Swapping Adam Hasner for Allen West Would Replace One Anti-Islam Politician With Another

U.S. Rep. Allen West's departure from his Broward-Palm Beach district to run for a more Republican-leaning seat up north is undeniably good news for local Muslims. Finally, South Florida will be rid of a congressman who calls Islam "a totalitarian, theocratic, political ideology."

But don't start celebrating yet. Former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner (R-Delray Beach) is seeking to replace West and has already received the congressman's ringing endorsement. Small wonder, because the two men share similar political tactics -- namely, getting ahead by spouting fear-mongering, anti-Islam rhetoric. (To read about how local Muslims are coping with such bigotry, see this week's New Times cover story.)

In 2009, Hasner invited anti-Islam nutbag Geert Wilders, a member of the Dutch

Parliament, to be the featured speaker at an event in Palm Beach County. "We need strong leaders like we have here today, Allen West and Adam Hasner," Wilders said that night.

"We should also stop pretending that Islam is a religion," Wilders continued. "It's not a religion; it's a totalitarian ideology, and the right to religious freedom should not apply to Islam."

And there's more. Hasner

freaked out

when a group of Muslims came to Tallahassee to lobby their legislators. He also brags about how, when he was majority leader in the state House, he

boycotted a prayer

offered by a Tampa imam on the House floor.

In a June speech to the Tea Party of Fort Lauderdale, Hasner spoke about facing an "existential threat from shari'a-compliant Islam" -- a threat he neither defined nor explained.    

Looks like he and West have been sharing talking points.

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