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How The 'No-Go Zones' Myth Traveled From The Anti-Muslim Fringe To The Mouths Of GOP Politicians

Shortly after terrorist gunmen killed 12 people in an attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris earlier this month, conservative commentator Steve Emerson went on Fox News and claimed that Europe was being taken over by “no-go zones” controlled by Islamic law to such an extent that non-Muslims were not allowed to enter Birmingham, England’s second-largest city.

Emerson’s claim was met with ridicule, including by British Prime Minister David Cameron, and Emerson and Fox quickly retracted the claim.

But at the same time, the “no-go zone” myth gained traction among conservative activists and Republican leaders, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who mentioned it in a speech in London despite refusing to offer the names or locations of the purported no-go zones, and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who claimed last week that France has “like 700 no-go zones where authorities have allowed Sharia law to be imposed,” something that he claimed is also beginning to happen in the United States.

The “no-go zone” myth didn’t spring out of nowhere two weeks ago. Instead, it has been percolating for years in fringe media, perpetuated by anti-Muslim activists warning that Europe was being overtaken by Sharia law, soon to be followed by the United States.

Bloomberg pinpoints the beginning of the myth at a 2006 article by conservative pundit Daniel Pipes, who gave the name “no-go zones” to a list of French “sensitive urban zones,” some with large populations of Muslim immigrants, that were, in reality, nothing more than areas hit by high crime and poverty that were actually targeted by the government for urban renewal projects. A few years later, Pipes had the opportunity to visit a few of these “no-go zones” and reported that they were “very mild, even dull” compared to high-crime neighborhoods in the U.S. and that “immigrant areas are hardly beautiful, but buildings are intact, greenery abounds, and order prevails.” He wrote, “Having this first-hand experience, I regret having called these areas no-go zones.”

But Pipes’ retraction came too late to stop the “no-go zone” story from becoming an established fact in fringe right-wing media.

The far-right outlet WorldNetDaily mentionsno-go zones” frequently, often warning that the United States will soon face the same fate. Anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller told WND last year:

The Muslim population, for example, in France is over 10 percent,” she said. “You see outside of Paris … it can be very frightening. The no-go zones, the Shariah zones, where firefighters and police cannot go. They are many times lured by particular criminal activity into these zones, only to be ambushed. We see it in the U.K., increasingly, the imposition of Shariah law. And people think it can’t happen here, but it is happening here.

A search for the term “no-go zones” in Geller’s blog before the Charlie Hebdo attack produces 10 pages of results. Prominent anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney has also perpetuated the myth, warning repeatedly on his website and radio program of such zones “where authorities dare not enter” and “Shariah rules instead of the laws of the host government.”

Last year, the Clarion Project’s Ryan Mauro similarly warned in a FrontPageMag article that European “no-go zones” would provide “precedent” for such “Muslim enclaves” in the U.S. The publication has been another prominent generator of the myth, frequently citing Pipes since-rejected claim about French “no-go” neighborhood.

The myth percolated to the top of the news cycle briefly in 2010 when Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle claimed that Dearborn, Michigan, and the made-up town of Frankford, Texas, were ruled by “Sharia law.” She didn’t use the term “no-go zone,” but was clearly influenced by the myth that had by then become established fact in fringe media.

As recently as last month, Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt was citing the myth to warn that U.S. protests against police brutality would create “no-go zones.”

“It’s like in England and Scandinavia and I guess in Paris and a lot of Europe, perhaps in a lot of their metropolitan areas, the Muslims have come to a preponderant population in those areas that the police do not dare go into the urban areas controlled by Muslims,” he said.

The myth, propagated by a few voices in fringe media, is too wild for Fox News. But it is now apparently perfectly acceptable in the Republican Party.

FrontPageMag Claims Labor Secretary Tom Perez 'Supports Islamic Terrorists And The Imposition of Shariah Law In America'

There are very few people the Right loves to hate more than outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, so when Holder announced his intention to retire last week, he left something of a vacuum in the right-wing media’s outrage machine.

Luckily, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, who is rumored to be on President Obama’s shortlist to succeed Holder, was there to take his place. In fact, some of the attacks on Perez are already outstripping the hatred of Holder, including a piece in FrontPageMag this week that not only calls Perez an “illegal alien enabler” who is “obsessed with race,” but asserts that “Perez sides with America’s enemies in the Global War on Terror” and “apparently supports Islamic terrorists and the imposition of Shariah law in America.”

Blogger Matthew Vadum backs up these claims by citing Perez’s stated concern about Islamaphobia and a congressional hearing at which he claims Perez “pointedly refused to rule out” bringing “Saudi-style anti-blasphemy laws” to the U.S.

At the hearing in question, Perez in fact stated that bans on hate speech are unconstitutional.

Illegal alien enabler Thomas Perez would not be an improvement over Holder, the scandal-plagued left-wing attorney general who has taken the Department of Justice to new lows of corruption and lawlessness. Perez, who previously ran the DoJ’s civil rights branch, would likely be a Holder clone or worse.

