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Hans Zeiger recants his call for Republicans to unite against ‘cult of Islam’

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Sep. 14, 2010 at 2:29 pm with 17 Comments »
September 14, 2010 2:36 pm

The last time I looked at the writings of House candidate Hans Zeiger, the 25-year-old Republican was drawing fire for his published views on Girl Scouts (“a pro-abortion, feminist training corps”) and public schools (“polluted with the filth of moral relativism.”)

Zeiger said he no longer stands by those columns and blog posts, made when he was 18 and 19. He had some of them pulled down from the Web, which unleashed attacks by Democrats and liberal bloggers accusing him of hiding his real views.

But Zeiger’s posts continue to trickle out, and one unearthed by blogger David Goldstein (warning: foul language) is especially incendiary.

The post on WorldNetDaily, “The right must unite against Islam,” calls for conservatives to rebuild their coalition after their 2006 defeats by making a common enemy of “the cult of Islam.”

This post is a little more recent than others: December 2006, when Zeiger was 21. He seems to lump together the Muslim religion with the terrorist attacks by Muslim fundamentalists on Sept. 11.

Our response to the problem of Islam cannot mainly be war, though it may include war. We must respond with a renewed culture. We must counter the rise of Islam with a faith of our own. That is not to say that conservatives must be Christians, but conservatives must understand that the only defense against Islam is a vibrant Christian culture.

I asked Zeiger about it today. He called the column “unacceptable.” and repeated comments that he has grown a lot since being a “young and naïve” college student schooled on talk radio.

Zeiger, who is Presbyterian, said he respects people of all religious faiths. He said:

A former high school classmate wrote me about that post. And she kind of took me to task for not fully understanding the complexity of Islam, and that’s a fair critique. Since that time I had a Muslim roommate in grad school, studied Islam extensively, doing a masters’ degree in international relations, and have had a lot more time to think about the topic.

So does he still think Islam is a cult? “Islam is very complex, and I would not profess to make sweeping judgments about it.”

What did he mean by “the problem of Islam?” He says: “I don’t know what I was thinking at the time. It was not something I should have written, and not something that expresses anything of my views today.”

Zeiger’s writings have turned at least one potential supporter against him. His former Republican opponent, Steve Vermillion, mocks Zeiger’s references to other faiths’ “false gods” in a letter to The News Tribune. Vermillion says he plans to endorse Democratic Rep. Dawn Morrell.

Leave a comment Comments → 17
  1. colsprague says:

    OK, this is less than 4 years ago. Time to stop the “youthful naivete” line, Mr. Zeiger. If you were too young an dnaive to understand this was nuts less than 4 years ago, you surely aren’t mature enough to be a state legislator. I accept that people change their way of thinking… but I’m not willing to trust that a 25 year old has made this kind of a turnabout in such a short period of time. Come back in 5 or 10 years and well see what body of wrok and writing you leave us to judge you by.

  2. wWWWow. It’s like my Tacomics write themselves. Can’t wait to do a cartoon on this guy. I’m seeing a demon-haunted world inhabited by atheist lesbian girl scouts, a homosexual cookie monster, turban-wearing hobgoblins…

  3. JeffTacoma says:

    What a joke this guy is. I agree, four years ago he was young and a racist, hate monger, religious nut and wack job. Nothing has changed him but him filing for office. The Trib needs to do some front page stuff exposing him not hide it here.

  4. Whatever1214 says:

    This guy is the Michael Moore of the right wing. I didn’t think anyone could make Dawn look good, but Zeiger sure does.

  5. I wondered what this was all about. Glad I found this piece. I agree. This is NEWS, and shouldn’t be buried in a blog.

  6. Dont_treadonme says:

    Can’t wait to see the cartoon of the Obama-Reid-Pelosi-Morrell joke that has driven us to the current depression. Surely Hans can do better then those clowns. And for his writings.. umm the truth hurts sometimes.

  7. rampoloparent says:

    We live in such a politically correct world. If he wants to call Islam a cult, who cares? It is not Christianity, they do not share the same god.

  8. colsprague says:

    Hey, if that’s the way he feels, fine, rampoloparent and don’ttreadonme. I disagree and find his views horrible, but if they are his views so be it. But he wants to call Islam a cult and then claim that he doesn’t mean it. He wants to call the Girl Scouts “lesbortionists” and then say he’s changed his views. He wants to say mainstream Baptists worship a “false god” then turn around and say he’s sorry because he’s really a very tolerant guy. Sounds like a typical, hypocritical politician.

