Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is pandering to "a growing anti-Muslim subculture" among evangelical Christians, writes Arif Rafiq in Politico magazine
Rafiq is a contributor to Pakistan's Express Tribune and an expert on Pakistan at the Washington-based Middle East Institute
. He also operates Vizier Consulting
He writes that Jindal "has a Muslim problem."
The governor's comments that there are Muslim no-go zones in Europe are a "lie" that Jindal refuses to retract, Rafiq writes.
"It's a sad thing" when someone who "changed his name from 'Piyush' to 'Bobby' and paints himself as a model immigrant" engages in "Muslim-baiting" in order to "aggressively" court evangelical conservatives, writes Rafiq.
He charges evangelicals with championing America's wars in Muslim lands and being "consistently" ready to "support torture" of Muslims.
"Evangelicals tend to see America's challenge with jihadism not as part of a war with a radical strain within the world's 1.6 billion Muslims, but as part of a broader war between the Christian (or Judeo-Christian) West and Islam," writes Rafiq.
Rev. Franklin Graham used a recent Fox News appearance on the Sean Hannity's show to encourage Muslims to convert to Christianity. Such proselytizing is offensive to Muslims, writes Rafiq.
As mainstream Protestants, Catholics and Jews often work to build ecumenical bridges to Muslim America, evangelicals instead engage in "Islamophobia," according to Rafiq. Well-paid speeches by Brigitte Gabriel
and Walid Shoebat before evangelical audiences inculcate attitudes of disdain toward ordinary Muslim-Americans, he writes.
In Rafiq's view, there are two Americas. In Jindal's America a "person of color has to erase his ancestry" and demonize "another minority" to gain the backing of Republican-voting white evangelicals.
The other America is pluralistic, a place "where you can be named Barack Hussein Obama and serve two terms as president." That America appreciates its "ethnic, racial, and religious diversity."
And that is the America worth preserving despite its flaws, writes Rafiq.
Meanwhile, The Atlantic magazine
reported that it had traced the source of the no-go "myth" to three "misconceptions."
There are indeed non-assimilationist Muslim enclaves in Europe that strive to operate by Sharia law. Vigilante Sharia squads do hold limited sway in such places as the Whitechapel neighborhood of East London, but as CNN reported, they are "ad hoc groups." And there are "sensitive urban zones" in France where authorities sometimes are hesitant to enter.
None of these, though, prove that Islamists have taken over areas in Europe or the United States, the magazine reported.
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