Describing the United States as “the last best hope” for carrying on the ideals of western civilization, Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo called last night for an end to the nation’s “bilingualization” and “Balkanization.”

“I think Europe can not be counted on to help us in this endeavor,” Tancredo said last night at Magdalen College in Warner. “They’ve already become, to a large extent, Islamicized. And that is worrisome.” Referring to “Western” principles, Tancredo asked, “If we don’t talk about them, who will? If we don’t advance them, who will?”

Immigration is Tancredo’s signature issue. Last night, he attempted to tie immigration to the threat posed by “radical Islam,” and described the “grand experiment we call America” as rooted in “Judeo-Christian principles.”

In a recent television ad in Iowa, Tancredo, a Colorado congressman, went even further. A voiceover in that ad warns viewers that “there are consequences to open border beyond the 20 million aliens who have come to take our jobs. Islamic terrorists now freely roam U.S. soil, Jihadists who froth with hate here to do as they have in London, Spain, Russia,” according to Tancredo’s campaign website.

Tancredo’s comments didn’t go unchallenged last night. One after another, audience members pressed him on his views on language, assimilation and border security, at times leading to heated exchanges.

“I speak the same language as the people that flew into the towers; I speak the same language as all the Iraqis we are killing; I speak many languages, and I’m proud of it,” said Siham Elhamoumi, 22, who recently graduated from St. Michael’s College in Vermont and traveled to the event with a group from the college. “Am I the enemy?” Elhamoumi then pulled her shawl over her head, so it covered her hair. “Am I the enemy if I do this?”

“Do you take us for idiots, for people who have no appreciation of our history?” she asked. “Perhaps you don’t have an understanding of your country right now, of its composition.” (MORE)


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