Reacting to the recent threats against U.S. embassies in several Muslim majority countries, Huckabee noted that the timing comes right at the end of Ramadan, the holy month in the Islamic calendar. The result has been the closure of many of these embassies, which the State Department has said likely would have been closed anyway due to the Eid holiday.
“I know we’re not supposed to say anything unkind about Islam,” the former Arkansas governor said. “I mean, it’s politically incorrect. I get that. But can someone explain to me why it is that we tiptoe around a religion that promotes the most murderous mayhem on the planet in their so-called ‘holiest days.”
He proceeded to careen unswerving into the issue with little care for nuance or respect:
HUCKABEE: You know, if you’ve kept up with the Middle East, you know that the most likely time to have an uprising of rock throwing and rioting comes on the day of prayer on Friday. So the Muslims will go to the mosque, and they will have their day of prayer, and they come out of there like uncorked animals — throwing rocks and burning cars.
“You know, I’m just pointing out that for all of the demands that we’re supposed to be so very polite, and I’m not saying all Muslims are radical and I am not saying that all Muslims are violent. I’m not,” he continued, trying to soften the blow. “But we as a government recognize that the most likely times for them to erupt in some type of terrorist activity, violent storming of an embassy, is on their holy days.”
Huckabee was partially correct in noting a the large number of protests throughout the Middle East timed to take place on Fridays, as seen during the 2011 Arab Uprisings. The most recent upheaval in Egypt shared that trait as well. Rather than be due to some desire to do ill on their holy days, though, the timing has everything to do with the ability to turn people out onto the streets. If the majority of the the people you want to protest are gathered in a few places outside their homes already, it’s easier to rally them to protest in favor of democracy or to end military autocracy than on a day when that’s not the case.
Huckabee wasn’t finished, though, using his own Christian faith to draw a comparison to the wicked behavior of Muslims. “I mean, for most of us, the holiest days that come in the Christian world, particularly Christmas and Easter, I don’t really recall that the government has to issue a warning and say ‘Look Out! It’s Easter! Those Christians are coming. They’ll be throwing eggs all over town,’” he said.
This isn’t the first time Huckabee has made controversial statements about Islam and the Middle East. In 2011, at the height of the Arab Uprising, Huckabee released a jaunty song to the tune of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” in which he declared the region “neither fit for man nor beast.” He also drew scorn for a 2011 interview about churches allowing Muslims to use their space for referring to Muslims as “infidels who should essentially be obliterated.”
“And I know I’m likely to just get hammered for what I’ve just said,” Huckabee concluded his recent rant. “So be it. I bring it up because it just doesn’t make sense to me.”