Republican Congressman Steve King Jokingly Endorses Forcing Muslims to Eat Pork

King has jumped from controversial comments on rape and incest to supporting parts of China's reeducating program for Muslims

U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, listens to a question during a news conference, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Republican Congressman Steve King, whose recent comments on rape and incest sparked an instant controversy, created yet another scandal on Tuesday when he endorsed forcing Muslims to eat pork.

King, speaking at a townhall event in Iowa, was discussing China’s mass internment of its minority Muslim population. King said: “They want them to put on Chinese clothing and eat Chinese diet, which includes trying to force the Muslims to eat pork. That’s actually the only part of that that I agree with is, everybody ought to eat pork. If you have a shortage of bacon, you can’t be happy.”

Islam, like Judaism, forbids eating pork. King continued, “I don’t want people doing my pork that won’t eat it, let alone hope I go to hell for eating pork chops.” 

King said Friday he stands by his recent comments about rape and incest that sparked bipartisan criticism but acknowledged he could have made his point in a “softer way.”

Backed by supporters at a news conference in Des Moines, the Iowa Republican affirmed his belief that abortion should be outlawed with no exceptions for rape or incest. King faced criticism for his comment Aug. 14 that questioned whether there would be “any population of the world left” if not for births due to rape or incest.

The remarks were condemned by numerous groups and individuals, including Republican and Democratic candidates seeking to oust King, Democratic presidential candidates as well as the Iowa Republican Party and Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in House leadership. Cheney called King’s comments “appalling and bizarre.”

House Republicans previously stripped King of his committee assignments for his comments about white nationalism.

Although King repeated his claim that his comments were being misconstrued by political opponents and the media, he said he would “rather deliver that in a little softer way.”