Sunday, September 20, 2015

Donald Trump and Islamophobia

The latest from the Trump campaign: a man at a New Hampshire rally got up on Friday and declared that President Obama was secretly a Muslim. Considering that the Donald had expressed serious doubts about Obama’s citizenship in the past and had offered a considerable amount of money for anyone who could produce Obama’s birth certificate, the question and the insinuation were not completely out of line.

As you know, Trump did not refute or dismiss the man’s charges. Naturally, the media and Democrats and many Republicans attacked Trump for failing to defend President Obama. After all, John McCain had defended Obama during the 2008 campaign, and McCain must be the role model for presidential candidates.

Anyway, Trump has chosen not to apologize for dereliction. While it is absurd on its face to say that you never apologize, in this case Trump is on solid ground.

He tweeted this:

Am I morally obligated to defend the president every time somebody says something bad or controversial about him? I don't think so!

And this:

If someone made a nasty or controversial statement about me to the president, do you really think he would come to my rescue? No chance!

Let’s stipulate that the man asking the question was a crank. Was Trump morally obligated to rush to the defense of Barack Obama? I think not. Would Obama or any Democrat have offered the same courtesy when Trump or another Republican was maligned? Certainly, not.

The media and Republicans often use a double standard when dealing with Republicans and Democrats. Many people support Trump because they are fed up with it.

Of course, it really isn’t about whether or not Obama is a Muslim. Even if he slipped up one day with George Stephanopolous and spoke of his “Muslim faith?” Let’s not malign the president because of what may or may not have been a slip of the tongue.

We do not know what Obama believes. We know that he spent twenty years at the feet of one Jeremiah Wright, a man who is nominally Christian and who leads a Christian Church, but who is a hatemonger, who despises America, white people and Jews. Not the most Christian of attitudes, those.

No, the real question is: why has Obama, regardless of his believes, so fiercely defended the good name of Islam? Why was Obama’s Secretary of State was the first foreign leader to sit down with the leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood when he was elected president? Why has Obama consistently sided with the ayatollahs, speaking with great respect of the Supreme Leader of Iran, while showering contempt on a man he took to be his true enemy: the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Natanyahu? How many times has Obama stood up for Christians in the Middle East? How many times has he denounced the Muslim terrorists in ISIS for persecuting Christians? Why is it that Obama and his minions refuse to pronounce the name of Islam in the same sentence with the word terrorism? Why is it that Major Nidal Hassan’s terrorist rampage at Fort Hood was reduced to workplace violence? Why is it that Obama always speaks reverently about the Prophet Mohammed and Rev. Farrakhan?

It doesn’t matter whether Obama attends a Christian Church or whether he sees himself as a Christian. The American presidency is not about religious belief. It is about the conduct of policy, and there Obama has far too often to have placed the good name of Islam and the interest of Islamic Republics like Iran ahead of the good name and interests of the United States. If that is not a campaign issue, I don't know what is. Obviously, it needs to be stated more clearly than the man in New Hampshire did.

As for Trump, the news today is that he voted for Obama in 2012. He has recently deleted the following tweet:


If Chris Christie’s 2013 bromance with Obama makes him untrustworthy, why does Trump’s vote not?

[Addendum, from Roger Simon:

Something is going on in an emotional sense that trumps (excuse the phrase) conventional religious belief.  He seems almost always to side with Islamic society against Christendom, bending over backwards on occasion to set up false equivalences. At the very moment the Islamic State was lopping off the heads of Christians and Yazidis in Libya, Syria and Iraq, he invoked the Crusades at a National Prayer Breakfast as if this behavior from centuries ago were even marginally equivalent.  Unlike other major world leaders, he didn’t bother to attend the Charlie Hebdo massacre memorial in Paris.  He couldn’t even say the Islamic terrorists who shot the people in the Paris kosher deli the day after did so because the victims were Jews.  And then there’s the Iran deal, the giveaway of the century ($150 billion) to an Islamic state building nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles, not to mention sponsoring terrorism across the world, for absolutely no verifiable quid pro quo.]


Anonymous said...

Mark Steyn has it right regarding Trump

Ares Olympus said...

