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Tue Dec 8, 2015, 12:48 PM


Donald Trump’s “Ban Muslims” Proposal Is Wildly Dangerous But Not Far Outside the U.S. Mainstream

Hours after a new poll revealed that he’s trailing Ted Cruz in Iowa, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump issued a statement advocating “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our representatives can figure out what’s going on.” His spokesperson later clarified that this exclusion even includes Muslim-American citizens who are currently outside the U.S. On first glance, it seems accurate to view this, in the words of The Guardian, as “arguably the most extreme proposal to come from any U.S. presidential candidate in decades.”

As The Atlantic’s Matt Ford put it yesterday: “The immediate danger isn’t Trump’s actual policy, but the bigotry and violence that it both legitimizes and encourages.” Muslim Americans (and, for that matter, Mexican-Americans and African-Americans) don’t have the luxury that people like Douthat and Greenman have to be so dismissive. That’s what Al Jazeera’s Sana Saeed meant when she said that she’s “tired of people telling us to not be afraid — Trump may not win but his words will last & there are people who support” the bile he’s spewing.

All that said, it’s important not to treat Trump as some radical aberration. He’s essentially the American id, simply channeling pervasive sentiments unadorned with the typical diplomatic and PR niceties designed to prettify the prevailing mentality. He didn’t propose banning all Muslims from entering the U.S. because it’s grounded in some fringe, out-of-the-mainstream ideas. He proposed it in part to commandeer media attention so as to distract attention away from his rivals and from that latest Iowa poll, but he also proposed it because he knows there is widespread anti-Muslim fear and hatred in the U.S. Whatever else you want to say about him, Trump is a skillful entertainer, and good entertainers — like good fascist demagogues — know their audience.

Trump’s proposal yesterday, though a new low, is not that far afield from what other credible GOP presidential candidates previously proposed. Jeb Bush previously urged that the U.S. be wary of Syrian Muslim refugees but eagerly accept “proven Christians.” Ted Cruz advocated an outright ban on Syrian Muslim refugees and then introduced a bill to bar refugees from multiple predominantly Muslim countries unless they’re Christians. Ben Carson argued that no Muslim could be President because their beliefs are anathema to constitutional principles. Those proposals are more limited than what Trump advocated yesterday, but they’re hardly in a different universe; they’re grounded in the same principle that Muslims are uniquely dangerous and antithetical to American values.

Lest liberals become self-satisfied about all this, this obsession with demonizing Muslims is by no means confined to the GOP presidential field. Residing — or so they claim — outside the far-right and Fox News swamps, there’s a sprawling cottage industry of pundits, academics, authors, TV hosts, think tanks, and “anti-extremist” activist groups devoted primarily to one idea: that Islam is supremely dangerous and Muslims pose the greatest threat. Beloved Democratic General Wesley Clark, while on MSNBC earlier this year, explicitly called for “camps” for radicalized American Muslims. CNN’s role in all this is legion.
More: https://theintercept.com/2015/12/08/donald-trumps-ban-muslims-proposal-is-wildly-dangerous-but-not-far-outside-the-u-s-mainstream/

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Reply Donald Trump’s “Ban Muslims” Proposal Is Wildly Dangerous But Not Far Outside the U.S. Mainstream (Original post)
Cheese Sandwich Dec 2015 OP
shraby Dec 2015 #1

Response to Cheese Sandwich (Original post)

Tue Dec 8, 2015, 01:23 PM

1. I'd rather ban the trump as he is trying to incite violence against a religion.

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