Jindal Lacks Details on Foreign Policy Questions Regarding Comments on Muslims
Lousiana Governor Bobby Jindal has come under media scrutiny for his recent comments about Muslims in Europe. Among other comments, Jindal stated that there were certain areas in Western states where there are Muslim “no-go” zones where the state cannot and does not get involved in the area’s affairs.
These seem to be quite similar comments to those of Fox News Analyst Steven Emerson, who, when speaking about Birmingham, in England, talked about areas that were Muslim controlled, and where non-Muslims do not go. However, when challenged on this point (by many Muslims and non-Muslims in Birmingham, as well as many others), Emerson apologized for his comments. However, Jindal did not apologize for his statements.
Interestingly, when he was asked to give examples of where these areas are, he did not provide any evidence.
This seems to be Jindal trying to rile up individuals on the issue of Islam. Sadly, that approach is not going to help with voters in the United States, and shows how little Jindal knows about Islam and about foreign issues. Furthermore, Democrats spoke on Jindal’s statements, criticizing the comments. For example, Democratic national Committee spokesperson Rebecca Chalif was quoted as saying that
“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. Jindal is just embarrassing himself. He is abroad while Louisiana is facing a budget crisis of his own making — he can’t even govern his state, he is the last person we want wading into foreign policy…”
One hopes that leaders should be knowledgable about foreign affairs. Yet, in this current environment, sadly, some are so quick to try to paint broad pictures of Islam, and make statements without facts to back them up. I don’t see how his comments are at all productive in the discourse on extremism, and on Islam. Sadly, I worry that we will see many others continuing to make such statements, whether it is to maintain certain talking points that they believe will help them with constituents, or whether they just don’t have a nuanced understanding of foreign affairs. Whatever the case may be, we will continue to follow examples of leaders who are trying to make statements on Islam and on foreign policy, but that seem to be clearly lacking in deep understanding of problems and their causes, and also discuss political leaders, as well as any past or presently aspiring political leaders (such as potential presidential candidates, for example) who may be failing to offer tangible solutions to these issues.