On "My Muslim Faith", we could almost wonder if Obama was just trying to mess with people?

But on Trump's enlightened questioner, let's get a quote as well:
I'm from White Plains. Amen. OK. We have a problem in this country. It's called Muslims. We know our current president is one. We know he's not even an American. His birth certificate, man.

But anyway, we have training camps growing where they to kill us.

That's my question. When can we get rid of them?

And we might as well consider this "white" Plains man, a religious man, Amen, is also trying to mess with us. And for all we know, amen, perhaps he's a liberal plant, an agent provocateur, attempting to try to get Trump to say some racist thing that could be used against him.

And what does Trump say to the question "When can we get rid of all the Muslims?"

Trump: We're going to be looking at a lot of different things and a lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there. We're going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.

He says absolutely nothing. He refuses to take the bait to support or reject the assertions. In other words, he's being the perfect noncommital politician.

So he's not going to look into things NOW, since he has no power with only billions of dollars (and we know what happened the last time he tried to look into things), but if you help him get elected, he'll definitely "look into it" wink-wink, as soon as he figures out which way the wind is blowing, and what is to his greatest political advantage.

And if an executive order to evict all Muslims from the country, you can be sure he's ready to try.

But until then we all just need to trust him. He's going to look into it.

Ares Olympus said...

p.s. On the "Muslim training camps", Vox has the story:
The Trump supporter was talking about a conspiracy theory that been festering on the far-right fringes of American political discourse: that Muslim American communities are sheltering secret terrorist training camps in the US.

"Fears of 'Muslim training camps' have simmered on the far right for years, especially since the rise of the Islamic State," Jenna Johnson writes in the Washington Post, adding that right-wing media sometimes claim there are dozens of such camps.

This conspiracy theory has prompted attempts at far-right violence in the past. Just this spring, FBI arrested a Tennessee man named Robert Doggart who was plotting to lead a far-right militia on a killing spree against a heavily Muslim community in New York state.

Doggart believed the community was a "Muslim Jihadist Training Camp," according to a post he made on his web site. He wrote, "Given the recent beheading of an American Journalist by the treacherous ISIS group, the Islamic networking that is underway in America, and the threats directed at us, there is no choice but to engage this topic, face-to-face, on location."

The implication and basis of the conspiracy theory are pretty clear: that the 2.6 million Muslim Americans in this country are not equal citizens who happen to follow a different faith, but rather a frightening enemy within that must be confronted, violently if necessary. Calls for a mass ethnic cleansing campaign against Muslims, like the one the Trump supporter implied is necessary, are merely the next step in that horrifying logic.

So this shows the primary problem of Trump's nonconfrontational nonanswer.

Its fair to suggest that Trump has NO IDEA about these imagined training camps, but if he actually spends some time to look into it, he might conclude it is absolute nonsense, and then, the next time such a question comes up, he can offer a public rejection of such opinions.

We can probably imagine there is going to be continually more scapegoating done against American Muslims, by confused individuals who want to fight the good fight, and demonstrate their patrotism.

And some of them might be encouraged by videos like this one, where conspiratory nonsense is asserted, and politicians like Trump say absolutely nothing against it.

Then again, clearly some Muslims are crazy in the mentally ill sense. It was 13 years ago in Minneapolis that the police shot and kileld a Somali man wielding a machete and a crowbar.

So we don't have to doubt mental illness exists in all population groups of all religious backgrounds. But ideally rational folk shouldn't use the ravings of the mentally ill to define their world views.

Anonymous said...

RedState says it well too.

Anonymous said...

