Gingrich and Bolton Back Away From the New Islamophobes

One interesting nugget from Josh Nathan-Kazis’s Forward article on the various Sept. 11 events going on at Ground Zero:

In addition to Wilders, the rally [led by Pamela Geller] will feature a videotaped address by John Bolton, ambassador to the United Nations during the second Bush administration, and speeches by Republican political candidates and by a conservative radio host. Former GOP House speaker Newt Gingrich was previously listed as a speaker, but he is not attending. A spokesman for Gingrich said that he had never intended to attend, and that the listing was based on a misunderstanding.

While it’s impossible to know the actual story, it sure sounds like Gingrich decided that associating himself with the likes of Geller and Geerts Wilders was not a sound political strategy for a 2012 presidential hopeful. Similarly, it’s notable that even John Bolton — who is about as far right as any high-profile U.S. political figure, and who wrote the forward to Geller and Robert Spencer’s latest book — is declining to appear in person. Perhaps Gingrich and Bolton calculated that there is a not-insignificant chance that Geller’s Muslim hatefest will end in some kind of “incident” — see the near-miss at last week’s Ground Zero rally for an idea of what this would look like — in which case participation at the rally would become politically toxic for whoever was involved.

As I wrote a couple weeks ago, one of the most important stories about the whole controversy over the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” is the extent to which prominent Republican political figures, most notably Gingrich, have mainstreamed a virulently Islamophobic discourse that was once limited to the right-wing fringes. Does Gingrich’s pulling out of the Geller rally mean that he has reconsidered the wisdom of trying to carve out a niche for himself as America’s most prominent Islamophobe? It would be premature to say so for sure, but keep an eye on Gingrich and other prominent Republican opinion-makers in the months to come.

13 thoughts on “Gingrich and Bolton Back Away From the New Islamophobes”

  1. I wonder What would be the reaction of catholics such as Rudy Giuliani and Pat Buchanan who are opposed to the center ,and demand that Muslims show sensetivity if some people demanded that a catholic church should not be built in their nighbourhood?Since all muslims must forever be collectivlly branded guilty for the sins of the few.

    1. I agree. Lets stop invading the world. Lets also stop inviting the world too. I opposed the war in Iraq from day one. I also believe muslim immigration to the west is of no benefit and is a substantial burden.

      1. Speaking of which, how do we know who is Muslim or not? Do we make all new immigrants eat pork? Swear on a cross?

        And what do we do if they, oh I don't know, say "I'm not a Muslim", but then once inside they started to pray 5 times a day? Do we criminalize Islam for non-citizens?

        1. If it's not your property, how do you propose to forbid a Muslim to walk on this land mass?

          1. I'm not quite sure what your saying here, but I'm guessing its the old "your ancestor was an immigrant, therefore you have no right to criticize immigrants" (that was about 350 years ago in my particular case). By this "logic" no American from the south has a right to criticize slavery in the world today because his ancestor was perhaps a slaveowner. By this "logic" no German has a right to condemn a possible future Jewish holocaust because his ancestor may have participated in the final solution. Such a bizarre "logic" to base an immigration policy upon indeed! I see no obvious need or benefit to the west from muslim immigration, a point nobody here has refuted or even challenged. I see no gain to Britain from the presence of welfare consuming Pakistanis. I don't see any way the millions of burdensome, arson and riot prone Algerians, Arabs and Africans bring to France. Whose "property" is France? The French or the muslims? Even the ultra liberal and tolerant Dutch now show solid majorities agreeing that mass immigration was the greatest mistake in their country's history.

        2. I think it is fairly easy to know which countries are essentially Islamic and which are not. Please don't be trite. I see no benefit to the west from muslim immigration. Stopping immigration altogether might not be a bad thing either.

          1. andy, I see no benefit to your life anywhere on this planet. Your degenerate moma should have been sterlized!

          2. Okay then, if it's not your property, how do you propose to forbid anyone at all from walking on this land mass? Still too trite?

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