Trump’s Muslim hatred about winning votes, not policy
By : Chris Doyle
My bet would be that ISIS supporters are rooting for Donald Trump to become President of the United States. This was probably the case even before he scraped the bottom of the fascist barrel by calling for all Muslims to be barred from entry to the United States.
Remember this is the man who already has called for a database of all Muslims in the U.S.. He made ludicrously unproven claims that thousands and thousands of Muslims were celebrating 9/11 in New Jersey. He advocates not just killing “terrorists” but taking out their families. Trump’s earlier comments rejecting taking in any Syrian refugees now seem mild.
What further depths of hatred and rabble rousing is Trump planning? Bringing back slavery perhaps. Or perhaps he will call for putting checkpoints or a wall around Dearborn, Michigan?
This was no gaffe. It was a prepared, written statement. For the avoidance of any doubt, he read it out to cheering supporters on the USS Yorktown in South Carolina. There was no remorse. “I. Don’t. Care.” Trump continued: “We have no choice. We have no choice.” Just to ramp up the fear factor, Trump ranted: “We are going to have more World Trade Centers.”
Being offensive as a vote-winner
This is the mass-marketing of Islam hatred. Trump is a salesman and selling fear of Muslims is box-office politics that buys both airtime and votes. And this is about votes not policy. Trump knows perfectly well, even if his supporters do not, that any such move would be unconstitutional.
What further depths of hatred and rabble rousing is Trump planning? Bringing back slavery perhaps. If he is prepared to kick out 11 million undocumented immigrants, why not kick out more than three million American Muslims. Perhaps he will call for putting checkpoints or a wall around Dearborn, Michigan?
Trump has made being offensive a vote-winner. Aside from Muslims, Donald Trump has gratuitously insulted among others: women, blacks, Mexicans, Chinese, Japanese, Jews, immigrants, the disabled, reporters, London, Paris, the New York Times, the Washington Post, NBC, Jeff Bezos and Amazon, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, Arianna Huffington as well as each and every single one of his Republican opponents.
Perhaps the only person he has not insulted is the Russian President, Vladimir Putin and that pretty much sums Trump up. His pro-dictator mindset led him to proclaim that the Middle East would be better if Saddam Hussein and Qaddafi were still around.
Plenty of fun is being had at Trump’s expense (see #Trumpfacts) but there are dangerous consequences to this. He is the Republican frontrunner. He was meant to have faded away by now but it is others who have done so. With just over seven weeks away from the Iowa primary, Trump has a 13 per cent poll lead. We should be concerned if only 0.0001% of Republicans wanted to vote for him.
Trump is actually holding a mirror up to the Republican heartlands. He should have been thrown out of the race just for his “Mexicans are rapists” comments. If having argued this, Trump is not seriously burnt at the polls then what does it say about America and significantly, what does it say to the overwhelming majority of non-extremist Muslims worldwide?
Trump also risks making his opponents look angelic by comparison, yet the other Republican candidates are not desisting from this hate-fest. It seems they feel they need to compete with Trump, albeit without the same panache and flair. So in the Republican primaries, who are the alternatives to this extremist, fascist, bigot? There is Ben Carson who does not think a Muslim should be President. Marco Rubio believes that we are facing a “clash of civilizations” where “there is no middle ground on this. Either they win or we win.” Senator Ted Cruz refused point blank to condemn Trump’s comments. Governor Chris Christie is so scared of five-year-old Syrian refugee orphans, he wants to stop them being admitted into the United States.
Moreover, every year since 9/11, far more Americans are killed by right-wing extremists than by Muslims. It will be Muslims who suffer yet more hate crimes as a result of this horrific climate. Extremists will be hugely encouraged to carry out more attacks in the U.S. if they get to be rewarded so handsomely.
What should be the response?
Firstly, the Republican Party, if it is not to be permanently tarred, must do everything conceivable to distance itself from Donald Trump. Anything less is to condone the unforgiveable and also to play into the hands of extremists. What more does someone have to do to get expelled from this party? The bare minimum should be that the other candidates refuse to support his candidacy.
Benjamin Netanyahu and fellow Israeli politicians should publicly and clearly refuse to meet Trump during his visit to Israel.
Secondly, clear and unequivocal condemnation from all quarters must follow globally. The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, described Trump’s remarks as “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong.” Others should do likewise and totally disengage with his campaign. Frankly, there are compelling reasons to deny Trump entry to any country. People have been banned from entry to the UK for far less. (A petition to Parliament to ban him has been started)
This should start now and why not with Trump’s visit to Israel scheduled for this month.
Benjamin Netanyahu and fellow Israeli politicians should publicly and clearly refuse to meet Trump during his visit to Israel. Although Netanyahu’s policy is formally to meet with every Presidential candidate who requests it, surely this is a moment to take a stand. Israel can send a compelling message to the world from a country that knows exactly where this hate-language leads.
Thirdly, states with large Muslim populations should not be silent. Why should they do business with Donald Trump? He has hotels and golf courses across the Islamic World – for the moment. Why not rename the Trump Tower in Istanbul and ditch his planned second Golf course in Dubai? Landmark group, a huge retailer in the Middle East, has announced it will take all Trump branded products off the shelves.
Finally, Trump’s worldview must be defeated just as Nazism, fascism, communism were defeated, just as we need to win the intellectual and ideological struggle with the likes of ISIS and al-Qaeda. As even the Pentagon acknowledged, Trump is indulging and helping the ISIS narrative. This has to end – and America should lead the world in rejecting this.
Chris Doyle is the director of CAABU (the London-based Council for Arab-British Understanding). He has worked with the Council since 1993 after graduating with a first class honors degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies at Exeter University. As the lead spokesperson for Caabu and as an acknowledged expert on the region, Chris is a frequent commentator on TV and Radio, having given over 148 interviews on the Arab world in in 2012 alone. He gives numerous talks around the country on issues such as the Arab Spring, Libya, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Islamophobia and the Arabs in Britain. He has had numerous articles and letters published in the British and international media. He has travelled to nearly every country in the Middle East. He has organized and accompanied numerous British Parliamentary delegations to Arab countries. Most recently he took Parliamentary delegations to the West Bank in April, November, December 2013 and January 2014 including with former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in the Column section are their own and do not reflect RiyadhVision’s point-of-view.