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 reality, these “no-go zones” do not exist, a point even Fox News conceded over the weekend.
Jindal nevertheless continues to pretend the far-right myth is real, adding that “Islam has a problem.” In his remarks yesterday, referring to Muslims, the Louisiana Republican and likely presidential candidate went on to say, “[I]t is their problem, and they need to deal with it.”
After the speech, Jindal told NBC News that he supports “legal immigration,” but added, “[I]n many ways, you’re looking at folks that want to come and, in some ways, they want to overturn our culture they want to come in and almost colonize our countries.”
In a separate interview with CNN, Jindal continued to push the “no-go zones” argument, prompting a British interviewer to say, “You have to have proper facts to back that up. 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. Pretending it’s not here won’t make it go away.”
Remember, Jindal’s the one who said he wants Republicans to stop being “the stupid party.”
The interview between the governor and CNN’s Max Foster continued to be cringe-worthy:
FOSTER: Exaggerating [a possible problem] to “no-go zones” is also going too far.JINDAL: There are people here in London who will tell you there are neighborhoods where women don’t feel safe walking through those neighborhoods without veils. There are neighborhoods where the police are less likely to go. That’s a dangerous thing.FOSTER: When you make an assertion like that, you need to give me the area, so we can look at it, because I haven’t heard of one.
When Jindal said there are dangerous parts of London where people are uncomfortable, Foster explained that there are areas with higher crime rates, but “it’s not because there are too many Muslims there.”
Jindal replied, “I know the left wants to make this into an attack on religion and that’s not what this is.”
Got it. The far-right Republican just delivered a speech in which he said “Islam has a problem,” and brazenly sticks to a lie about imaginary “no-go zones” for non-Muslims, but it’s “the left” that “wants to make this into an attack on religion.”
It’s certainly possible that Republican presidential primary voters will find Jindal’s paranoid incoherence persuasive, but for everyone else, Jindal’s British escapade was more shameful than presidential.