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The Republican candidates are fostering a dangerous culture of Islamophobia

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The following post appeared today on Correct the Record, a Hillary Clinton site. It is such a service, we are passing it along.

This week, leading Republican presidential candidates Ben Carson and Donald Trump continued Republican efforts to foster a culture of Islamophobia in America – Carson stated that he would “not advocate” electing a Muslim as president and Trump refused to correct hateful and inaccurate comments made to him at a town hall about President Obama. Carson and Trump are not alone – the Republican presidential field is composed of candidates who have encouraged religious hatred that is a direct contradiction to bedrock American values, including freedom of religion.

Dr. Ben Carson

Ben Carson said Islam is incompatible with the U.S. Constitution and he would “not advocate” electing a Muslim as President. “Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson said he would not support a Muslim as President of the United States. Responding to a question on ‘Meet the Press,’ the retired neurosurgeon said, ‘I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.’ He also said that Islam, as a religion, is incompatible with the Constitution. Carson, who is near the top of several early presidential polls, said a president’s faith should matter depending on what that faith is. ‘If it’s inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter,’ he clarified.” [NBC, 9/20/15]

Donald J. Trump

Donald Trump did not take issue with a man who said Muslims were a “problem” and asked him “when can we get rid of them?” “At a town hall in New Hampshire, a man stood up and asked the billionaire businessman this question: ‘We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American. We have training camps growing when they want to kill us. My question: When can we get rid of them?’ Trump, who had even interrupted the man to say, ‘We need this question,’ didn’t knock down the premise of his question at the end. Here’s how he responded: ‘We are going to be looking at a lot of different things. And a lot of people are saying that, and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there. We are going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.’” [NPR, 9/18/15]

Donald Trump told Bill O’Reilly, “absolutely” there was a Muslim problem, adding “I don’t notice Swedish people knocking down the World Trade Center.” “O’Reilly asked Trump whether there is a Muslim problem in the world. ‘Absolutely, absolutely — I don’t notice Swedish people knocking down the World Trade Center,’ Trump said. ‘I came out very strongly against the mosque being built virtually across the street. ‘The fact is, it was so insensitive when they announced the mosque in that location,’ he said. ‘Don’t forget, that’s my territory — Manhattan. When they announced the mosque in that location, I couldn’t believe it.’” [Newsmax, 3/30/11]

Donald Trump on the Quran: “there’s something there that teaches some very negative vibe.” “Brody: With some evangelicals there are some problems with the teachings of the Koran. Do you have concerns about the Koran?” Trump: Well, I’ll tell you what. The Koran is very interesting. A lot of people says it teaches love and there is a very big group of people who really understand the Koran far better than I do. I’m certainly not an expert, to put it mildly. But there’s something there that teaches some very negative vibe.” [CBN News, 4/12/11]

Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee called Muslims “uncorked animals” and said Islam is “a religion that promotes the most murderous mayhem on the planet.” “Speaking on his radio program on Monday, Huckabee prefaced his remarks by saying that he understood it was ‘politically incorrect’ to ‘say anything unkind about Islam.’ He then went on to suggest that Islamic teachings were to blame for recent unrest during the holy month of Ramadan. ‘Can someone explain to me why it is that we tiptoe around a religion that promotes the most murderous mayhem on the planet in their so-called ‘holiest days,’’ Huckabee said. ‘You know, if you’ve kept up with the Middle East, you know that the most likely time to have an uprising of rock throwing and rioting comes on the day of prayer on Friday. So the Muslims will go to the mosque, and they will have their day of prayer, and they come out of there like uncorked animals — throwing rocks and burning cars.’” [Huffington Post, 8/9/13]

Mike Huckabee referred to Islam as “the antithesis of the gospel of Christ. “‘If the purpose of a church is to push forth the gospel of Jesus Christ, and then you have a Muslim group that says that Jesus Christ and all the people that follow him are a bunch of infidels who should be essentially obliterated, I guess I have a hard time understanding that,’ said Huckabee, who has his own show on Fox News. ‘Is there a reason to say that the people who donated, who gave, who sacrificed to give that facility really ever intended it to be a place where something that is the antithesis of the gospel of Christ would be presented?’ he added.’”   [The Hill, 2/21/11]

