At a townhall meeting Monday, tea party firebrand Rep. Allen West (R-FL) got into a shouting match with a Muslim attendee who confronted West about his history of highly Islamophobic comments. “Don’t try to blow sunshine up my butt and tell me [Islam] is all warm and fuzzy,” the congressman angrily responded to the questioner’s assertion that Islam is not a violent religion.
West appeared on Fox and Friends this morning to discuss the incident. Propped up by Fox host Steve Doocy, West, a retired lieutenant colonel, said he couldn’t possibly be Islamaphobic because, “I have done my share to bring the light of freedom into the Islamic world” while serving with the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan:
DOOCY: You stood up for the principles of the Muslim countries. You served abroad, and you tried to keep freedom alive in Muslim countries.
WEST: Absolutely. And I think that’s one of the things that we should understand. You know, we went into Kosovo to protect the Muslim population there. You know, I was there in Desert Storm and Desert Sheild to protect Kuwait. I served in Iraq, I’ve been in Afghanistan, I spent two and half years there.
So I think I’ve done my share to bring the light of freedom into the Islamic world. And for this young man to come up to me and try to castigate me as some enemy of Islam, I will not tolerate that.
Indeed, West served for 20 years in the military, but his career ended abruptly in 2003 when he resigned under a cloud while facing a court martial over the brutal interrogation of an unnamed Iraqi man. According to his own testimony during a military hearing, West watched four of his men beat the suspect, then West said he personally threatened to kill the man while holding a pistol. According to military prosecutors, West later took the detainee outside and fired a 9mm pistol inches from the man’s head, in order to make him believe he would be shot. West thought the man had information about an assassination plot against him.
It’s telling that West sees occupying another nation and then brutally mistreating one of their citizens as bringing “the light of freedom into the Islamic world.”