On Saturday, at a gathering of religious conservatives, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal doubled down on his belief that there are “no go” zones in Europe where Islamic law rules the streets and talked about his fear of America having “no go zones, too” if Muslims aren’t assimilated into the dominant culture.
He later told Christian evangelicals gathered at “The Response,” a daylong prayer rally, that America needs a spiritual revival. “We can’t just elect a candidate to fix our country. We need a spiritual revival to fix our country,” he said before leading an ecstatic crowd in prayer.
Jindal’s participation in the rally is seen by many as a preamble to announcing his presidential ambitions, and an attempt to court religious conservatives. In 2011, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry attended a similar prayer meeting before announcing he would run for president. But while thousands attended, the arena never filled to capacity and by the time Jindal spoke in the afternoon, the audience had thinned.
When it was announced over a month ago that Jindal would speak at Louisiana State University’s in Baton Rouge, students and facility protested over its sponsorship by the American Family Association, considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law center for condemning same-sex relationships and speaking disdainfully about gays. The LSU Faculty Senate came out against the event in a statement voicing their opposition to Jindal and the AFA holding an event on campus.
“‘The Response’ may have deleterious effects on LSU’s regional and national reputation, despite the University’s effort to distance itself from the event’s content and message and the repugnant views of the AFA,” they said. But that didn’t stop Jindal from participating. He told the Daily Beast the event is not political and that he supports it. He hopes the event will help “fix” America.
However, hundreds of students and faculty participated in protesting the event. A coalition of groups against the march called their protest, “Organize, Reflect, Act: A Day of Action for Justice in Louisiana”
Organizers state that the AFA has publicly expressed the following statements: “LGBT people are to blame for the Holocaust. • Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters occurred because of the nation’s growing legal acceptance of the LGBT community. • Native Americans should have adapted to white culture to avoid mass genocide. • Muslims are a threat to national security. • Eric Garner, who was killed in a chokehold by a police officer, was to blame for his own death.”