Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) is defending his controversial allegation about purported immigrant “no-go zones” in Europe by citing the work of a group headed by Fox News contributor John Bolton. Fox News has helped propagate the myth, and was recently forced to repeatedly apologize for its role in spreading the claims.
During a speech this week in London, Jindal claimed some immigrants are trying “to colonize Western countries because setting up your own enclave and demanding recognition of a no-go zone are exactly that.” He also said, according to prepared remarks: “In the West, non-assimilationist Muslims establish enclaves and carry out as much of Sharia law as they can without regard for the laws of the democratic countries which provided them a new home.”
Jindal's remarks echoed a similar falsehood promoted by frequent Fox News guest Steve Emerson. The purported terrorism expert claimed that the English city of Birmingham is “totally Muslim” and a place “where non-Muslims just simply don't go in.” Emerson and Fox News were subsequently forced to apologize. Fox also previously cited the alleged existence of “no-go zones.”
Jindal has not been apologetic. His office recently released a document titled, “Setting the record straight: Reports of 'no-go zones' in Europe.” The document leads with: “Ambassador John Bolton's Gatestone Institute Chronicled Dozens Of Reports Of 'No-Go' Zones In Europe.” The document predominantly relied on Gatestone but also cited Daily Mail, CNN, The Washington Times, and The Daily Caller.
The Republican appeared on the January 21 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto. Cavuto said the term “no-go zones was wrong. I mean we reported the same, and we were wrong, we botched it, we apologized for it, you are not, I take it.” Jindal said he wasn't apologizing, claiming “there are neighborhoods in the U.K. and in France that have been documented, very well documented, by Ambassador Bolton and others.”
The Atlantic's David A. Graham explored the no-go zones myth and wrote that “Jindal is plainly wrong” and “there's no evidence for no-go zones and some of the highest-profile propagators of the idea have repudiated it.”
The Associated Press noted that “Like many other countries, Britain and France have crime-plagued neighborhoods where outsiders risk muggings and violence. In Europe, some of these areas are predominantly Muslim, in large part because they were settled by poor families from former colonies with Muslim majorities. While drug gangs and radical imams sometimes vie for influence in these zones, none is subject to the rule of Sharia.”
Bolton is the chairman of The Gatestone Institute, which describes itself as “dedicated to educating the public about what the mainstream media fails to report.” It has frequently written about alleged no-go zones, claiming “no-go zones is well documented, but multiculturalists and their politically correct supporters vehemently deny that they exist.” The Institute even criticizes Bolton's employer, Fox News, for issuing “politically correct denials” about no-go zones.
Jindal is a potential 2016 presidential candidate. BuzzFeed reported in December that Bolton has been “advising him on foreign policy, according to a top Jindal aide.”