What’s the connection between Trump, Congressman Steve King and the rise of the far-right political parties in Europe? Congressman Steve King tweeted back on September 18th a photo posing with German and Dutch far-right party members. These are two European leaders associated with white supremacy and vicious anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Geert Wilders, the man shown in the photo with King, is a leader in the Dutch Party for Freedom, another European far-right party. Wilders is an outspoken opponent of Muslim immigration. Wilders is quoted as saying, “I don’t hate Muslims, I hate Islam … there is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam.” He suggested that Muslims should, “tear out half of the Koran if they wished to stay in the Netherlands.” He has referred to the Koran as a fascist book that should be banned in the Netherlands and has called Mohamed “the devil.” He says Islam is the Trojan horse of Europe.
Frauke Petry, the female posing with King, is the Party Chairwoman of the Alternative for Germany Party, elected in 2015. The Alternative for Germany Party is one of several small anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim parties winning elections in Europe. Petry’s election as chair signaled a growing shift to the right for her Party. Their focus is on anti-immigration, anti-Islam and closer ties to Russia. In January, Petry in a tape-recorded interview advocated shooting refugees at the border. Party members have been vocal in expressing anti-Muslim, racist and xenophobic beliefs. Petry is identified with the anti-Muslim movement in Germany and specifically called for the ban on Muslim Minarets.
Michael Muller, the Berlin mayor, told people not to vote for the Alternative for Germany Party in last summer’s elections, cautioning it “would be seen around the world as a return of the far-Right and the Nazis to Germany.” The moderate Christian Democrats Party, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel was out voted by the anti-immigrant and anti-Islam Alternative for Germany Party in state elections in September.
There is a growing fear in Europe that these far-right anti-immigrant, anti-Islam parties are too reminiscent of the white supremacy movement long associated with Nazi Germany. Much of the ugly anti-immigrant hateful rhetoric echoes closely to both Trump and King’s attacks on immigrants.
Is it just coincidence that Trump has run on an anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim platform used by the far-right parties in Europe? Trump says, “President Obama has allowed Syrian refugees to pour into our country at unbelievable rates. And Hillary Clinton wants to allow 550 percent more. But it’s almost impossible to get a Christian in from Syria…They take others but they don’t take Christians…This is going to be potentially a catastrophe for our country. It’s from within, it could be the all-time great Trojan horse.” That’s the same language the anti-Muslim Wilders used above.
We have all heard Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric. Last December, he shocked the world with his call for the “total and complete shutdown on Muslims entering the United States.” He followed this statement with this tweet, “Just put out a very important policy statement on the extraordinary influx of hatred & danger coming into our country.” In July he expanded the Muslim ban by adding that he would stop immigration “from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism.” Remember Trump’s tweet in November 2015 accusing Muslims and terrorists celebrating 9/11? “I watched in Jersey City, N.J., where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as the World Trade Center collapsed.” Trump attacked the Gold Star Khan family whose son, an American soldier, was killed in Bagdad in 2004. Trump criticized Mrs. Khan and her religion implying that her husband wouldn’t allow her to speak.
Congressman King is one of Trump’s strongest and most loyal supporters. Last week he criticized other Republicans for abandoning Trump. It shouldn’t be any surprise since King is one of the most hostile Congressman to immigrants, especially Latinos and Muslims. In September, Congressman King called for the U.S. to begin spying on American Mosques. He claims ISIS is actively operating out of these Islamic religious centers. King calls these Mosques communication centers for ISIS.
What links much of the anti-immigrant rhetoric back to Trump is his association with Brietbart’s Steve Bannon. Trump appointed Bannon as his Chief Executive Officer in August to direct his campaign. Brietbart regularly features Wilders’ anti-Muslim rhetoric. Breitbart also featured King’s claim that minorities didn’t contribute to Western civilization.
Voters should consider the dangerous associations both Trump and King have with anti-immigrant forces of hate in Europe. Does Iowa want a Congressman that poses and supports these dangerous political groups associated with white supremacy in Europe? Or will they vote for Kim Weaver, his Democratic opponent, to finally end the shame that King has brought to the state?
by Rick Smith