The Colorado Independent’s John Tomasic:
“The only news is that it’s no longer news that a Republican lawmaker spews anti-Muslim bigotry,” said Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Hooper was referring to the fact that state Senator Kevin Grantham, a Cañon City Republican, recently said he saw merit in a proposal put forward by lightning-rod Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders that lawmakers should ban any future mosque construction in the state…
Wilders appeared as a featured speaker at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver last week. Wilders has long campaigned to ban immigration from Muslim countries to the Netherlands and to outlaw mosque building in the country. He has compared the Koran with Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf and has lobbied to have the book banned in the Netherlands.
…Grantham said he agreed with Wilders that mosques are not primarily religious buildings.
“Mosques are not churches like we would think of churches,” he told the Colorado Statesman. “[Muslims] think of mosques more as a foothold into a society, as a foothold into a community, more in the cultural and in the nationalistic sense. Our churches – we don’t feel that way, they’re places of worship, and mosques are simply not that, and we need to take that into account when approving construction of those.” [Pols emphasis]
Nearly two weeks before the Western Conservative Summit in downtown Denver was convened, we discussed the slate of speakers, most notably including controversial anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders. But this summit proceeded largely under the radar–some coverage was given to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s appearance, but nothing about Wilders until days afterward, in an excellent story in the relatively obscure Colorado Statesman.
Not that we take it personally, but let’s put this in perspective. Rep. Robert Ramirez’s self-injurious freakout yesterday over our wholly deserved critique of his laughable mail piece nets stories in the state’s newspaper of record and a major Denver television station. They were fine stories, though they didn’t turn out very well for Rep. Ramirez–that’s not the point.
State Sen. Kevin Grantham talks about banning mosques, and this does not merit a story?
Taken together, intention or oversight, these do not seem like responsible journalistic choices.