Allen West. I like to think of him as the reason we invented the phrase “bat-shit crazy.” He was a one-term U.S. Representative from Florida and it’s not because he answered to a higher calling, it’s because he was voted out even quicker than he arrived.
He’s proven himself to be a gold medal-caliber bigot and conspiracy theorist. He rode into office on the Tea Party wave and the current must’ve been too strong because two years later it carried him right back the fuck out. The re-election campaign that he lost was the most expensive one ever waged in the history of Congress. Guess it goes to show that all the money in the world can’t convince people to vote for crazy two times in a row. These days he hangs out where all now-unelectable Republicans go to retire; Fox News.
The following image (WARNING: It is somewhat graphic) comes courtesy of the Facebook profile, “Allen West Republic” which claims to be in support of his website:
The easiest way to gig him on this is poor grammar. Or what seems to be a fundamental lack of understanding of what Islam is. But that’s low-hanging fruit so how about the message of the image instead?
In looking for countries ruled by Islam (his terms, not mine), I figured the quickest way would be to find a list of countries where Muslims represent at least a simple majority of the population. And here is a quick blurb from that link:
According to the Pew Research Center in 2010 there were 50 Muslim-majority countries. Around 62% of the world’s Muslims live in South and Southeast Asia, with over 1 billion adherents. The largest Muslim population in a country is in Indonesia, a nation home to 12.7% of the world’s Muslims, followed by Pakistan (11.0%), India (10.9%), and Bangladesh (9.2%). About 20% of Muslims live in Arab countries. In the Middle East, the non-Arab countries of Turkey and Iran are the largest Muslim-majority countries; in Africa, Egypt and Nigeria have the most populous Muslim communities. The study found more Muslims in the United Kingdom than in Lebanon and more in China than in Syria.
So, let’s assume that from the perspective of the graphic’s creator that they’re talking about countries in the Middle East, which is not really a stretch considering current events. That being said, after reading the statistics above you might be asking yourself how can a claim such as the one in the graphic be true if the majority of Muslims don’t live in the countries implied? And the simple answer is that it’s not, it’s an out-and-out fabrication.
I’m just shooting from the hip here, but I can count at least twenty out of the fifty Muslim-majority countries that I know are not a “HELLISH NIGHTMARE” as West would have you believe. Now, those are only the countries I know something about. Out of the same fifty Muslim-majority countries I can only name around ten that I absolutely would not visit even if I knew more about them. Maybe this isn’t the most scientific of approaches, but I think it’s hard to say that it has any less merit than West’s. I pray that you’ll find that my argument at least includes numbers and research and most hopeful of all, good grammar. (If yer not picking up what I’m laying down, this is a good resource that gets more in-depth.)
This image and countless others shared by West’s supporters and people like them continue the incredibly short-sighted, reductive arguments that will only serve to harm American policy both foreign and domestic. I urge, even beg people to not blindly accept any broad-based assertion that they happen upon, regardless of its intent. But that’s perhaps a little too optimistic of me. I would just like to sign off by reminding anyone who still isn’t with me that never in our history as Americans has discriminating against an entire group of people ever worked out for the best.