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Rand Paul on Charlie Hebdo: France is too welcoming to Muslim immigrants

Andrew Prokop is a senior politics correspondent at Vox, covering the White House, elections, and political scandals and investigations. He’s worked at Vox since the site’s launch in 2014, and before that, he worked as a research assistant at the New Yorker’s Washington, DC, bureau.

On Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) appeared on Sean Hannity's radio show, and commented on the Charlie Hebdo shootings. "This barbarous aberration of a religion is opposed to the free flow of ideas," Paul said. He said that "civilized Islam" needs to speak out and condemn the attacks.

Even though the suspected attackers still at large were reportedly born in France, Paul soon brought up immigration policy, suggesting, "You've got to secure your country. And that means maybe that every Muslim immigrant that wishes to come to France shouldn't have an open door to come." He continued: "It's also my concern here. I think our border is a danger to attack, as well as our student visa program. Several of the attackers on 9/11 were here on student visas they had overstayed."

When Hannity quoted a New York Times editorial saying it's no time "to smear all Muslims with a terrorist brush," Paul laughed. "I think they must be totally deaf and dumb," he said, "Because, think about it. I haven't seen any Christians or Jews dragging people of the Islamic faith through the streets, but I am seeing the opposite. I'm seeing Christians beheaded, I'm seeing people who say anything about Islam being shot, unarmed, being shot."

He continued: "And so, yeah, should the rules always protect everyone's rights? Yeah, but I'm not worried too right now that we've infringed on their rights, I'm worried that Christians and Jews are being killed around the world."

Update: This post was updated with more detail on Paul's comments. Hat tip to David Weigel and Emma Roller for flagging the interview.