Tuesday, July 26th, 2011
62

Anders Breivik, The American Tea Party, Norway and "Sharia Creep"

The attacks were "a despicable act directed at everyone in Norway," said Siv Jensen, the leader of the Norwegian Progress Party. While her assessment of the 76 dead and nearly 100 injured may be philosophically true, it's technically false. The bombing and mass shooting late last week was in fact directed at a very specific group of Norwegians. These "summer camp" teens weren't shot for taking canoe lessons; they were shot for being political activists, or children of such. (This was something made very clear by Tea Party leader Glenn Beck, when he functionally ended his corporate career days later by comparing the dead to Hitler Youth).

After years of ratcheted-up rhetoric, it was only a matter of time before some right-winger deduced to take what he saw as the natural next step. Still, it's a surprise that Anders Breivik's manifesto argues for creating "a cultural Euro-version of a Tea Party movement"—since one already exists. Norway's Progress Party is a smaller-government, low-taxes, culturally conservative movement based on Christianity that, besides the diacritics, is nearly identical to the Tea Party. Breivik belonged to the party for some time. Progress Party leaders have made it a point to note that he left the party; Breivik himself still endorses the party in his 1,500-page diary, writing that he "strongly recommends followers extend their Facebook networks to like-minded individuals overseas and to, amongst others groups, join the Progress Party."

The Progress Party is no lunatic fringe. In 2010, speaking on behalf of the Republican Party of the United States, then-Chairman Michael Steele sent a letter beginning "To My Friends at the Progress Party of Norway." He wrote: "I look forward to your continued growth."

Also in 2010, the head of U.S. Tea Party seed group Americans for Prosperity, Tim Phillips, addressed the Progress Party convention, cementing the relationship. It makes sense; the Progress Party is simply a populism movement and, despite all its rhetoric, that's all America's Tea Party is as well.

Phillips and Steele needn't be embarrassed to have their associations with European extremists exposed. They regularly travel in the similar company of U.S. counterparts.

In America, it is becoming increasingly easy to find those like-minded individuals Breivik spoke of not just in the United States but also in the halls of power.

In March, Rep. Peter King held national hearings on the Muslim threat. Despite widespread criticisms, he announced that he would go ahead with a second June round, titled “The Threat of Muslim-American Radicalization in U.S. Prisons." King is on record saying the nation has "too many mosques" and has addressed criticism thusly: “To back down would be a craven surrender to political correctness."

For those obsessed with Islam, "political correctness" is a code word. Breivik constantly blamed political correctness as a weakness that would allow for Islamification. He wrote, "Multiculturalism (cultural Marxism/political correctness), as you might know, is the root cause of the ongoing Islamisation…."

Meanwhile, Michele Bachmann lashed out at critics for "applying a veneer of political correctness to national security," calling King's hearings "common sense."

Bachmann has long cozied to anti-Muslim activists, understanding that the passion behind their single-issue support makes noise for candidates. As a presidential candidate, she signed the anti-Sharia pledge, which won her praise with the likes of bloggers like Robert Spencer, author of Jihad Watch, a blog cited numerous times by Breivik as inspirational.

One of the American anti-Muslim crusaders Bachmann partners with is Minnesota "punk preacher" and radio host Bradlee Dean. Dean is no mere nut—in addition to Bachmann, Dean's ministry has ties with Tim Pawlenty and Tom Emmer, the Tea Party candidate for governor who lost by a hair.

In May of this year, Bradlee Dean gave the opening prayer for the Minnesota House of Representatives. During his address, Dean, long having hinted that Obama is a Muslim, praised all denominations of Christianity, and said: “The head of the denomination is Jesus as every President up until 2008 has acknowledged, in Jesus' name.”

When Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim to serve in Congress, took issue with the address, Dean took to his radio show in reply: “What is it you don’t like about who we are, Keith? Our laws say no to Sharia law in this country. Is this your problem?" It wasn't his first scrap with Ellison. In 2010, Dean said, "There is a correlation between the Muslims and the homosexual agenda, and we have a couple of fools in the state of Minnesota that are putting a rope around their neck and they just don’t realize it."

Speaking of Obama: Those who argue that Breivik's politics were those of the EU, and not of America's Tea Party, will have a hard time explaining why the shooter featured Photoshopped anti-Obama imagery in his video opus. And in his manifesto, Breivik ranted about the "War on Christmas."

