Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Walsh to Meet With Muslims

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Rep. Joe Walsh, who antagonized the world’s second-largest religion by claiming that radical Muslims have infiltrated the Chicago suburbs, and are trying to kill Americans, will meet with Muslims tonight in Lombard.

    Walsh pissed off his Muslim constituents (to use a Walsh-ism) when he told a town hall meeting in Elk Grove Village that, “There is a radical stream of Islam in this country, not just over there, that are trying to kill Americans. It is a real threat. It’s in Elk Grove, it’s in Addison, it’s in Elgin.”

    The meeting is scheduled to take place in the home of Moin Khan, a leader in the Muslim community and Republican who sat on the York Township Board of Trustees. Khan was the first Muslim elected to public office in DuPage County. Khan is known for his efforts to bring together suburban Republicans and Muslims. In 2005, he helped organized the Islamic Foundation Annual Dinner in Villa Park, which was attended by Rep. Judy Biggert, now-State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, now-Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, State Sen. Kirk Dillard, and perennial candidate Jim Oberweis. The dinner was also attended by the executive director of the Chicago chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, a an organization Walsh has said has “ties to terrorism.”

    “It looks like Congressman Joe Walsh is not familiar with the diversity in his district at all,” Khan told the Huffington Post. “No matter how much he accused us, we are going to be very tolerant, and we would like to just show him our identity, our culture and how truly American we are.”

    Walsh’s new district includes mosques in Des Plaines, Elgin, Carol Stream, Glen Ellyn, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, Streamwood, and Villa Park.

    Walsh acknowledged to the Daily Herald that most Muslims are not out of to kill Americans.

    “There is a real threat in this country, and it does come from a radical strain of Islam,” he said. “Having said that, the vast, vast majority of Muslim Americans in this country are peace-loving, patriotic Americans. So both of those things need to be said.”

     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.