A Dangerous Escalation

Capture4GOP Candidate for President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, has escalated his commentary against American Muslims. Trump in a newly released policy statement, advocates banning Muslims from immigrating into the United States. This commentary follows a litany of hateful rhetoric from Trump and many others, that places Americans and American Muslims in the “us” and “them” categories. Leading his Party as the #1 candidate vying for the nation’s top office, Donald Trump has used his platform to advocate closing down of Mosques, advocating for a special database or ID program for American Muslims, and linking all Muslims and Islam with the ideology of terrorists such as Daesh.

These provocations against American Muslims should seem outrageous to any American of good conscious, but when you consider his following, his media coverage, and the media’s seeming unwillingness to report on these vicious, bigoted, attacks against fellow Americans in the context that they should be, one has to ask, what is the end game? If Trump were alone in his provocative rhetoric, we could see him as the crazy carnival barker he was called by Martin O’Malley, however when you consider that his closest competitors share similar views and go unchecked in their race to the bottom of hateful commentary, it seems that we are not that far from crescents sewn on clothing and concentration camps.

Some may question the comparison to the horror that was visited upon the Jews under Nazi rule as insensitive or going too far, but we would be ignorant of history if we forget that Hitler’s reign of terror didn’t happen in a single day. It started with rhetoric and preying upon the public’s base fears of the “other” combined with a complicit media apparatus and an apathetic public.

As an American Muslim, I fear for my safety and those of my family and friends. This unchecked and seemingly and new normal commentary from the Right and on the Left particularly from the “New Atheists,” makes it OK to openly critique Islam and Muslims as an evil, diabolical, 5th column engaged in worldwide hostilities against the West, is reaching fever pitch.

Mosques are being vandalized and burned. Muslims and those who “look” like Muslims are being assaulted and verbally abused. Muslim worshipers are having to face armed protesters and vile signs on their way to services. Mosque and cemetery construction community planning discussions which are routine for other faiths are becoming hotbed sessions where any bigot seeking their 15 minutes of fame, hurl insults at American Muslims and Islam.

How long before one of the adherents to this rhetoric against American Muslims and Islam decides that it’s time to take matters into their own hands and more innocent Americans are killed in a mass shooting or some other terrorist attack?

We are living in a time so hostile to American Muslims that it is perfectly OK to say anything you want about Islam or American Muslims and instead of it being repugnant, crossing the line, or dangerous, it’s an applause line at a political gathering.

No other group is being targeted in this manner in America Right Now to this degree and extent. It would be unthinkable for anti-Jewish protesters to conduct an armed protest outside a Synagogue with anti-Semitic signs or vandalizing Synagogues with Pig’s heads and blood. The media would rightfully close any platforms and the individuals would be roundly condemned.

However, for Muslims it is open season and even those groups who historically have fought against these types of injustices are silent. The only groups trying to defend American Muslim’s right to exist in peace are American Muslim groups and organizations. No ADL, No NAACP, No ACLU, No SCLC… When it comes to American Muslims we are on our own.

American Muslims are no less American than anyone else. We serve in the Military, we serve as Police Officers, Firemen, Doctors, Lawyers, Sports Icons, Entertainers, Politicians, and numerous other fields and professions. Yet, we find ourselves constantly having to defend our right to be treated like any other group or religious community in America.

We are asked to apologize, protest, and condemn the acts of others because they share the same religion. Yet no other group is asked to do so, because it’s assumed that the individuals who commit those atrocities are outside the norm of their associated groups.

American Muslims are asked to expunge texts from our religious books, because others don’t like them and asked to prove our loyalty to America as if service and being a law-abiding citizens isn’t enough. These things are never asked of any other group.

What is the potential consequence of this type of rhetoric? What happens when you lump all Muslims in the same basket? What happens when you make statements to adoring crowds reinforcing the idea that 1.5 Billion Muslims are the “other”, their religion false and a cult, and all their adherents are in league with terrorists, and much, much, worse?

How must this language impact the psyche of young people growing up and going to school in an already challenging environment, especially for teens? How much more difficult must it be, day to day, having your name, beliefs, and religion mocked? Where being called “Osama”, “terrorist”, or worse is considered jokes or kids being kids? What world does a Muslim child born a few years before and or a few years after 9/11 have to contend with?

It must delight groups like Daesh or Al Qaeda to no end to see what is happening in America, where the potential future President of the United States is calling for a ban on Muslims. These groups prey on the weak, ignorant, and those in despair, preaching that the West is hostile to Muslims and Islam, is at war with the religion, and hates all Muslims.

If you listened to commentary from Presidential candidates, pundits who question the current President for asking for civility, or watch an accommodating media, all too eager to give us 24/7 coverage of “Muslim terror” while ignoring other crimes, and an apathetic public who won’t take to their respective platforms, pulpits, etc. in support of their fellow Americans…If you listened and watched…

Wouldn’t you come to the conclusion that maybe the terrorists are right about America?

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UPDATE: Jewish groups have released statements of condemnation against Trump’s rhetoric.

“In the Jewish community, we know all too well what can happen when a particular religious group is singled out for stereotyping and scapegoating,” Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL’s CEO said. “We also know that this country must not give into fear by turning its back on its fundamental values, even at a time of great crisis.”

“As Jews who are now observing Hanukkah, a holiday that celebrates a small religious minority’s right to live unmolested, we are deeply disturbed by the nativist racism inherent in the candidate’s latest remarks,” Harris said. “You don’t need to go back to the Hanukkah story to see the horrific results of religious persecution; religious stereotyping of this sort has been tried often, inevitably with disastrous results.”
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/news/1.690635

 

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