Compare Breivik's now-famous sole tweet, the paraphrased Mill quote ("One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100 000 who have only interests"), to, say, the Adams quote on TeaPartyGroundZero.com: "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds."

And for those familiar with the Tea Party, seeing Breivik posture with his firearm was a familiar sight.

When it comes to national leaders, Bachmann and King are hardly the only ones flirting with the anti-Muslim crowd. Herman Cain caused a stir when, citing Sharia law, he said he would only hire Muslims if they swore a loyalty oath.

Then, at the conservative conference RightOnline, Herman Cain defended his statements by saying, "There is this creeping attempt, there is this attempt to gradually ease Sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government… This is what happened in Europe. And little by little, to try and be politically correct, they made this little change, they made this little change. And now they’ve got a social problem that they don’t know what to do with hardly."

For those looking for it, "creeping Sharia" can be found anywhere. "Sharia creep" is a favorite term of Michelle Malkin—herself a religious fundamentalist who sought to live amongst the like-minded in Colorado Springs, a city that's become a "mecca" for Evangelicals.

American Sharia creepers may even be having an impact on American business (our "job creators"). In June, American bloggers created a headache for Delta when they concocted a conspiracy theory about the airline's partnership with Saudi Arabian Air and their "discrimination against Jews." Soon, Delta was being plastered with comments from ignorant people under the spell of racist paranoids. One commenter wrote, "I will not be flying Delta Airlines again. Your silly excuse is sickening. You should refuse to enter any relationship with any county in which it is illegal to carry a Bible openly. You make me sick!"

Sharia creep is just one more item of proof that the EU nationalists and American Tea Party right-wings are speaking the same language (even when they're not speaking the same language). When Progress Party leader Siv Jensen warned about the Islamic threat, she used the term "snikislamisering"—"sneaking Islam."

A proven influence on Breivik were American anti-Jihadists and Sharia creepers Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. (Spencer is the author of the books The Truth About Muhammad and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam.) In an age when everyone laments American's distaste for reading, both of those books made the New York Times Bestseller list. Spencer often writes about Obama's partiality for Islam, such as his ties to the Islamic Brotherhood.

Pamela Geller authors the blog Atlas Shrugged, where she rails against Sharia creep. She is a regular marquee speaker at Tea Party events. In his manifesto, Breivik recommended both Geller and Spencer for guidance.

Those two are among numerous right wing and Tea Party bloggers who sound the same alarm—many of whom see putting "infidel" in Arabic on their sidebars as heights of intellectual counterpoint.

Even more mainstream writers are tied to the populist vilification of Islam. The National Review now regularly partners with the topic, as its reader base longs for more information on the impending threat of America's Islamification. National Review writer Andrew McCarthy put his name on a book called "Shariah: The Threat to America."

The scaremongering is paying off both in votes and legislation. Tennessee and Oklahoma now both outlaw Sharia law. In Tennessee, the law even defines Sharia as "a legal-political-military doctrinal system." Lawmakers said the bill was necessary to prevent "homegrown terror," which would be funny today if it were not tragic.

At least ten other states are currently considering similar laws.

Then there are the anti-mosque movements. New York, most famously, but so many other states have seen them now, like Florida and Wisconsin. In North Dakota, the webpage of a planned mosque features comments such as "A mosque was not welcome by ground zero & is surely not welcome here" and "shariah laws are trying to change our country. Look what you've done to France and England!!! India is no longer allowed to practice their faith due to muslims."

Ross, North Dakota, is the site of the first recorded mosque in the United States.

With all of this noise, one would expect to find Muslims coming out of America's ears. The very highest estimates of Muslims in the U.S. top out at 2 percent of the American population. (Estimates range from 1.3 million to 7 million, with a 2011 Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life study finding that Muslims make up less than 1 percent of the U.S. population today (2.6 million) and that by 2030, 20 years from now, they will still only account for 1.7 percent of the nation's population.)

The anti-Muslim sentiment that in its extreme bred Norway's shooter has only manifested so far in the U.S. in individual assaults and community "incidents"—such as the one in February in Yorba Linda, California, where a Muslim relief organization with perceived ties to terrorism was protested by attendees waving American flags and yelling "terrorist go home" to women and children.

Lost on nobody, in condemning the acts, right wing radicals in the U.S. and Norway sounded exactly like the Muslim community they so suspect—"We never advocate violence" is parroted by many, who then blame violent acts on lone, misled members of their ideology. (Familiar story.)

