Muslim Group Assails Remarks by Donald Trump and Ben Carson Photo

19firstdraft-carson2-tmagArticleA leading Muslim civil rights group pushed back on Thursday against what it considers inflammatory language from Republican presidential candidates, condemning Ben Carson’s comparison of Syrian refugees to rabid dogs and Donald J. Trump’s support for requiring special identification for American followers of Islam.

Lawmakers and candidates have been wrestling with how to address a growing terrorism threat and an influx of refugees fleeing Syria. In recent days the debate has turned increasingly partisan and, in some cases, heated.

Mr. Trump was asked this week in an interview with Yahoo News if he would consider requiring Muslims to register in a database or giving them a form of special identification that noted their religion. Not ruling that out, he said: “We’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely. We’re going to have to look at the mosques.”

Remarks by Mr. Carson, the retired neurosurgeon who, like Mr. Trump, has been leading several polls of Republican candidates, inflamed the situation. Addressing the issue of Syrian refugees on Thursday, he said that people who were against welcoming them to the United States were using their heads.

“If there is a rabid dog running around your neighborhood, you’re probably not going to assume something good about that dog,” Mr. Carson said, calling for stricter measures to screen refugees. “And you’re probably going to put your children out of the way.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned the remarks by the two candidates, saying that they had worsened an already “toxic environment.”

“By mainstreaming Islamophobic and unconstitutional policies, Donald Trump and Ben Carson are contributing to an already toxic environment that may be difficult to correct once their political ambitions have been satisfied,” said Robert McCaw, the council’s government affairs manager. “Such extremist rhetoric is unbecoming of anyone who seeks our nation’s highest office and must be strongly repudiated by leaders from across the political spectrum.”


Paris attacks: Isis responsible for more Muslim deaths than western victims

tribute-islam-gettyMultiple attacks perpetrated by Isis across the French capital on Friday night have so far claimed the lives of 129 people, with more than 340 injured and many remaining in critical condition.

While many have showed solidarity with France, there has also been an immediate backlash against refugees fleeing war-ravaged parts of the Middle East.

One journalist has pointed out the terror organisation – also known as the Islamic State – has killed far more Muslims than Christians, Westerners, or minorities during its existence.

A year ago, a report released by the United Nations carefully documented known instances of Islamic State barbarity against Muslims, noting in the first eight months of 2014 Isis was the “primary actor” responsible for the deaths of 9,347 civilians in Iraq.

Most recently, just days before the Paris atrocities, the group launched a co-ordinated suicide attack in Beirut, killing 43 people – the majority of who were Sunni Muslims.


What’s Wrong With Rubio Comparing Muslims to Members of the Nazi Party

rubioIn 2008, when I was seventeen, I opened my inbox to find a chain email message forwarded by a close family friend. Circulated around my Catholic parish community before arriving to me, the message compared the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims to the “silent” Germans of the 1940s, both of whom, the email claimed, were responsible for the actions of Muslim terrorists and Nazis, respectively.

Fast forward several years later, to the 2016 presidential campaign, and we find that the same narrative about Muslims’ complicity in terrorism is being peddled by candidates who could be our country’s next president. During an appearance on ABC’s“This Week” on November 15, Senator Marco Rubio was asked to respond to Hillary Clinton’s refusal to use the phrase, “radical Islam.” Here’s what he said:

That would be like saying we’re at war with Nazis, because we were afraid to offend some Germans who may have been members of the Nazi Party but weren’t violent themselves.

This comparison of Nazi-era Germans and the majority of Muslims is one of the most persistent narratives I’ve encountered in the years since 9/11. I’ve heard it echoed countless times in the honest question, “Why don’t Muslims speak out?” posed by family friends, and in the disingenuous commentary by Fox News hosts whenever a Muslim is the perpetrator of violence.

By claiming Muslims are like Nazis, both Rubio and the 2007 chain message assert a dangerous, but latent, assumption: that ordinary Muslims and groups like ISIS have the same worldview, want the same things, share something fundamental and are part of the same “party” simply because of their shared religion.