During a hearing he chaired on “Islamist Extremism in Chechnya: A Threat to the U.S. Homeland?” Rohrabacher continually referred to the 2004 Beslan hostage situation — in which Chechen extremists took control of a school in Russia resulting in the death of more than 180 children — as an example of the threat that Islam poses.
At one point, the California Republican sought to clarify that he wasn’t opposed to any religious group gaining power within a region — only Islam. “What we need to worry about is if it happens to be a religion that convinces people that part of their faith is to go off and murder other people’s children,” he said, referring to Islam broadly. Later in the hearing, Rohrabacher was more clear:
ROHRABACHER: At the end of the Cold War, I was the Soviet Union’s worst enemy, nemesis, because I believe that free people need to determine who their number one enemies are and work to try to defeat them. And that doesn’t mean that the people you work with are perfect, et cetera. We did bring down the Soviet Union and we worked with a lot of people who had a lot of faults. Today radical Islam and China appear to be the main adversaries, the main threat to the free world. I hope we all work together against a religion that will motivate people to murder children and other threats to us as a civilization.
Watch his statements here:
Islamophobia has seen a resurgence in the aftermath of the Boston attacks, with Fox News leading the charge in promoting a new wave of fear towards Muslims. Rohrabacher is no stranger himself to controversy surrounding Islam. In 2012, he accused President Obama of “pandering to radical Islamic forces” in the aftermath of the Benghazi attack.