This is to be expected from a populist movement completely barren of self-awareness. In his comparison of Norway's dead to the Hitler Youth movement, Beck asked, "Who does a camp for kids that's all about politics? Disturbing." Well, in July, the Tea Party 9/12 Project offered a summer camp for kids ages 8-12 where they learned about socialism, the gold standard and the Constitution, among other things. In 2009, Beck was an early champion of the 9/12 movement, writing, "Become a 9/12er and don’t be afraid of it." (Beck got what he wanted though, attention, in the form of legitimizing criticism from Al-Jazeera that compared the talking head to al-Qaeda.)

Undeterred from continuing to churn the butter that makes their bread tasty, Sharia creepers vowed to be undaunted by the events. After jumping to condemn Islam and jihad for the attacks in Norway, Michelle Malkin wrote that she would offer "no apology" and "I will continue to be vigilant in thoroughly covering the global jihadist threat." Like many other Sharia creepers, Malkin defended herself by saying that "reading the signs and connecting several large, obvious dots," the event "definitely suggested jihad." Malkin was finally right, it was jihad.

Abe Sauer can be reached at abesauer at gmail dot com. He is on Twitter.

62 Comments / Post A Comment

flatfootafleet (#5,753)

jesus fucking christ, get a grip. The man was insane. No further explanation needed. Yes he was a right wing nut, but I would ask that you refresh yourself on causality.

Villa (#2,985)

@flatfootafleet Nuts latch onto ideas and cultures and take them an extra step or two away from acceptance. I think the similarities do need to be pointed out and pointed out thoroughly. It is a creeping extremist view that's invading our politics. I wish I had Abe on speed dial because I can never remember all the proof I need to shut down my right-wing relatives.

Villa (#2,985)

@Villa Could somebody make an app for that? I may someday get a fancy phone.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

@flatfootafleet Dismissing politically motivated crimes as the workings of lone madmen is a dangerous thing.

C_Webb (#855)

@flatfootafleet: Yes, he was insane. However, it's completely irresponsible to use hatred to motivate your base, and then to try to wash your hands of any violence that results. I also believe that the threat of Sharia Law in this country is insane, but yet it's out there in the platforms of actual elected officials. Why do we not call out insanity for what it is until someone pulls a trigger? Does some whackjob need to blow up a mosque during services for us to hold these people accountable?

DMcK (#5,027)

@flatfootafleet No, sorry, he was not "insane", no more so than Timothy McVeigh. He carried out a meticulously planned and executed act of political terrorism on behalf of a global right-wing ideological movement, and Abe is right to call out its most fervent cheerleaders/participants.

deepomega (#1,720)

@boyofdestiny: And you know where I'm going to come down on this, BoD. Why is it that anyone whose politics are similar to mine is a lone madman, and everyone whose politics are similar to the other team's is a representative ideologue?

@deepomega yep, this is where the dialog needs to be. explore this, media (which, I think Abe did, if in a round-a-bout way that I think flatfootafeet missed.)

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

@deepomega I thought you were teamless?

deepomega (#1,720)

@boyofdestiny I mean, I'm teamless in that I think Democrats and Republicans are all just different kinds of assholes. But I'm a liberal dude with liberal politics – e.g. the kind that Andrew Stack wrote in his suicide note.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

@deepomega I was just about to write that we shouldn't dismiss out of hand guys like Andrew Stack or Nidal Hassan or Anders Breivik. They're lone madmen in that they worked more or less alone, and I personally think you have to be crazy to shoot up a bunch of kids or fly a plane into a building. But to say "They did this because they're crazy, full stop" misses an opportunity to learn why events take place. I don't know if we can prevent things like what happened in Norway. But if we can, it won't be by dismissing people as crazy. You can't prevent crazy.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

(I just fact-checked an essay on this very topic, so it's kind of on my mind.)

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@flatfootafleet Anders Breivik is NOT insane. Laughner is insane. Not this guy. Just because you murder people it doesn't automatically mean you are insane. So, if you have any other indication that this guy was insane, I am dying to hear it. Meanwhile, this guy is a right wing extremist. You get a grip.

flatfootafleet (#5,753)

@C_Webb actually yes. People have "bad thoughts" all the time. The insane act on them. A lot of you guys have made good points in here. The problem I had with the article is it does not lay blame on "a crazy person" but on a systematic approach by political figures to create this violence. If you believe that then you should be afraid of Sharia interpretations of Islam (not Sharia law here in the U.S.).

