This was just days after Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) delivered a town hall speech on the “real threat” of radical Muslims in the U.S. “trying to kill Americans every week.” Walsh made these comments just 15 miles from Morton Grove mosque:
“One thing I’m sure of is that there are people in this country – there is a radical strain of Islam in this country -– it’s not just over there –- trying to kill Americans every week. It is a real threat, and it is a threat that is much more at home now than it was after 9/11,” Walsh said.
Walsh went on to claim that radical Islam had found its way into the Chicago suburbs, including some that he represents.
“It’s here. It’s in Elk Grove. It’s in Addison. It’s in Elgin. It’s here,” he said.
Walsh was responding to a town hall participant’s question that he’s “looking for some godly men and women in the Senate, in the Congress, who will stand in the face of the danger of Islam in America without political correctness.” Salon reported the line “was met with applause.”
By branding Islam as a violent religion, Walsh incites a familiar fear-mongering tactic that lawmakers like Michele Bachmann have been widely condemned for. Yet acts of violence against American-Muslim communities are nothing new; for example, the FBI is currently investigating a suspicious fire that recently destroyed a Missouri mosque.
Correction: The original post misattributed a quote to Walsh that came from a town hall participant. We apologize for the error.