“I would certainly implement that…absolutely” referring to requiring all Muslims in America to register in a national database.
“Yes, I will close mosques if bad things happen.”
“You’re gonna have more World Trade Centers. It’s gonna get worse and worse, folks.”
And in Trump’s press release today: (New York, NY) December 7th, 2015, — Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.
And the scariest part to me – that so many people support this hateful, fearful rhetoric.
Some interesting facts pulled from PBS and the Pew Research Center.
From PBS Frontline FAQ’s
Q – How many Muslims are there in the United States? Where are they from?
A – Estimates range that between five to 12 million Muslims live in the United States. About one-third of them are African-Americans. Another third are originally from the Indian subcontinent, including Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. The last third include Arab immigrants, Latinos, other European and Caucasian Muslims, and converts to Islam. The first Muslims to come to the Americas were brought as slaves. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/muslims/etc/faqs.html)
From the Pew Research Center Fact Tank:
Muslims are the fastest-growing religious group in the world. The growth and regional migration of Muslims, combined with the ongoing impact of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other extremist groups that commit acts of violence in the name of Islam, has brought Muslims and the Islamic faith to the forefront of the political debate in many countries. Yet many facts about Muslims are not well known in some of these places, and most Americans – who live in a country with a relatively small Muslim population – say they know little or nothing about Islam.
There were 1.6 billion Muslims in the world as of 2010 – roughly 23% of the global population – according to a Pew Research Center estimate. But while Islam is currently the world’s second-largest religion (after Christianity), it is the fastest-growing major religion. Indeed, if current demographic trends continue, the number of Muslims is expected to exceed the number of Christians by the end of this century.(http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/12/07/muslims-and-islam-key-findings-in-the-u-s-and-around-the-world/)
So, I ask this, purely to put some perspective around these most recent comments from Trump: Regardless of how upset and scared we are, do we not owe it to ourselves to learn more about Islam and what the majority of peaceful Muslims believe? Can we really afford to stand by idly while Trump gives ISIS and other fundamentalist sympathizers even more reason to hate and attack us? Is isolationism and hate-mongering really the answer? How is registering all Muslims in this country different from registering all Jews in Nazi Germany?
What happened to “land of the free and home of the brave”? Is it really possible that so many of us have forgotten what really “makes America great”?