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@flatfootafleet People have "bad thoughts" all the time. The insane act on them.

You shouldn't have acted on the bad thought of posting this.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@C_Webb OK, you explain it to me: what exactly makes you think this guy is insane? Is every mass murderer insane? Is every terrorist insane?

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@flatfootafleet If you believe that then you should be afraid of Sharia interpretations of Islam

I do believe that, and would be afraid of Sharia interpretations of Islam if I lived in Egypt or Libya. Since I live in US, I am afraid of the Tea Party interpretation of the threat of Islam to US.

DMcK (#5,027)

@flatfootafleet We're not talking about the Son of Sam here. Breivik didn't have "bad thoughts". He had an explicitly political agenda. BIG difference.

C_Webb (#855)

@Niko Bellic I think people far more distinguished than I am (and maybe you, I have no idea) are actually having this same conversation inconclusively — i.e. yes, we'd like to believe that mass murders are psychopaths, but they may just be a different kind of amoral/sane we can't fathom, which by some definitions make them insane … you see what I mean. So I agree that he was a right wing extremist, AND I believe that he was to some degree insane.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@C_Webb The important point here is that if nobody describes Mohammed Atta as (primarily) insane (as in "of course, Atta was insane") I don't think we should label Anders Breivik as insane (even if they could both be to a degree).

Abe Sauer (#148)

@flatfootafleet James Earl Ray was also dismissed as a long insane person at the time.

C_Webb (#855)

@Niko Bellic I see your point. They are sane to the point that they knew they were killing people, horribly, which may be the legal definition? I guess I would just like to believe that there must be something mentally wrong with individuals who kill unarmed people, including children. Sadly, I could be wrong.

Abe Sauer (#148)

@Abe Sauer "lone"

loki_monster (#5,341)

Fantastic piece. The contortions of logic and fact and the utter lack of self-reflection is beyond disturbing and astounding.

Zing@twitter (#19,255)

There's an excellent piece on multi-culturalism on The Guardian here. (Read the comments that the authors have posted later in the discussion thread too.)

"They're taking all the jobs, they keep to themselves, they don't speak our language or sound like us, they dress weird, they don't practice our religion…" – it wasn't so long ago that people were saying that about Jews, Italians or the Irish.

Eli Lee@facebook (#11,433)

The actions described in this article are disgusting and frightening. It's awful that simple fear and ignorance can so quickly become hatred, intolerance, and racism.

Excellent article.

roboloki (#1,724)

but what about the kurdashians?!?!

C_Webb (#855)

@roboloki I'm pretty sure that's Donald Sutherland in the picture.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

I would be happy to see Glenn Beck locked in a small room with Anders Behring Breivik for a few years, more to punish the latter than the former but also the other way around, after Glenn Beck's recent remarks.

And yet it's cheap and morally revolting to take a mass murderer as an opportunity to score political points. There is plenty to be said against all these people without enlisting Mr Behring Breivik's victims as your rhetorical allies.

Abe Sauer (#148)

@Tulletilsynet I would agree but that nearly all those killed were killed for the very act of self identifying as rhetorical allies.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

@Tulletilsynet ("… the former than the latter …," that should have been.)

Tulletilsynet (#333)

@Abe Sauer
Sorry to disappoint you, Abe, but no, they were not killed for your blog post.

Abe Sauer (#148)

@Tulletilsynet Yes, because my blog post in and of itself is the core issue here. Now who's being rhetorically cheap?

Tulletilsynet (#333)

@Abe Sauer
Me, if you like. I'm done.

HiredGoons (#603)

Far-right and neo-fascist sentiments have been growing steadily in Europe for well over a decade now, and its something I've been following for a while – the times had an excellent article on it just the other day. Neo-nazi and extremist nationalist parties have been gaining increasing footholds in various representative bodies in European countries (Germany is doing their best to curb this because, well) – the only difference in this country is these people clothe it with a veneer of "aw shucks, gee whiz neighbor, I'm just like you."

Which makes it more dangerous.

@HiredGoons And a growing number of the fascists try to couch themselves as anti-fascists. Echoing Glenn Beck, Breivik called the Labor Party youth camp a "violent Stoltenberg-Jugend."

Werner Hedgehog (#11,170)

There are actually interesting historical counterexamples to the direction of finger-pointing going on here. In 1916, Friedrich Adler, an associate of Einstein, decided to up and shoot the President of Austria.

