In London, Bobby Jindal talks foreign policy, Islamic terrorism, assimilation

by Karen L. Willoughby, |
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal speaking to the Henry Jackson Society at Parliament in Great Britain about the dangers of radical Islam, January 20, 2015. | Bobby Jindal/Facebook

LONDON (Christian Examiner) -- Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal addressed concerns in London Jan. 19 about Islamic terrorists, immigration, assimilation and America's proper role international affairs -- all important subjects to voters who might consider him as a 2016 presidential candidate.

The first step for America – and for any nation that wants to protect its own freedom and encourage it everywhere – is to have a strong economy. It all starts there.

Jindal spoke to the Henry Jackson Society, a think tank launched in Parliament in 2005 as a "policy-shaping force that fights for the principles and alliances that keep societies free," according to the website The entity has as its guiding principles democracy, freedom and human rights.

"Let's be honest here; Islam has a problem," Jindal said, according to prepared remarks released on his website. "If Islam does not support what is happening in the name of Islam, then they need to stand up and stop it. ... It's not enough to condemn violence. They must stand up and loudly proclaim that these people are not martyrs who will receive a reward in the afterlife. They are murderers who are going to hell. If they refuse to do that, then they are part of the problem. There is no middle ground here."

Jindal, first-born son of immigrants from India, also spoke candidly on immigration and assimilation.

"It is my view that immigration can make a country stronger, or it can make a country weaker. It really depends on whether immigrants coming to your country are coming to join your culture, your mores, your laws, and become a part of your history. Or, are they coming to be set apart? Are they willing to assimilate? Do they have their own laws they want to establish? Do they fundamentally disagree with your political culture?

"Therein lies the difference between immigration and invasion," Jindal said.

There was a time in America when its immigrants planned to become Americans, but that is not so in America and perhaps Europe, Jindal said.

A philosophy has spread from the American left to mainstream Europe that "holds the view that it is wrong to expect assimilation, that assimilation is colonialist, assimilation is backward, and assimilation is in fact evidence of cultural bigotry and insensitivity. ... They think it is unenlightened, discriminatory and even raciest to expect immigrants to endorse and assimilate into the culture in their new country.

"This is complete rubbish," Jindal said.

The order of Jindal's speech suggested a strong commitment to foreign policy: "My objective in this speech is to speak clearly about what I believe to be America's proper role in international affairs; to speak bluntly about the nature of the threats we face and the recent tragic events in France; and to suggest what I think is the way forward. ...

"The first step for America – and for any nation that wants to protect its own freedom and encourage it everywhere – is to have a strong economy," Jindal told members of the society. "It all starts there."

Without a strong economy, a strong military is not possible and "you have to have both in order to have a strong presence in the world," Jindal said. "I believe that America's foreign policy should stand on three basic principles: freedom, security and truth. ...

"Let me be blunt about this. I want America's allies to trust us and respect us, and I want our enemies to fear us," Jindal is to say. "... The events of the past several years clearly suggest that America's allies are often less than certain they can count on us, and our enemies too often do not fear us."

Jindal said the current administration's tactic of "empathizing" with those who want to do America harm "is mindless naivete'. ... The fact is that radical Islamists do not believe in freedom or common decency, ... We need to stop pretending otherwise. ... In Iraq, ISIS commits genocide, enslaves women and beheads opponents."

The Louisiana governor and possible presidential candidate had sharp words for the nations that allow autonomous nations within nations.

"We have to stop pretending that right and wrong do not exist," Jindal said. "Sharia law is not just different from our law; it's not just a cultural difference. It is oppression and it is wrong. It subjugates women and treats them as property, and it is antithetical to valuing all of human life equally, ... A so-called religion that allows for and endorses killing those who oppose it is not a religion at all; it is a terrorist movement. ... [R]adical Islamists do advocate the slaughter of those who reject their views."

It's going to take strong alliances among democratic nations to move the world forward, Jindal said. It's going to take boldness and a commitment to human liberty too.

His closing remarks served as a rallying cry: "Now is the time for freedom-loving people to wake up ... to speak the truth, ... [and] now is the time for freedom-loving people across the entire world to courageously stand up for freedom."