A Colorado state Senator is raising some eyebrows for praising a Dutch lawmaker’s anti-Islam crusade, saying in an interview that the lawmaker’s proposal to ban the construction of new mosques was worth considering in the United States.
According to the Colorado Statesman, Senator Kevin Grantham attended the Western Conservative Summit in Denver this past week, where Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders delivered a speech calling Islam a, “dangerous, totalitarian ideology,” and saying that to stop the threat of creeping Sharia law, American legislators should ban the construction of new mosques. In an interview with the paper after the speech, Grantham said Wilders’ fear of an Islam was “warranted,” and that his anti-mosque plan was worth hearing out.
From the Statesman:
Regarding Wilders’ suggestion that Western governments ban construction of new mosques, Grantham said it was worth considering.
“You know, we’d have to hear more on that, because, as he said, mosques are not churches like we would think of churches,” Grantham said. “They think of mosques more as a foothold into a society, as a foothold into a community, more in the cultural and in the nationalistic sense. Our churches — we don’t feel that way, they’re places of worship, and mosques are simply not that, and we need to take that into account when approving construction of those.”
The idea of banning mosque construction is nothing new. Former Republican presidential contender Herman Cain, who made numerous critical statements about Muslims on the campaign trail, even suggested doing so while on the stump last year.
Mosques elsewhere in the U.S. have also been targeted by activists aiming to prevent their construction. In New York, the so-called Ground Zero mosque, a Muslim community center two blocks from the former site of the World Trade Center, faced vociferous opposition from well-known anti-Muslim crusaders like Pamela Geller until it finally opened last September. And in Tennessee, a judge recently blocked the construction of a mosque in Murfreesboro over a technicality with the mosque’s approval process. That mosque had already faced the ire of local conservatives, and it became a national story after the mosque and construction equipment left out to build it were mysteriously damaged in a fire.
Jon Terbush is a Boston-based writer whose work has appeared in Talking Points Memo, Business Insider, the New Haven Register, and elsewhere. He tweets about politics, cats, and baseball via @jonterbush.
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