During the subsequent trial, the right-wing press attempted to portray Adler as an insane lone gunman, apparently in an attempt to downplay the political motives behind the murder. ("Haha, why would a sane person kill our beloved autocrat?") The leftists owned up to it, proclaimed Adler in possession of his full faculties and completely justified in killing the dude, because hey, enemy of the people, revolution, etc.

Different times…

Madfall (#9,834)

"A mosque was not welcome by ground zero & is surely not welcome here" and "shariah laws are trying to change our country. Look what you've done to France and England!!! India is no longer allowed to practice their faith due to muslims."

Yes dear commenter, you sound like someone with a deep experience of overseas travel there, don't drag my country into your crazy please you moron.

whizz_dumb (#10,650)

Although not the most shocking or harrowing thing presented here, the stark hypocrisy of G. Beck's two summer camp quotes is nuts. The gull of that dude, sheesh.

Bittersweet (#765)

@whizzard: When you've set yourself up the way he has, he can say whatever crazy-ass thing he wants, then sit back and (1) attribute any reasoned (or unreasoned) statements to the contrary to the liberal media and (2) enjoy the publicity.

DMcK (#5,027)

And so today, in a spectacular display of typically ass-backwards conservative logic, Ross Douthat writes a column along the lines "oh noes, Breivik did a very bad thing indeed, but the REAL problem is Europe's liberal immigration policies which fueled his violent extremism". Essentially he's putting on a show of regret for the killings as a roundabout means to defend the motives of the killer. Afraid you'll have to find it for yourselves, 'cause damned if I'm linking to that revolting little shitbag.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@DMcK The fucker blames the victims.

hockeymom (#143)

@DMcK I read him, then I immediately regret it.

SeanP (#4,058)

@DMcK It's the "look what you made me do" theory, much beloved of domestic abusers. An unusually vile performance, even for Douthat.

babakgolshahi (#18,104)

Solid article. I enjoyed your analysis here. I recommend Johann Hari's analysis of the dangers of (especially legal) multiculturalism in Britain and Europe (I was reminded of it – it's a great speech)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i44qENJZUDI

Scum (#1,847)

"This is to be expected from a populist movement completely barren of self-awareness"

Excuse me but LOL

Have you determined a scientific way to tell at what level of rhetorical ratcheted-upness it becomes 'only a matter of time' before you get weirdos shooting dozens of people? Of course not. Youve just written a post about the dangers of out of control rhetoric which essentially holds that saying mean things about terrorists is abhorrent but making baseless accusations that your political opponents played a causal role in mass murder is the height of civilized discourse, and then you're going to accuse those youve just hypocritically slurred as having no self-awareness?

Another thing to note down in the "Really, theyre the ones with no self-awareness?" column is how you cant seem to decide if you want to condemn the logic you attribute to Spencer et al. or appropriate it. I mean, if the activity of Breivik can be laid at the feet of basically everyone in the world you don't like then why cant tea partiers do the same with the actions of islamic terrorists? You spent the post arguing with yourself and you didn't even notice.

zidaane (#373)

@Scum As soon as Abe finishes his bowl of steel-cut oatmeal he will have something to say about this. In the meanwhile you should read Choire's post on tiny man hosiery.

Abe Sauer (#148)

@Scum Science? Science has no place in this discussion, as the Tea Party has repeatedly insisted.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@Scum It's laughable how careful you are to say that tea partiers have been saying mean things about terrorists when we all know that the only reason we are having this discussion is that they have been saying mean things about Muslims (and Islam) identifying them as the enemy (and also, identifying those of us who don't think that way as the enemy) terrorism or no terrorism (building a mosque is not an act of terror). So, yeah, you yourself are more responsible than the Tea Party loudmouths are, but that doesn't extend to them. It does however extend to Abe, who is not accusing Christians of anything. Therefore, Abe certainly has the moral high ground here.

theballgirl (#19,450)

@Scum

This link (an anti-gun violence website) includes very specific, very detailed, case-by-case examples of "rhetorical ratcheted-upness" by politicians and political talking heads and – the assuming – resulting violence.

