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BR residents call Jindal's speech 'racist'

4 years 8 months 3 weeks ago Monday, January 19 2015 Jan 19, 2015 January 19, 2015 6:04 PM January 19, 2015 in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Mark Armstrong

BATON ROUGE- Local Muslims had strong words for Governor Bobby Jindal and his speech about Islam where the governor attacked moderate Muslims for not standing up to radicals.

"Its very shallow, and very unfortunate, and very racist," said Ma'moun Sukkar, a member of the Islamic Center of Baton Rouge.

"He's looking for national recognition for possibly running for president," Sukkar added. Jindal is in Europe for an economic tour, something many speculate was designed to bolster his foreign policy credentials for a possible run for president.

In an interview with CNN, Jindal said, "We need Muslim leaders to stand up and denounce these radical Islamists."  His comments were made in London and in the wake of a terrorist attack in Paris that targeted a satirical magazine.

Sukkar and other members of the ICBR claim they've been speaking out against terrorism for years.

"First of all, all the Islamic leaders in the west have condemned what happened in Paris," said Sukkar.

Jindal also criticized Muslim immigrants to western countries for not assimilating.

"The fact that you got people who want to come to our country but not adopt our values, in some cases not adopt our language, in some cases, want to set apart their own enclaves, and continue to hold on to their own values, I think that's dangerous," said Jindal.

But Sukkar says the governor is way off base.

"We go to the same grocery stores, we go to the movies, we go to restaurants, we go to the same schools together," pointed out Sukkar.

Sukkar is worried Jindal wants Louisiana Muslims to do more than just assimilate, he fears the governor wants them to give up their culture.

"Does it mean we have to renounce our religion and our culture? That's not what this country was built on. This country is a melting pot for everybody," said Sukkar.

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