Bobby Jindal

Bobby Jindal refused to back down from calling certain areas in European cities “no-go zones” because of Muslim fundamentalists. “Bobby Jindal refused to apologize Wednesday for calling certain areas in Europe ‘no-go zones’ due to influence from fundamentalist Muslims. Appearing on Fox News’ ‘Your World with Neil Cavuto,’ the Louisiana governor, who is eyeing a run for the presidency, reiterated recent comments he’d made in London and to CNN about supposed areas, where ‘women don’t feel comfortable going in without veils’ and ‘where police are less likely to go in.’ Over the past week, Fox News issued apologies after multiple commentators and hosts referred to various locations across Europe, including in France and Britain, as ‘no-go zones.’ Pundit Steve Emerson, in particular, claimed that the British city of Birmingham was ‘totally Muslim, [a city] where non-Muslims simply don’t go in,’ and that it had ‘Sharia courts’ that enforce Islamic law.” [Politico, 1/21/15]

Bobby Jindal: “Islam has a problem [with violent extremism].” “As Islamic terrorists launch attacks across the globe, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal plans to call on Muslim leaders to publicly condemn these ‘acts of barbarism,’ declaring: ‘Let’s be honest here, Islam has a problem.’ ‘If Islam does not support what is happening in the name of Islam, then they need to stand up and stop it,’ Jindal says in prepared remarks released by his office ahead of his Monday speech in London. ‘Many Islamic leaders argue that these are the acts of a radical few.’ ‘I will warn you in advance that I’m going to say some things that are not politically correct, so brace yourselves,’ Jindal, a potential Republican candidate for president, will say at the Henry Jackson Society on Monday. ‘To be clear, I have no interest in defaming any religion, nor do I have any interest in assigning the maniacal acts of radical Islamists to millions of Muslims worldwide,’ Jindal says. ‘I’m interested only in dealing with reality and facts.’” [Daily Caller, 1/15/15]

Bobby Jindal said “non-assimilationist Muslims” threaten Western society because they support acts of violence, adhere to Islamic law, and refuse to embrace Western culture. “If Bobby Jindal runs for president, he will likely campaign on two major themes. The first, which he outlined last February at the Reagan Library and last May at Liberty University, is that Christians are at war with a liberal elite that is trampling religious liberty and secularizing American culture. The second, which he laid out this month at London’s Henry Jackson Society, is that ‘non-assimilationist Muslims’ are endangering America and Europe. In London, Jindal said ‘non-assimilationist Muslims’ threaten the West not merely because they support acts of violence, and not merely because they adhere to Islamic rather than national law. Most fundamentally, they pose a threat because they refuse to embrace the cultures of the countries to which they immigrate.” [The Atlantic Magazine, 1/29/15]

Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush hired as his political adviser a lawyer who called supporters of the Ground Zero Mosque “terrorists.”   “Lawyer and political adviser Jordan Sekulow is the Saul Goodman of social conservatism. He frequently appears on right-wing television to pontificate—his face caked with makeup, hair gelled back, suit shining, and double chin taking on a life of its own—about a wide range of topics, from Christian persecution to conservative persecution. On social media, he branded those behind the proposed Ground Zero Mosque ‘terrorists.’ And in his capacity as executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, televangelist Pat Robertson’s snake oil mega-mall of right-wing legal causes, he has lobbied foreign governments to ban homosexuality and fought efforts to allow exceptions to anti-abortion laws when the life of the mother is at risk. And on Friday, he announced he’s going to work for Jeb Bush. That’s right, Sekulow will be a senior adviser to the political action committee of the likely Republican presidential candidate most often labeled a moderate.” [Daily Beast, 3/15/15]