    What a joke.

  9. lgcnelson84 says:

    These attacks against Hans’ former views are obviously Dawn Morrell’s way of stating that she’s scared of losing to a new kid on the block.

    Is Hans young? Yep.
    Has he written some closed-minded, one-sided articles? Uh-huh.
    Has he apologized for them and learned from these mistakes? I think so.

    The difference between Hans and politicians who just apologize and hope the issue goes away, is that Hans really has changed his mind about a lot of these topics, and that has occurred through opening himself up to other ways of thinking.

    He hasn’t just apologized for what he’s said, he’s given reasons to back up WHY his views have changed: “Since that time I had a Muslim roommate in grad school, studied Islam extensively, doing a masters’ degree in international relations, and have had a lot more time to think about the topic.” Give the man some credit for educating himself and realizing where he was brash and jumped to conclusions.

    My hope is that he continues to work on learning about all sides of an issue before making statements about where he stands, in fact, my hope is that we all would do that.

  10. randydutton says:

    Looks like Ziegler has made mistakes and admits them.

    Question: What matters most to you,
    JOBS (private sector vs public sector)?
    Growing or shrinking government?
    Or some stupid immature comments made during an outrage moment?

    I worry about our representatives spending money stupidly then sending the bill to taxpayers – don’t you?

    I worry about our representatives borrowing money on our behalf, giving it to their political allies, then leaving the principal and interest for taxpayers to pay – don’t you?

  11. Zeiger’s masters degree is in Public Policy, not International Relations. Check the voters guide.

    What matters most to me is electing an official that is 1) NOT an intolerant, immature hate-monger. There are lots of articles saying that Zeiger is exactly that and no articles that he say isn’t. At least I assume that’s the case, since Zeiger pulled ALL of his articles instead of keeping a few up to say “See? I really wasn’t such a bad guy.” All we have is his word that he’s changed but considering all the other words he’s said in the past, that’s not good enough for me.

    And 2) able to actually do something in Olympia. What does Zeiger know about jobs, having never actually had one himself? What does Zeiger know about debt, since his parents still pay his bills? Zeiger’s work history (or lack thereof) doesn’t qualify him to hold a manager’s position at McDonalds, let alone the state legislature.

  12. andrewbacon says:

    @nineinchnachos… definitely a Tacomic about this nutjob.

    Hans – you’re still in the middle of your “youthful indescretion”. Go out drinking like regular kids and leave our district out of it. Dawn Morrell is a qualified and dedicated public servant, and you can’t do anything but mess up our district’s representation in the state house with your childish vacillations of opinion and position.

  13. footballscaa says:

    Future T-party leader.

  14. colsprague says:

    randydutton: What matters to be is judgement and life experience,of which this kid clearly has none. I accept that he’s changed his mind and apologized. But some of his supporters on here apparently think he was right-on.

  15. lgcnelson84 says:

    Since when is 25 still considered a kid?

    People who complain about “kids these days” and in the same breath tell this man who is trying to make something of himself and give back to his community that he should “go out drinking… and leave our district out of it”, really bother me. You cant piss and moan about the degradation of our youth and then hold them down because they don’t have what you consider to be appropriate “life experience”.

  16. humourologist says:

    I think people are getting a little too jaded. I’ve met Hans a few times, and I know people who know him, and he’s not a political hack. At all. Not even a little bit.

    People who hit him the way they hit Gingrich, Limbaugh or Bush are just happy to have a punching bag, I’m sure, but Hans is almost always in earnest. So when he changes his mind, it isn’t a political move, he is a actually a normal guy who says what he thinks, just like he said what he thought before, when he wasn’t running for any office and didn’t think about not-giving-opponents-ammo-to-shoot-him-with. I’m sure he’ll get jaded quickly after dealing with you people, though.

  17. So if he’s so “mature” now, why has he run around trying to hide everything in what he calls his youthful past – which was actually up to a year ago according to Hans. He is the definition of a political hack. Say anything to get elected and lie and deny the rest. How exactly would he be qualified to represent our district? Never had a job, never owned property or paid taxes; and now he dismisses his entire past. Not much left.

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