching into an attack on "the Left."

"Look, I know the Left wants to make this into an attack on religion and that's not what this is," he said. "What we are saying it's absolutely an issue for the UK, absolutely is an issue for America and other European and Western nations."

Watch the governor's pathetic attempt to back up his claims below, via TPM:

By Luke Brinker

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