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz appointed an anti-Islamic politician as his Tennessee campaign chair, who once condemned Tennessee’s governor for hiring a Muslim and creating a council on Islamic affairs. “Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign is pushing back against criticism that the Texas senator named an anti-Islamic politician as his state chairman in Tennessee. On Wednesday, Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler called the reaction to the appointment ‘absurd.’ Tyler’s comments came in response to a prominent Muslim-American advocacy group’s complaints about the Cruz campaign’s new state chairman, Kevin Kookogey. Announcing the move, Cruz hailed Kookogey’s ‘experience and knowledge of both the landscape in Tennessee and the issues that matter to Tennesseans,’ such as ‘American sovereignty, defense, and religious liberty.’ As chairman of the Williamson County Republican Party in 2012, Kookogey pushed a resolution condemning Republican Gov. Bill Haslam for hiring Samar Ali, a practicing Muslim, and for appointing a council on Islamic affairs in the state.” [Politico, 6/11/15]

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum said there is “a fundamental foundational problem in Islam of embracing issues of freedom of conscience and religious persecution,” adding “you don’t have any Baptist ministers going on jihad.” “During his speech on Friday at the Values Voter Summit, former Senator and Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum claimed that ‘the West’ was in an ‘existential fight’ against the forces of ‘radical Islam.’ Unlike fellow Values Voter Summit speaker Michele Bachmann (R) — who urged President Barack Obama to go to war with all of Islam — Santorum limited his criticism to those Muslims who were rightly hesitant about modernity. Still, he noted, there is ‘a fundamental foundational problem in Islam of embracing issues of freedom of conscience and religious persecution.’ ‘Christendom [once] expanded by the sword, that doesn’t happen anymore,’ he continued, but ‘you don’t have any Baptist ministers going on jihad.’ ‘The Western world,’ Santorum said, ‘has come to terms with religious liberty, freedom of conscience, and that persuasion is the way to spread the faith.’” [Raw Story, 9/28/14]

Rick Santorum endorsed profiling of Muslims. “In a discussion over balancing national security and privacy, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Tuesday he would endorse profiling, specifically of Muslims and young men, in order to enhance security at airports. ‘We should be trying to find the bomber, not the bomb,’ the former Pennsylvania senator said at the CNN debate, explaining his support for profiling. He cited the use of profiling in Israel as an example of how it would work. Asked to explain by debate moderator CNN’s Wolf Blitzer who would be profiled, Santorum said, ‘The folks who are most likely to be committing these crimes.’ ‘Obviously, Muslims would be someone you’d look at,’ he said, adding that ‘the radical Muslims are the people that are committing these crimes, by and large, as well as younger males.” [CBS News, 11/23/11]

Rand Paul

Rand Paul told a reporter that individuals coming into the country from predominantly Muslim countries should receive extra scrutiny.  “Breitbart News is reporting that GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul told one of its reporters backstage at a speech in Houston last night that the U.S. should provide extra scrutiny of people coming into the country from predominantly Muslim countries after the Chattanooga, Tenn., terrorist attack on Friday. ‘I’m very concerned about immigration to this country from countries that have hotbeds of jihadism and hotbeds of this Islamism,’ Paul told Breitbart. ‘I think there does need to be heightened scrutiny. Nobody has a right to come to America, so this isn’t something that we can say ‘oh, their rights are being violated.’ It’s a privilege to come to America and we need to thoroughly screen those who are coming.’” [USA Today, 7/18/15]

Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio entertained the notion of putting a stop to visas for Muslim students. “CAVUTO: Senator, there are some getting leery of all the Muslim students in America. Bob Beckel is among those saying stop grants visas, others speaking about slowing down the number getting into the country. What do you think? RUBIO: We need to be open to changes that provide more security. I don’t like profiling anybody or singling or generally leading, on the other hand student visas are something this country does because it’s in our national interest but you don’t have a right to a student visa. I’m not prepared to take a firm position on restriction. I want to learn about what might have worked to prevent past attacks.” [Fox News, 4/24/13]

