Donald Trump Defends Call to Block Muslims, Citing Roosevelt

8 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Among Muslims in Donald Trump’s Old Queens Neighborhood, Shock and Dismay.

That was the message on Monday night in Queens, as two dozen men finished their prayers in a basement mosque beneath a discount store on Hillside Avenue in Jamaica, Queens, just a block away from where Donald J.Donald Trump on Tuesday defended his call to block all Muslims from entering the United States, casting it as a temporary move in response to Islamic State terrorism and invoking President Franklin D.“I’m against the anchor babies, and I’m against the Muslims.” That’s something a Donald Trump supporter named Kathy Parker told me at a Donald Trump rally I reported from recently. He added that family members of Muslim families would be forced to turn in those close to them who are “acting suspicious.” He then refused to answer anymore questions regarding the subject, the Washington Post reports, likely because most Republicans, Democrats and the White House had condemned Mr Trump’s rhetoric as quickly as the words came out of his mouth.

It’s an attitude that helps explain Trump’s call on Monday to ban all Muslim immigration to the U.S.—and the split he has exposed in the base of the Republican Party. Trump, who is handily leading the Republican presidential field in almost every poll nationally and in primary states, spoke in a string of interviews with television morning show hosts, as Democrats fumed over his proposal and Republican reactions ranged from outraged to tepid.

Later, Mr Trump continued his tirade — that’s earned him comparisons to Adolf Hitler — by implying that the Muslim ban would prevent tragedies similar to the September 11 attacks. “You’re going to have many more World Trade Centers if you don’t solve it — many, many more and probably beyond the World Trade Center,” Mr Trump said during an interview on CNN. “They want our buildings to come down; they want our cities to be crushed,” he said. “They are living within our country. Prior to Monday’s announcement, it was already abundantly clear what Trump was getting at with his explicitly anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric. At the rally I attended in Myrtle Beach, which drew more than 10,000 people—and which occurred prior to last week’s shooting in San Bernardino—I met plenty of people like Parker, who had driven eight hours, with several family members, to attend the event. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina called Trump a “xenophobic, race baiting, religious bigot.” In a tense exchange with Joe Scarborough on the MSNBC show “Morning Joe,” Trump insisted that fears of terrorism had made policing difficult in places like London and Paris, the site of the Islamic State attacks on Nov. 13 that killed 130 people. “Paris is no longer the same city it was,” he said. “They have sections in Paris that are radicalized where the police refuse to go there. Following Trump’s call for an immigration ban, one of his Middle Eastern business partners, Damac Properties Dubai, said it considered him to be only a business partner, but declined to comment on his political positions, according to Bloomberg.

There’s something going on, I don’t know what it is.” Several attendees could be heard to shout, “He’s a Muslim!” or “He’s one of them!” So Trump was already openly preaching paranoid nativism. But earlier this year Trump lost a substantial amount of business after he made offensive comments about Mexican immigrants — losing deals with Macy’s and Univision. But he nonetheless referred to three proclamations by which Roosevelt authorized government detainment aliens and which led to the internment of thousands of Japanese and others. “This is a president highly respected by all; he did the same thing,” Trump said. As the nation was at war in the 1940s, he said, it is now “at war with radical Islam.” In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation apologizing to and compensating more than 100,000 people of Japanese descent who were incarcerated in internment camps in World War II.

Trump’s childhood street, a dozen mosques are spread out along Hillside Avenue — there are 93 in Queens, one third of the city’s total, according to Tony Carnes, the editor of “A Journey Through N.Y.C. On ABC, Trump said Tuesday morning that this proposal did not apply to U.S. citizens. “If a person is a Muslim, goes overseas and comes back, they can come back,” he said. “They’re a citizen. His positions have drawn condemnation from such GOP figures as Dick Cheney: “This whole notion that somehow we can just say no more Muslims, just ban a whole religion, goes against everything we stand for and believe in.” And House Speaker Paul Ryan: “This is not conservatism. What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for.” Yet 30 percent of Iowa Republicans said in a recent poll they think Islam should be outlawed.

In another survey, 76 percent of Republicans—and 56 percent of all voters—said they considered the values of Islam “at odds with American values and way of life.” Back in August, the conservative writer Ben Domenech asked, in a prescient essay, “Are Republicans for freedom or white identity politics?” Trump, he said, threatened to reorient the GOP away from ideological conservatism, along the lines of right-wing European political movements. The divide within the GOP has long been described as the “establishment”—power brokers, donors, elected officials, consultants—versus the “conservative base.” But it’s increasingly clear there are two conservative movements within the GOP. There’s the intellectual conservative movement, a decades-long project of institutional actors like the Heritage Foundation and the American Conservative Union, which seeks to push the party toward strict adherence with a set of ideas about limited government, strong national defense, and the traditional family.

There are close to 64,000 Pakistani and Bangladeshi immigrants in the borough, according to the American Community Survey from 2014; many of them are Muslim. It was the latest controversy from a candidate whose campaign has been marked by harsh rhetoric about some immigrant groups since he entered the race in June.

Trump’s dominance of the primary field is forcing the party to confront a frightening prospect: that the populist bloc may be the bigger of the two. Despite repeated and often hopeful predictions from his rivals and political analysts that his supporters would abandon him, such remarks have appeared to move Trump’s backers closer to him. Trump’s comments with hurt and surprise. “I love this country, 100 percent,” said Mohammed Rana, 39, an assistant imam at the Islamic Center of Jackson Heights, who is from Bangladesh. When he heard people blaming Muslims for violence, especially after the attacks in Paris and California, he said: “If people go and do something bad, we are very sad.

Donald Trump is playing right into the hand of ISIS.” Shaukat Choudhury, 70, who, for 46 years, has lived in an apartment on the same street, Midland Parkway, as Mr. Trump’s childhood home, said he that at first could not take the remarks seriously. “I very much laughed out loud,” he said. “I said, ‘Here goes Trump – again!’” But Mr. His parents were Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, and this fall, he lost his bid to become the first person of South Asian ancestry to be elected to the City Council. Trump back for some halal kebabs and a cup of chai tea in the old neighborhood. “I’m outraged that anyone born and raised in Queens would say something like that,” said Mr.

Najmi, who grew up in Glen Oaks, Queens. “Especially since Queens County is home to so many immigrants — it’s the symbol of immigrants in America.” Alhaz Mowlana A.

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