Fox News may have issued a series of groveling apologies after suggesting England and France had “no go zones” where only Muslims are allowed and which police fear to enter, but senior US politician Bobby Jindal is having none of it.
The Louisiana governor was in London on Monday to press the point that Britain absolutely, absolutely, absolutely is teeming with such hotspots.
The Republican, who is considering a presidential campaign in 2016, said in a speech for a British think tank that some immigrants are seeking “to colonise Western countries, because setting up your own enclave and demanding recognition of a no-go zone are exactly that.”
Speaking to CNN correspondent Max Foster outside the houses of parliament, this remarkable exchange took place:
Bobby Jindal: “I’ve heard it from folks here there are neighbourhoods where women don’t feel comfortable going in without veils, that’s wrong. We all know there are neighbourhoods where police are less likely to go into those neighbourhoods.”
Max Foster: “You need to have proper facts to back that up. I’ve lived here a long time, I don’t know of any no-go zones for non-Muslims.”
Jindal: “I did say so-called no-go zones and I think the radical left absolutely wants to pretend like this problem’s not here. Pretending it’s not here won’t make it go away.”
Foster: “But exaggerating it into a no-go zone is also going too far.”
Jindal: “Look there are people in London who will tell you there are neighbourhoods where women don’t feel safe walking through those neighbourhoods without veils. There are neighbourhoods where the police are less likely to go. That’s a dangerous thing.”
Foster: “To make an assertion like that you need to give me an area where we can look at it because I haven’t heard of one.”
Jindal: “Oh well look, I think your viewers know absolutely there are places where the police are less likely to go. They absolutely know there are neighbourhoods where they wouldn’t feel comfortable they wouldn’t feel comfortable with their wives, their daughters, sisters.”
Foster: “Well, that’s high crime rates, I accept that they feel uncomfortable, it’s not because there are too many Muslims there.”
Jindal: “Look this is not a question, I know the left wants to make this into an attack on religion and that’s not what this is. What we’re saying is it’s absolutely an issue for the UK, it’s absolutely an issue for America and other European and Western nations.”
Last week Steve Emerson, an American author often asked on terror networks told Fox News that in Britain “there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simple don’t go in.”
Emerson’s comments prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to brand him a “complete idiot.”
Emerson later apologised and said his comments "were totally in error." Fox News also issued apologies for broadcasting the comments.
Jindal, however, used similar rhetoric during a speech, warning of "no-go zones" in London and other Western cities.
His remarks come in the wake of the massacre by Islamic extremists at a Paris magazine's offices and subsequent attack on a kosher supermarket in the city. Three gunmen killed 17 people in the attacks.
"I knew that by speaking the truth we were going to make people upset," Jindal told CNN during the interview from London.88888
"The huge issue, the big issue in non-assimilation is the fact that you have people that want to come to our country but not adopt our values, not adopt our language and in some cases want to set apart their own enclaves and hold onto their own values," said Jindal. "I think that's dangerous."
Jindal's parents immigrated to the United States from India. As a young man, Jindal converted from Hinduism to Catholicism.
Democrats said Jindal's comments were a blunder.
"It's no surprise that Bobby Jindal would go abroad and butcher the facts in an effort to divide people; this is exactly what we've come to expect from Jindal here at home," said Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Rebecca Chalif. "Jindal is just embarrassing himself."
Jindal spoke to the Henry Jackson Society, a British think tank named for a former U.S. Democratic senator from Washington state who was a presidential candidate in the 1970s.