George Pataki

Geroge Pataki, in opposing the Ground Zero Mosque, conflated Islam with the 9/11 attack. “Pataki: No… no, no. Dylan of course not. If this were a corner mosque for a local community, I don’t think you would hear this reaction at all, but this is supposed to be a major center of Islamic… ah… whatever… tolerance… it’s 12 to 15 stories high. This is not the neighborhood mosque… (crosstalk) Ratigan: But what’s the difference with it being Muslim? Pataki: This is a symbol of Islam being built two blocks… (crosstalk) Ratigan: What’s wrong with that? Pataki: Let me tell… the point is that it was Islamist terrorists who attacked us on September 11th they weren’t Buddhists, they weren’t Episcopalians (crosstalk)…” [MSNBC, 8/16/10]

Lindsey Graham

Lindsey Graham on the Arabic call to prayer: “Allahu Akbar” is a “war chant.” “‘It’s not like, ‘Hey, how you doing Lindsey,’’ he said on Fox News radio. Graham was asked about the phrase, which translates to ‘God is great,’ in light of Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) remark that people shouldn’t find the phrase offensive. ‘For someone to say ‘Allahu akbar,’ it’s about as offensive as someone saying, ‘Thank God,’’ McCain said earlier this month. But Graham, who is a friend and ally of McCain’s, said he’s sees it differently. ‘‘Allahu akbar,’ I associate with a war chant,’ Graham told host Brian Kilmeade. ‘It’s not exclusively owned by al Qaeda. I’ve seen people kill al Qaeda guys and yell, ‘Allahu akbar.’’ The Arabic phrase is used often; it’s said during every call to prayer in the Muslim tradition.” [The Hill, 9/23/13]

Lindsey Graham said Charleston shooting reminded him of “Mideast hate.” “Last week’s horrific shooting in a black church in Charleston, South Carolina reminded Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) of violence in the Middle East. ‘I don’t know how you can sit with somebody for an hour in a church and pray with them and get up and shoot them. That’s Mideast hate,’ Graham said Wednesday on the Senate floor. ‘That’s something I didn’t think we had here, but apparently we do.’ Asked by a reporter after his speech to clarify his comments, Graham told NBC’s Frank Thorpe, ‘What ISIL is doing, that kind of hate. It’s kind of that hard-heart, that, you know, heart that has been hardened after generations of hate.’ Graham made a similar comment last week in an interview the morning after the shooting. ‘To go into God’s space and do this, I don’t know,’ he told ABC News. ‘You can’t explain it. … I go to the Middle East a lot. I’ve seen hate up close. I’ve seen communities where everybody has been killed because they’re a different religion, and you think that’s just over there. Sometimes it’s not just over there.’” [Huffington Post, 6/25/15]

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14 Responses

  1. Les
    September 22, 2015, 11:26 am

    I would challenge anyone to name a single one of our major print and broadcast media that is not doing exactly the same as they choose not to condemn Israel’s efforts to wipe out the Palestinians and instead provide the images of Palestinians as barbaric savages. Our media may be drawing on their experience of promoting the genocide of (savage) Indians by our pilgrim fathers with the blessing of god for the Pilgrim quest for Indian lands.

  2. eljay
    September 22, 2015, 12:03 pm

    Lindsey Graham said … ” … I’ve seen hate up close.”

    Every time he looks in the mirror, he sees hate staring back at him.

  3. Citizen
    September 22, 2015, 2:16 pm

    I blame the US media for not bringing to the attention of the US public that more than a few Jewish Israeli leaders, both public and religious, sound just as bad as the most hate-filled, Muslim bigots talking about Jews. Instead, the media constantly pushes for the US public to notice Iranian & Arab bigotry of the most crude nature. The Arab states have an arms-length relationship with the US government–they pay through the nose literally for whatever they get from us, both governmentally and business-wise. In contrast, Israel, although it’s the size of NJ, is the biggest benefactor of free US aid in US history–with no strings attached. In other words, we fund Israeli bigotry, all the while saying we have the same values. This is a cancer we have & its also a world-recognized catalyst for breeding enemies and the continued destruction of what once was USA’s favorable image in the world, once a source of soft power, hearts and mind, etc.

