Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who recently launched a bid to get the GOP presidential nomination, came in for an initial wave of criticism for his outspoken Christian religious views, which were perceived in some quarters as threatening the separation of church and state.
Now, Perry is taking fire from an altogether different quarter. Blogs with titles like Jihad Watch, Bare Naked Islam, and Rightside News are posting accounts of Perry’s alleged friendly ties with Islamic groups and individuals in Texas and elsewhere. The authors of these accounts seem to be among those who see themselves as resisting what they are convinced is Islam’s plan for world domination.
I hope it’s obvious that we are not endorsing those views or these blogs. But they may represent a significant slice of the political base that Perry is trying to woo.
Here’s some 2004 polling data from Cornell University:
“About 27 percent of respondents said that all Muslim Americans should be required to register their location with the federal government, and 26 percent said they think that mosques should be closely monitored by U.S. law enforcement agencies. Twenty-nine percent agreed that undercover law enforcement agents should infiltrate Muslim civic and volunteer organizations, in order to keep tabs on their activities and fund raising. About 22 percent said the federal government should profile citizens as potential threats based on the fact that they are Muslim or have Middle Eastern heritage. In all, about 44 percent said they believe that some curtailment of civil liberties is necessary for Muslim Americans.”