Saturday, February 13, 2016

Michele Bachmann: We're Being Invaded!

Anti-refugee paranoia is still alive and well among the Religious Right. During the February 6th edition of Understanding the Times with Jan Markell, former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann described Muslim refugees in ominous terms and claimed that "western Christendom" was being invaded by Islamic extremists. (Hat tip to Right Wing Watch.)

At the 28:33 mark of the show, Bachmann claimed that jihadists who want to undermine the pillars of the world are deliberately invading "western Christendom".
"This clearly is an invasion. This is a planned invasion, not only in Europe but also in the United States, I believe for the specific purpose of destroying western Christendom, because that has been the strength of the world economically, but also the strength of the world in terms of leadership, the nations that are known as western Christendom."
At the 26:47 mark, Jan Markell insisted that an Islamic extremist caliphate seeks to destroy "Judeo-Christianity" in the west, a task made easier by Europe's supposed abandonment of God. I'm familiar with Judaism and Christianity, which are two different faiths, but I've never encountered this "Judeo-Christianity" religion of which Markell speaks.
MARKELL: If we're talking about Islamists coming into the western world -- and we can focus on Europe, but for the sake of time today, let's just focus on America -- but again, if this is the spreading caliphate, and that's what I see it as ... part of the goal of that caliphate is to destroy Judeo-Christianity, Judeo-Christian values, to destroy Judaism and Christianity. That's going on as we speak in Europe, and of course, we know that Europe kicked God out about fifty years ago, but now the predominant faith there in a few years is going to be Islam. How do you see that same situation morphing here in America?

BACHMANN: It already has begun to morph. We saw this mass migration, this people movement, which is a historic people movement of Muslims from Islamic nations tending to be the most radicalized nations, from those nations into nations that are know as western Christendom. So you don't see this mass migration into Russia, or into China, or into Indonesia. This mass migration is all headed toward western Christendom.
Ms. Bachmann, please look at a map. Syrian refugees are fleeing to Europe because it's closer to the Levant than China or Indonesia. Thousands of miles of rough terrain in dangerous countries lie between Syria and east Asia. Also, more Syrian refugees might consider relocation to Russia if Russia wasn't deeply hostile to their kind.

At the 31:49 mark, Bachman claimed that extremist imams are sending thugs into western countries with orders to undermine European countries, cultivate rape culture, and spread Islam.
"The more that come in, the more they act upon their religious convictions, and their stated religious convictions--the imams from the original countries that they come from, they recruit and send these guys to come in and to bring about this destruction. Right now in Europe, it’s called a rape culture that’s coming into Sweden and Germany and all across Europe for the specific purpose of Islamizing these countries, and they are falling."
Bachmann framed religious differences as a zero-sum game in which Christians must go on the offensive or be overwhelmed by Muslims. At the 32:57 mark, she warned listeners about "civilization jihad" involving an "invading army" of sexual predators.
"Where we don't defend our faith, when we aren't on offense, not only are we on defense, we'll lose it, because one thing we need to understand, Jan, is that Islamists have a plan. They have a plan to destroy western Christendom. It’s called civilization jihad. By bringing Islamists into our country and destroying us from [with]in, they don’t need to just have a nuclear bomb. If they send their invading army into our countries, and if young men are doing what they did on New Year’s Eve in Cologne, Germany, and other places where they are literally sexually attacking and raping and groping women and causing them to fear, we are looking at a completely ramped-up level of invasion, one like we have never seen before. Not only is Europe getting that, the United States is getting that."
What can I say about this kind of anti-Muslim, anti-refugee paranoia that I haven't said before? By instilling fear in their listeners, Markell and Bachmann cultivate a siege mentality among fundamentalist Christians. By demonizing all Muslim refugees as extremists, Bachmann scapegoats an entire group of people, including its law-abiding members. By blaming the New Year's violence on jihad, Bachmann ignores the complexities of rape culture in Europe's minority enclaves and reduces victims of sexual assault to political tools. Bachmann is so eager to uphold a fundamentalist Christian persecution narrative that she paints a picture of the world that is paranoid and inaccurate.

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