    • JWalters
      September 22, 2015, 7:25 pm

      Very, very true. The Republican presidential candidates are all fingers on Israel’s hands, parroting the bigotry and hate they are paid to parrot, inciting the religious conflict they are paid to incite. Members of the mainstream media are also Israeli parrots, but more by imprisonment than Bombs-Away! enthusiasm. They are living in a Gaza of the mind. Must be a terrible fate for a true reporter.

    • traintosiberia
      September 23, 2015, 7:26 am

      To maintain this relationship, a dictatorship or dynastic kingship is essential. Not democracy. Too many voices within democracy create the problem of discussion,leakage of information, losing the argument and then election followed by power . America loves dictatorship . Israel loves it. It is as good a product as is the oil ,gas,and water.
      As is the oil part of the landscape ,is is the tyranny , so is the dictatorship . They are part of Islam and Arab. So does claim Israel . It then becomes the American understanding of Arab . A racial epithet ,a prejudicial view and attitude is created through which Arabs are judged , thanks to Hasabara ,Hollywood and the gutter politics .

      Now the exploitation can be internalized ,hate,and war could be internalized as being deservedly done to tyrannical regime,tyrannical societies,dictatorial religion, to uplift them. Their pain don’t matter. Our injustice doesn’t count. Support to Israel is given and even irrelevant to understanding Arab anger . The explanation as the psychological fix- in is already available – Arabs are animals ,violent,pedophile,anti woman,,bigoted with no culture .

      But often the history doesn’t end the way people fashion it or intend it to finish .
      These people are young ( unless a big heart attack removes some of those with robust waist line among the contenders sooner ) and would live to see the day when America would be reduced if it were lucky enough to avoid a Nazi fate ,to the British empire of 1947.

  4. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    September 22, 2015, 3:54 pm

    This web site is primarily a big fan of isolationism for thus it sees the future divorce from Israel resulting from the desire to “come home” rather than seek foreign entanglements, but guess what? isolationism and xenophobia go hand in hand sometimes. progressives who wish to take advantage of human nature in encouraging isolationism react in horror when some of that human nature gets turned into xenophobia.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      September 22, 2015, 4:50 pm

      I don’t consider myself an isolationist but I think the world would be better off if we (the United States) backed off getting involved in many conflicts because just make it worse. Did you see the story today about the rebels (patriots?) we JUST trained in Syria turning their weapons over to al Nusra?

      Yeah, that’ll end well.

      • Citizen
        September 23, 2015, 9:33 am

        If you look at which countries are selected for US intervention, for “regime change,” for economic sanctions, for wars by proxy, they all have had governments that refused to turn over their natural resources and economies to maximize US business & MIC profits. In short, they all refused to become American puppets.

    • JWalters
      September 22, 2015, 7:27 pm

      This website is primarily a big fan of justice.

    • ziusudra
      September 23, 2015, 5:43 am

      Greetings jonah fredman,
      In Europe, we have France’s Le Pen; Italy’s Liga Nord & now Hungary’s Urban.
      Not even Marie Le Pen is as nationalistic as of these Rep. Candidates with their sickening, blatant oozing, public broadcasting of Nazism!

      When you’re both finished off the Palestinians, they’ll move on to Israel, enter, Oliver Cromwell: convert or die!

  5. just
    September 22, 2015, 7:01 pm

    Thanks for the detailed and well- sourced article, MW editors!

    I linked to Beinart’s newest article in Haaretz this morning:

    “What if Trump or Carson Were Talking About Jews?

    American Jewish leaders cannot confront anti-Muslim bigotry in the presidential race because they will not confront anti-Muslim bigotry in their own ranks.”

