Colorado State Senator Kevin Grantham got on the wrong side of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) after expressing interest in following the lead of Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders when it comes to erecting new mosques.
Wilders recently said at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, according to the Colorado Statesman:
“My view, in a nutshell, is that Islam, rather than a religion, is predominantly a totalitarian ideology striving for world dominance... I believe that Islam and freedom are incompatible.
“I do not have a problem with Muslims...There are many moderate Muslims. I always make a distinction between the people and the ideology. There are indeed many moderate Muslims. But believe me, there is no such thing as a moderate Islam — there is only one Islam, and that is a dangerous, totalitarian ideology that is intolerant, that is violent, that should not be tolerated by us but that should be contained.” [Emphasis added]
Most significantly, according to reports, Wilders remarked:
“More Islam means more intolerance, more Sharia and less freedom... We must stop immigration from Islamic countries, we must expel criminal immigrants, we must forbid the construction of new mosques. There is enough Islam in the West already.” [Emphasis added]
After the Wilders speech, Grantham reportedly expressed an interest in considering the same measures in Colorado.
The state senator told the Colorado Statesman:
“You know, we’d have to hear more on that, because, as (Wilders) said, mosques are not churches like we would think of churches... 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.”
And Grantham's comments predictably drew the ire of the CAIR.
“The only news is that it’s no longer news that a Republican lawmaker spews anti-Muslim bigotry,” said Ibrahim Hooper, the organization's communications director.
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He also added that Wilders is not a "controversial figure," but "a straight-up bigot."
"There’s no controversy about it. Yet he’s invited everywhere. He’s on Fox with Hannity. It’s sad but it’s not news that Republicans [like Grantham] embrace him,” Hooper said.
“Where do they get the information?... It’s this perfect storm of Islamophobia. The Tea Party voters watching the population of the United States change. White people becoming a minority. You see it in the absurd accusations that President Obama is a Muslim."
While, like Wilders said, there are countless moderate Muslims, there is certainly a strong streak of world-dominance among the religion's more extreme adherents.
The current prime minister of Turkey once wrote a poem, according to the BBC, that seemingly summarizes the concerns of men like Geert Wilders and Kevin Grantham.
It reads: "The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets, and the faithful our soldiers."
This post has been updated.