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Thursday, January 22nd, l2014

Baton Rouge, Louisiana



 Louisiana’s feisty absentee Governor Bobby Jindal sure knows how some things that are not politically correct, so brace yourselves.” So naturally, I held onto my desk, took a deep breath, assumed the worst, and braced myself.

 The Republican presidential wannabe was on the political warpath. He didn’t mince words in firmly stating: “Let’s be honest here. Islam has a problem.” He went on to elaborate that Muslims should reject terrorism and should strongly speak out saying “acts of terror in the name of Islam is in fact not practicing Islam at all. If they refuse to say this, they are condoning these acts of barbarism.”

 So far, so good for Jindal. But he then muddied his message by claiming that Europe was full of “no-go” zones where Muslim communities are enforcing sharia law on residents, ignoring the laws of the country in which they are living. His speech was given in London, and the Times Picayune reported that British Prime Minister David Cameron’s reaction was swift and blunt: “When I heard this, I frankly choked on my porridge and I thought it must be an April fools day.” Cameron and numerous other commentators rebuffed Jindal’s assertions, saying that no such “no-go” zones existed anywhere in Britain or Europe.

 So Jindal stumbled on the “no-go” zone issue. But on the separate anxieties of rejecting terrorism among one’s cluster, the Louisiana Governor was right on. Most all of us would agree. Jindal’s problem is that he micro focuses on those who believe in Islam, and seems to conclude that not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists seem to be Muslims.  Is he right?

 If the Governor did a little research, he might be surprised to learn that a large majority of terrorist attacks in Europe and the U.S. are not committed by Muslims. The European Union’s police force, Europol, recently released a study showing that in the past five years, less than 2% of all terrorist attacks were by Muslims. The vast majorities were committed by various separatist groups who are demanding their independence. High on the list in other countries were Buddhist terrorists, who have killed hundreds of Muslims. The list of non-Muslim terrorist attacks is extensive throughout the U.S. and throughout the world.

 If you go to the FBI website, data is listed showing terrorist attacks in the U.S since 1980. The figures show that all terrorists are Muslims; well, except for the 94% that are not. The breakdown indicates that terrorism was undertaken in this order: Latino (42%), extreme left wing groups (24%), others (16%), Jewish extremists (7%), Islamic extremists (6%), Communists (5%).

 One of the most recent studies of terrorism in the U.S. was released last year by my alma mater, the University of North Carolina. It concludes that since the 9/11 attacks, Muslim-linked terrorism caused the deaths of 37 Americans. In 2013, you were more likely to be killed in the U.S. by a toddler than by a terrorist. The Boston Marathon bombers killed three Americans. Five toddlers accidently caused deaths by firing guns.

 Now I’m not saying the Governor Jindal is some right wing Islamophobe who is inflaming us to live in mortal fear of radical Muslims. Well, maybe not. Unfortunately, he has a habit, in dealing with Louisiana issues, of trying to convince us the perception is reality. I’m going to give the Governor the benefit of the doubt. In coming weeks, I’ll look for him to tell us more things that, in his words, are “not politically correct.” Time for Jindal to start naming names and kicking butt. Time for him to speak out against terrorists from all walks of life, including Hispanics, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus; the whole lot where extreme religious terrorism exists.

 Better yet, with less than a year left in his term as governor, maybe its time for him to get back home and perform the job he was elected to do. Rather than putting his focus on terrorists, he may want to consider traveling back to the Bayou State and tell us “things that are not politically correct” about keeping the rocky Louisiana ship of state a float. But don’t “brace” yourself.

 Peace and Justice

 Jim Brown

 Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide.  You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownla.com. You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9 am till 11:00 am, central time, on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at http://www.jimbrownla.com.


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