Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Opinion: Walsh Says Radical Islam Has Infiltrated Suburbia

“Islam is not the peaceful, loving religion we hear about.”

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Update: In a rare walkback for the congressman, Walsh's congressional website released the following statement Thursday about his controversial comments. Those comments included the statement "Islam is not the peaceful, loving religion we hear about."

    From the Walsh Website: “The threat that radical Islam poses to American families and our way of life is not anything new.  It is a real threat.  The Committee on Homeland Security, of which I am a member, has held five hearings that examined the threat of Muslim radicalization, especially radicalization within the Muslim-American community.  Members of the Committee are not alone in this—even Attorney General Holder and Janet Napolitano of the Obama Administration have warned about the dangers of radical Islam.”

    “We cannot let political correctness blind us to reality.  While most Muslims in America and around the world are as peace loving as the rest of us, we would be foolish to ignore the fact that there is a radical minority that simply wants to destroy America and the values that we stand for.  A recent Pew Poll said that 15% of Muslim-American men between the age of 18 and 29 could support suicide bombings.  How people can dismiss things like that, I don’t understand, but I won’t.  It is our responsibility as Members of Congress to protect American families.”

     

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    The same week a crazed white supremacist murderer killed six Sikhs at a temple in the suburbs of Milwaukee, a crazed, filterless congressman told an audience in the suburbs of Chicago that Muslims in their midst are plotting to kill Americans.

    The congressman, needless to say, was Rep. Joe Walsh, Tea Party-Ill. In adding the Islamic faith to his ever-expanding Burn Book, Walsh told a town hall meeting in Elk Grove Village that radical Muslims have infiltrated suburban Chicago, and can only be stopped by “godly men and women” in Congress.

    “It’s a real threat,” Walsh said, in remarks taped by an audience member and reported on Salon.  “And it’s a threat that is much more at home now than it was right after 9/11.”

    Radical Islam “is in Elk Grove, it’s in Addison, it’s in Elgin. It’s here.”

    The remarks — captured on tape — came in response to an Egyptian-American audience member who said Muslims are taking over America and charged the freshman congressman to take a more aggressive stance against the religion.
    “I’m looking for some godly men and women in the Senate, in the Congress, who will stand in the face of the danger of Islam in America without political correctness,” the man said.  “Islam is not the peaceful, loving religion we hear about.”  
     The line was met with applause.
    “Can you say ‘Fort Hood’?” Walsh continued, referring to the 2009 shooting at the Texas military base which left 13 dead and 29 wounded.  A report concluded the shooter, Nidal Malik Hasan, was a homegrown terrorist.
    “Your government was so afraid of doing its job, so afraid of offending Islam, that right in front of our noses, they saw what was happening at Fort Hood and because the government’s politically correct, Americans died.”

    This is not Walsh’s first attack on Islam. After National Security Agency officials met with members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Walsh criticized the Obama Adminstration for recognizing “a group that would be happy to see women's rights returned to the Stone Age.”

     This month, Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland’s Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President will be available on Kindle for $2.99. Tracing Obama’s career in Chicago from his arrival as a community organizer to his election to the U.S. Senate, Young Mr. Obama tells the story of how a callow, presumptuous young man became a master politician, and of why only Chicago could have produced our first black president.