Jindal repeats debunked Islamic 'no-go' zone claims
LONDON - In a speech intended to be a boost to his foreign policy credentials, Governor Bobby Jindal repeated debunked claims Monday that followers of Islam are working to create "no-go zones" in Europe hostile to non-Muslims.
In his speech to the Henry Jackson Society in London, Jindal claimed Islam had a "problem" and criticized a supposed practice of Western nations ceding certain neighborhoods to practitioners of Islamic laws.
"The idea that a free country would allow for specific areas of its country to operate in an autonomous way that is not free and is in direct opposition to its laws is hard to fathom," Jindal said.
Similar claims were made by Fox News commentator Steve Emerson last week, along with other segments and guests on the network. Fox later issue multiple retractions and apologies for the claims, saying there was "no credible information" to support the assertions, which Jindal then repeated in his speech Monday. Emerson also issued an apology and stated his comments were "totally in error."
British Prime Minster David Cameron ridiculed Emerson's "no-go zones" claim after it was made.
"When I heard this, frankly, I choked on my porridge and I thought it must be April Fools Day. This guy is clearly a complete idiot," Cameron said.
When questioned by CNN's Wolf Blitzer about his comments and whether he would walk them back, Jindal doubled down.
"And I'm also making a bigger and maybe even more controversial point," he added, "that radical Islam is a grave threat, we need Muslim leaders to denounce the individuals, not just the acts of violence, and also that it is absolutely correct to insist on assimilation" of immigrants in the United States."
Jindal could not provide any evidence to back up his claims, despite repeated requests by Blitzer to do so.
Jindal's office said he is traveling Europe to meet with executives whose companies do business in Louisiana. He's scheduled to co-host a prayer rally on Jan. 24 at LSU's Pete Maravich Center called "The Response," which is the same name and organized by the same people as a rally where Texas' then-Governor Rick Perry announced his intentions to run for president.
Tonight at 6 WBRZ's Mark Armstrong will have reaction from Louisiana Muslims, who had strong words for Jindal.