NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) – Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, was criticised on Wednesday by his state’s two largest newspapers over contentious remarks referring to Muslim-controlled “no-go zone” areas in European cities.
Jindal, a Republican who is courting evangelical Christians and other conservatives ahead of a possible run for the White House, defended his comments about neighborhoods in Europe he said were under the effective control of “non-assimilationist Muslims” as accurate.
“You can call them whatever term you want but absolutely there are neighborhoods where we have communities of people that don’t want to integrate, don’t want to assimilate,” he said in a Wednesday interview on Fox News. “They’re actually going in there to colonise, to overtake the culture. That’s what’s going to happen in America if we’re not careful.”
Similar “no-go zone” remarks made this month by a commentator on Fox News led to a retraction from the network along with ridicule from the British prime minister and a lawsuit threat from Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
Jindal, who cannot run for another term as governor when his current term expires in 2015, said he would not bow to pressure from those seeking to minimise what he deemed a serious threat.
His representatives, asked about the issue, gave no further comment, but his initial remarks drew stark criticism from two Louisiana newspapers.