Jindal refuses to back down from "no-go" zone claims
BATON ROUGE- Governor Bobby Jindal didn't back down Wednesday from controversial statements he made this week in London about Muslims. He repeated his belief about so-called "no-go" zones, areas where he says non-Muslims aren't welcome.
"The left doesn't want to admit that this lack of assimilation is now creating these groups where they are trying to impose sharia law," said Jindal. The governor can't name specific communities where the no-go zones are located, but he cited a British police chief who affirms their existence. Similar claims made by Fox News commentator Steve Emerson were later retracted, with Emerson apologizing and Fox News saying there was no credible information to support the claims.
Officially Jindal and his wife were in Europe on a trip to encourage foreign companies to invest in Louisiana. But political analysts say the trip is about politics.
"I think it was a taxpayer-funded presidential campaign trip," said LSU professor Bob Mann. Jindal has not officially announced a run for the Oval Office.
Other analysts say the governor's controversial speech about Muslims had nothing to do with religion.
"Remember Jindal is running as a very conservative part of the Republican party, the anti-tax, the religious-right crowd," said pollster Bernie Pinsonat.
Jindal says the economic development portion of his trip was a success. "It was a great opportunity to talk to companies that already have a presence here, as well as companies that are making huge investments in our state," said Jindal.
Some liberal-leaning analysts believe Jindal's comments on Muslims could hurt Louisiana's chances for foreign investment. "Do they really want to send their businesses and corporations, their workers to a state that's governed by a guy like that? I seriously doubt they will," said Mann.
Yet, conservative analysts think the governors comments won't matter.
"Democrats can make that claim, but I don't really believe it. I've been doing this a long time and I worked for the United States Senate, that's just not how it works," said Pinsonat.
Jindal isn't out of the waters of controversy yet. Saturday the governor will be a guest speakers at a Baton Rouge prayer rally held at LSU. The event is sponsored by the American Family Association, an organization some call a hate group for its views on homo-sexuality.