One of the horrible political developments of the past few years has been the complete acceptance of radical anti-Muslim hatred by the Republican Party. The nastiest bigoted conspiracy theories and fear-mongering have become totally mainstream GOP positions; fantasies about shariah law taking over America, accusations of terrorist ties against innocent people, outright lies everywhere you turn.
There’s plenty to criticize George W. Bush for, but one thing he got right was his refusal to demonize all Muslims for the terrorism of Al Qaeda after 9/11. But nowadays there’s absolutely nobody in the Republican Party with the courage to stand against the tide of hate speech and bigotry, and right wing media and blogs are just chock full of anti-Muslim ranting, every single day.
And today’s awful case in point: representatives Steve King (R-IA) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX) have invited notorious far right Dutch Islamophobe Geert Wilders to speak on Capitol Hill and to a group founded by Newt Gingrich.
In a recent apt example, notorious anti-Islam and far-right Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders has announced he will be addressing members of Congress at two events later this month. Wilders, who has called for a ban on the Qur’an, the construction of new mosques, and Muslim headscarves, boasted on his blog of his invitation to the United States by members of Congress. His invitees are none other than far-right congressmen Steve King (R-IA), known for his vociferous anti-immigrant stances, and Louie Gohmert (R-TX), infamous for his House floor tirades about “terror babies” and claims that “radical Islamists” are pretending to be Hispanics to come to the United States. The trans-Atlantic alliance is in fact a match made in heaven, as Wilders’ conspiratorial and xenophobic views align well with the extreme right fringe of the Republican Party.
After inquiries to Gohmert’s office for additional details about the April 29 reception, his staff merely told me that Gohmert had invited the Dutch politician to speak on Capitol Hill but that Gohmert is not hosting the reception. Wilders is also expected to speak at a breakfast the same day for lawmakers belonging to the Conservative Opportunity Society, a group that was founded by former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich. “I feel deeply honored by the invitations. In my speeches I will warn my American colleagues of the dangers of Islamization,” wrote Wilders on his personal blog.