Feel free to draw your own conclusions, obviously.

http://www.csgv.org/issues-and-campaigns/guns-democracy-and-freedom/insurrection-timeline

hypnosifl (#9,470)

@Scum Youve just written a post about the dangers of out of control rhetoric which essentially holds that saying mean things about terrorists is abhorrent but making baseless accusations that your political opponents played a causal role in mass murder is the height of civilized discourse

But it's not "saying mean things about terrorists", it's saying that the entire Muslim religion is a dangerous terroristic one that wants to impose Sharia on everyone and take over Europe via high birth rates. God forbid anyone suggest there's a connection between that sort of rhetoric and Breivik's actions! Why, that would be like suggesting that there was some causal connection between all the anti-Semitic literature circulating around prewar Europe, like Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and the actions of the Nazis.

I mean, if the activity of Breivik can be laid at the feet of basically everyone in the world you don't like then why cant tea partiers do the same with the actions of islamic terrorists?

It's perfectly reasonable to say the actions of Muslim terrorists can in part be laid at the feet of Muslims who write violent extremist tracts, like Sayyid Qutb. What's not reasonable is saying the entire Islamic religion is to blame, that would be like saying conservatives of all stripes deserve some blame for creating people like Breivik, as opposed to just the ones like Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller who peddle the most paranoid fantasies about Muslims everywhere wanting to take over the world.

joeclark (#651)

Sorry, Abe, but some readers of the Awl are committed to our constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms and our democracy and will stand up to radical Islam and sharia law even if unfashionable among other readers of the Awl – and even if unsavoury, often-flatly-wrong American commentators generally agree with us. Some bedfellows are strange, but that hardly invalidates our concerns.

Perhaps you’d like to visit the school in the Muslim ghetto of Thorncliffe Park here that gives over a common room to Friday prayers, with not just female students segregated but menstruating female students segregated once more. I’d like to hear how Atlas Shrugged, Malkin, Bachmann, or Breivik is somehow responsible for our opposition to that practice. The floor is yours.

Abe Sauer (#148)

@joeclark Oh please. I don't see King or Bachmann or anyone else in the Tea Party concerned about, or signing pledges against, Mormonism. The Tea Party isn't criticizing inherent sexism in how some Judaism is practiced. (In fact, pro-everything-Israel sentiment is rabid in the Tea Party.) Everything driving the focus on Muslims is due to the 9/11 rhetoric adopted by Tea Party groups like 9/12 (which takes its very name from the event).

You want to find a real group that honestly opposes the kind of practices you describe? Try social progressives (like those killed in Norway) who oppose all manner of dogmatic behavior and prayer in school, etc etc. The truth is that this group has been opposed to the Sharia stuff on all levels for years, it's just that because it includes extreme practices in all religions (including Christianity), Tea Partiers want nothing to do with it.

Abe Sauer (#148)

@joeclark ALSO, this assumption that just because somebody is not onboard with national Congressional hearings or signing dippy pledges that means he or she is not willing to "stand up to radical Islam and sharia law" is just the latest rhetorical version of calling those who opposed the Iraq war unpatriotic.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@joeclark I guess those girls-only Catholic schools are ran according to the Sharia laws from your Muslim ghetto. It's a really valuable insight, whether it came from Bachmann or you came up with it yourself.

Abe Sauer (#148)

@joeclark And one more thing: The idea that we need to focus on how segregating women in a classroom is offensive and yet our mainstream politicians (Scott Walker etc.) can, citing Christianity, oppose abortion even in the case that it would save the mother's life, is morally vile and loathsomely lacking self-awareness.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

By the way, I keep forgetting to mention: US is now where Serbia was at in 1992 or so. I remember having this same conversations with Serbian "defenders of our values" who kept talking about Sharia and shit (and hearing it on TV from political forces banking on an easy sell). Then, a while later, some really, really bad things started happening in Bosnia. Of course, that was just us Serbs. I'm sure you Americans are more evolved than us.

barnhouse (#1,326)

@Niko Bellic Oh we Yanks take a back seat to nobody when it comes to throwback Neanderthal lame-assedness. Also it is driving me so bonkers to hear these people complaining about Sharia law when they do not even remotely know what that means.

runsinbackground (#10,344)

Do you think Beck has really ended his career with those remarks? It seems to me that there are plenty of people who share his opinions and are willing to pay to hear someone more well-spoken (or possessed of better writers) than themselves express them.

SeanP (#4,058)

@runsinbackground Of course not. Beck could eat a baby on national TV, and still show up as a guest commentator on Fox news next month. There is literally nothing you can say that's bad enough to get you banned from polite society. I mean, if you're a republican.

cathy29 (#20,198)

My prayers are with the family of those who lost their loved ones.

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