A Billings-area candidate for legislature has posted a cartoon to his Facebook page which indicative of the belief that Muslims are terrorists and that those who disagree with this bigoted stereotype are the victims of Islamic terrorism.
A Facebook post labeled “Europe” by GOP candidate John Bedford includes a cartoon in which a man with an Islamic prayer coming out of his speech bubble mows down people with his car. Those killed are all people whose speech bubbles include things like “don’t play the game of the far right” and “don’t fuel the hatred.”
The Montana legislature is already chock full of people who eager to post ignorant stereotypes online and on social media, and eager to take action based on hatred of people whose beliefs differ from their own.
Mr. Bedford is apparently ignorant of the fact that less than 2% of the terrorist attacks in Europe are religiously motivated at all. That means 98% of Europe’s terrorism has nothing to do with religion.
That 2% includes one of the worst terror attacks ever in Europe in 2011, when Anders Breivik slaughtered 77 people in Norway to further his pro-“Western Civilization” anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and pro-“Christian Europe” beliefs.
Here’s a screenshot of Bedford’s Facebook post in case he takes it down:
Bedford, a former police captain with the support of anti-medical marijuana crusader Steve Zabawa, has mounted a GOP primary challenge to Daniel Zolnikov. Montana has a troubled history of current or former law enforcement types who take action based on their own bigoted beliefs either–like the bigoted sheriff deputy who showed up wasted to a neighbor’s party, pulled a gun on an asian man and beat him, calling him “an ISIS.”
Justice of the Peace Michael Swingley is the judge who released deputy Phillip Clark on his own recognizance, so he is now free to hunt down members of ISIS at other neighborhood social gatherings, even though his bail had originally been set at $50,000. Judge Swingley was formerly a member of law enforcement like Clark. Swingley previously made headlines for the bigoted remarks he made in an email, using his official justice of the peace account, to the Helena City Commission, in which he too compared all Arab/Muslims to ISIS:
I request that you remove the Arabic writing from inside the Civic Center. It reminds me of the Arabic writing on the flag of ISIS and as 99.9% of the terrorist [sic] in the world have turned out to be Islamic fundamentalist [sic] and Arabic speaking, it offends me that Helena would allow such a symbol. I realize that the history of the Civic Center was that of a Masonic/Shriner’s temple, that aligned themselves [sic] with the far east and had a large Arabic influenced theme. But if we are going to rewrite and ignore the facts of history, we need to be fair and remove that symbolism as that conflict is still active and Christians like me are being killed daily by Arabic speaking fundamentalist [sic] who show those characters on their flag.
Swingley, who was upset over a discussion of a confederate fountain in Helena, also claimed that the main reason the Civil War was fought was not slavery but rather “banks.”
Keep in mind that slavery was only one issue that caused the Civil War. The largest portion was economic based war as the southern states wanted to separate and begin printing their own currency, and detach from the banks of the United States.