    – See more at:

    In his article he writes:

    “When CNN asked fellow candidate Ted Cruz whether he agreed with the questioners’ sentiments, the Texas senator refused to answer. “The American people,” he explained, “are not interested in the food fight …” Candidate Rick Santorum would not answer either. “People are entitled to their opinions,” he declared, “whether I disagree with it or agree with it really isn’t the point. The point is that they have the right to say it.” (To their credit, candidates Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Lindsey Graham criticized Trump’s response).”

    My comment:

    ““A long memory” has nothing to do with it, Peter. Surely you must see that. It was always part of the grand plan. And Graham, Bush and Christie may have “criticized” Trump’s response, but I’m reluctant to give them any “credit” for doing so. Any decent person who believes in the Constitution and in equality should “criticize” Trump’s and Carson’s pronouncements, and those 3 haven’t exactly impressed me as entirely decent, unbigoted, and unbiased people.

    Far from it.”

    He makes a fair case, though.

  6. just
    September 22, 2015, 7:06 pm

    “Marine Le Pen faces court on charge of inciting racial hatred

    French Front National party leader compared Muslims praying in streets due to mosque shortages to a Nazi occupation

    Marine Le Pen, the president of France’s far-right Front National party, is to appear in court for allegedly inciting racial hatred over comments in which she compared Muslims praying in the streets to the Nazi occupation.

    The FN leader made the comments in a speech during a party rally in Lyon in 2010. Asked on Tuesday about being summoned to appear in court on 20 October, Le Pen told Agence France-Presse: “Of course, I’m not going to miss such an occasion.”

    Later, she told Europe 1 it was “scandalous to be prosecuted for having a political opinion in the country of freedom of expression”.

    At the time she made the remarks, Le Pen was campaigning to become FN president, succeeding her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, himself no stranger to charges of provoking racial hatred.

    At the rally, Le Pen made reference to “street prayers” after reports of Muslims praying in public in three French cities, including Paris, because of a lack of mosques or a lack of space in local prayer rooms. The French government later clamped down on the “illegal” use of the public space for prayers.

    “I’m sorry, but for those who really like to talk about the second world war, if we’re talking about occupation, we can also talk about this while we’re at it, because this is an occupation of territory,” she told supporters, prompting waves of applause.

    “It’s an occupation of swaths of territory, of areas in which religious laws apply … for sure, there are no tanks, no soldiers, but it’s an occupation all the same and it weighs on people.”

    Despite numerous complaints from anti-racist organisations, a preliminary inquiry by the authorities in Lyon was dropped in 2011. However, one association pursued the legal complaint, and when the European parliament lifted Le Pen’s parliamentary immunity in July 2013, a preliminary inquiry was opened. In September 2014, the prosecutor’s office announced she would be sent before a judge. …”

    The US and Israel have plenty of candidates for similar court appearances …

  7. traintosiberia
    September 23, 2015, 2:27 pm

    NYT is covering the trend pointedly arguing against the rising islamophobia in the GOP camp . Editorial and OpEd ( Friedman) are rightfully condemning the overt racism and the blame game.
    But how could one forget that the initial days after 2001. NYT and Friedman were themselves promoting a softer version of it . Their frequent references to the inherent deficiencies of Arab,of Muslim,of Islam,and the insistence on the military solutions to the cultural differences predate the wholesale embrace of the hatred of Muslim by the was robust pushback from Bush in early days ,that prevented the appearance of his antimuslim sentiment in 2002

    2004,2006 elections. Even in 2008 election MCCain stood firm against the intrusion while the media including NYT. Often tried to introduce the angle of Arab and Islamic issues in the lection in negative light .
    These GOP morons know that their back are secure from any onslaught . The depraved lunatic fear mongering people with base instinct have been rehabilitated by the think thank by the media and even by ADL.

  8. mijj
    September 24, 2015, 6:59 am

    the capacity for Righteous Hatred seems to be the principle platform for population manipulation.

    The general systemetic injustices and and abuses we experience all day, every day, leave us all with an incoherent sense of outrage and anger at .. something .. and we desperately need to know which direction we can vent that anger. .. and it feels soooo good when we are shown the way and know it is Righteous.

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