Perez sides with America’s enemies in the Global War on Terror. He apparently supports Islamic terrorists and the imposition of Shariah law in America.

Perez seems to favor Saudi-style anti-blasphemy laws. In Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries offenders are condemned to death merely for insulting Islam.

Disturbingly, at a congressional hearing Perez pointedly refused to rule out bringing such laws to America. At a meeting of the House Judiciary Committee’s panel on the Constitution in 2012, Perez would not say whether he would uphold the religious speech protections in the First Amendment in the future.

“Will you tell us … that this administration’s Department of Justice will never entertain or advance a proposal that criminalizes speech against any religion?” Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) asked four times to no avail.

Perez, like so many Obama administration officials, believes that America is a seething hotbed of “Islamophobia,” filled with ignorant racist rubes who irrationally fear the Muslim religion. He has worked with hardcore Islamist groups such as the terrorist-linked Islamic Society of North America and applauded Islamists for lobbying against airline security measures.

Like Holder and Obama, Perez is obsessed with race.

“I wish discrimination were a thing of the past,” Perez said in 2012 when he headed the DoJ’s Civil Rights Division. “I wish we were living in post-racial America. I wish my phone were not ringing. But regrettably, it’s ringing off the hook in the voting context. It’s ringing off the hook in the hate crimes context and in so many other contexts.”

During his time at DoJ, members of the Civil Rights Division conspired with ACORN-affiliated Project Vote to weaken electoral integrity-related law enforcement. Voter ID laws, in his twisted view, are racist, calculated to deprive people of color of their voting rights.

He has targeted Maricopa County, Ariz. Sheriff Joe Arpaio for legal harassment because he doesn’t like Arpaio’s tough-on-crime approach, especially with respect to illegal aliens.

David Horowitz: Obama Said Nothing About US Boy Kidnapped In Israel 'Because He Was A Jew'

In an interview with Janet Mefferd yesterday, FrontPage magazine editor David Horowitz falsely claimed that President Obama “said nothing” about the kidnapping and murder of an American boy, along with two Israeli friends, in Israel, saying that the president’s supposed silence was “because he was a Jew, I guess.”

“This is the most disgraceful period in the entire history of the United States, and the most disgraceful administration,” he said.

In fact, the president issued a statement in response to the boys’ murders, calling it a “senseless act of terror” and promising Israel “the full support and friendship of the United States.” Secretary of State John Kerry also condemned “this despicable terrorist act in the strongest possible terms.”

“That’s a sick religion, Islam,” Horowitz also told Mefferd. “People have to recognize that and stop comparing it to Christianity.”

Horowitz also claimed that “tens of thousands of Americans are going to die because of Obama” because “terrorists are going to come across our borders, our porous borders.”

“Look what they’ve done. They’re operating as though this isn’t America. They’re destroying our borders. You can’t have a country without borders,” he said.

FrontPageMag's Infiltration of the Muslim Student Association Was a Bust

Intrepid FrontPageMag reporter Mark Tapson didn't quite find what he was looking for when he infiltrated the Muslim Student Association’s annual West Coast conference last month...but, he alleges, that's just more proof of a secret Muslim Brotherhood plot to "radicalize" college students. 

Tapson told Janet Mefferd in a radio interview Friday that far from finding anything “radical” or “damning” at the conference, “it was largely very innocuous.” He had high hopes for a workshop called “Islamatics,” for instance, but found that it was just about Islam and American politics. He even took pains to register for the conference under a “variation” of his name, only to be admitted with no questions asked.

But Tapson has a theory about why the MSA’s conference was so “innocuous.” It’s all part of Muslim Brotherhood plan, he tells Mefferd, to capture “the hearts and minds of the young.” This campus organizing and community-building, he says, “radicalizes them and it steers them toward further radicalization down the line.”

Tapson: Um, there were some lesser speakers who also got political. There was a workshop called “Islamatics,” which I expected to be more interesting than it actually was. It was basically a Washington, DC, Muslim talking about lining up Islamic ideals with the current political parties, ‘bridging the gap between their religion and their votes,’ as he put it.

Mefferd: Wow.

Tapson: But, you know, it was largely very innocuous. I mean, there was nothing beyond what I’ve already told you, really. There was very little that you’d consider radical. Highly politicized, yes, but nothing damning.

Mefferd: I think this is very true that, from what you’ve reported, that there wasn’t a lot of radical talk and it was kind of innocuous in a lot of respects, but you point out that for the Muslim Brotherhood front groups that organized this thing, it serves as a very successful recruitment and radicalization tool. Is that really, at root, the reason for the conference, or at least a primary reason for the conference, that other groups, CAIR or ISNA or, you know, whatever it is can have contact with a younger generation?

Tapson: Oh, absolutely. It’s all about the younger generation. And, politicizing and organizing that younger generation in campus groups and strengthening their sense of community as Muslims, strengthening their campus activism, that’s all, that’s a very important goal because it radicalizes them and it steers them toward further radicalization down the line. So, yeah, it's all about capturing the hearts and minds of the young.

Mefferd: Oh, wow.

 

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