Did Kasich Just Reference The Muslim 'No-Go Zone' Myth?

| by Michael Allen
Gov. John KasichGov. John Kasich

Republican president candidate Gov. John Kasich of Ohio recently said he could not go into some neighborhoods in Europe after "three o'clock in the afternoon" because of immigration issues.

During an interview with the New York Daily News editorial board on April 7, Kasich discussed NATO, Europe and its immigration policies:

But Europe, they need to get over all their hangups over there, which is all the political correctness, the bureaucracies and everything else. NATO can be an organization that currently exists that goes across boundaries and borders. That's what we've gotta work with.

... And I can't go into a neighborhood, because it's three o'clock in the afternoon, or these things that you read about and hear. And obviously, Europe has a big problem with integration. ... They've just got a massive problem over [there], which they are gonna have to deal with.

Kasich did not explicitly reference "no-go zones" but what he described sounded very similar.

The term "no-go zones" has become a popular conservative talking point, and the phrase gained international attention on Jan. 10, 2015, after Fox News pundit Steve Emerson said parts of Europe are "no-go zones" where "non-Muslims just simply don’t go," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Emerson eventually admitted he was wrong about "no-go zones" but was still called a "complete idiot" by British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, Robert Spencer of Stop the Islamization of America, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and former Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana also made similar assertions.

The "no-go zones" myth began around 2002 when the Washington Times ran articles about "no-go" areas in Europe, according to a 2015 report from Talking Points Memo.

Another purveyor of the notion was Daniel Pipes who wrote articles for the Washington Times beginning in 2006 about "no-go zones."

In 2013, Pipes recounted his visit to a Muslim community in France.

"In normal times, they are unthreatening, routine places," he wrote. "But they do unpredictably erupt, with car burnings, attacks on representatives of the state (including police), and riots. Having this first-hand experience, I regret having called these areas no-go zones."

Sources: New York Daily News, Southern Poverty Law Center, Talking Points Memo / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia

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