We don't know what Obama believes because no one asked him. Whose job is it to ask questions of politicians? Who decides what's important and what's not? The CNN debate was a joke. Journalists don't get to policy questions. Thy pick winners and bury stories that don't align with their crypto-communist worldview. They make fun of the Fox News moniker as being fair and balanced while not giving the pretense of balance themselves. Obama's been able to operate and maneuver with impunity. The commie Dems never have to worry about anything. Full air cover for government shutdowns, spiking the Jeremiah Wright issue, as just a couple examples. If the Iran situation blows up, Iran goes nuclear and starts bullying other nations in the region, Obama will somehow blame Republicans and the news media will run with it. Obama doesn't care about America. He wants equality. Everywhere. So he has to cut us down to size. -$$$

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I've gotten my money's worth from Trump's candidacy so far. The apoplectic reactions of the DC/NYC media have been worth a million bucks. They don't know what to do. They're not controlling the process. I watch the Bret Bair all-star panel freaking out. The CNN talking heads babble to each other on camera and are indignant while devoid of substance. They're just pissed. They think they should be calling the shots. Meanwhile, they're getting the biggest money making political events they've ever seen. Are they happy? Nope. They don't care about the money. They want their power back. It's an awesome spectacle, watching these handsome or pretty uber-rich news stars so incredulous. I hope Trump keeps going, throwing silly bombs. He may be dangerous, but look who the American media talks about day after day. Now we're crying crocodile tears about our Muslim brethren. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all the terrorists are Muslims. Obama just pretends not to see this because he's a Christian. Yeah right sure. The media companies have made a lot of money off these crazy reality TV shows, and paybacks are a bitch. Trump is reality politics on TV, the reality the bobo elites don't want to see. They want to serve us, and now we're regurgitating what we've consumed and throwing it back at them. -$$$

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

All paths lead back to Valerie Jarrett. All of them.

And so this week we find out Ahmed the innocent clockmaking STEM prodigy wearing the cute NASA t-shirt is a hoax. And we're learning that about a third of the "Syrian refugees" are actually from... Syria. Why would the USA take more than 200,000 in? Oh, that's right, because we destabilized the joint in the first place. Let's have them live here!

Anon: thanks for the link to the Steyn piece.

Ares Olympus said...

Hi IAC, Where does Valerie Jarrett come in?!

And in-regards to "boy-genius", Ahmed Mohamed, I saw Richard Dawkins called it a fraud, it's a fair question, if he merely took a clock out of its case and put it into a new case, but I wouldn't prejudge his skill or intention. Dawkins tweeted: “If the reassembled components did something more than the original clock, that’s creative. If not, it looks like hoax.”

And even if it was the most minimal of experiments, anyone who has ever taken anything apart knows getting it back together functionally can be an achievement in itself.

We can question the over-the-top encouragement by the Left, including President Obama's invitation to the White House, but arresting a kid for messing around with electronics is pretty insane, so would seem worth a little positive attention, whether it is completely informed or not.

There's enough foolishness on all sides that no one should feel smug whatever their opinion on the reality of devious children trying to be noticed.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares Olympus @ September 21, 2015 at 5:26 PM:

I was saying that the references Roger Simon used (Stuart's addendum) have Valerie Jarrett's fingerprints everywhere in our dealings with Islam. And I think he makes a great point that we made the Iran deal "... for absolutely no verifiable quid pro quo." That's weird.

Barack Obama may have a U.S. birth certificate and be an American citizen, but I do not believe his worldview and choices reflect an American character at all. He doesn't fit his policies to American interests. He runs around acting like a "citizen of the world" and draws a strange moral equivalence to things, reserving venom for the loyal opposition that he doesn't apply to America's sworn enemies. He sees the world through a socialist, victimy lens. Michelle, too.

And who spends the most time privately advising the Obamas? Valerie Jarrett. She's with them all the time when they travel, in senior meetings, in the executive residence late at night for dinner, etc. They connect and identify with each other, largely about their time spend outside the U.S. as children of expatriates (Jarrett in Iran, Obama in Indonesia). Is this wrong or bad? No, not necessarily. What I question is taking an identity as a "citizen of the world" and then choosing to run for POTUS. He was hired to do a job and represent the interests of the American people. If his global citizen-ness leads to blind trust in an agreement with a sworn enemy, I don't think that's a good idea. He's not an anthropologist or sociologist. He's the chief executive of a nation!

Jarrett talks about her connection to Obama at length, and here I offer two quotes from David Remnick's book "The Bridge" --"'Barack felt extraordinarily familiar,' Jarrett said. 'He and I shared a view of where the United States fit in the world, which is often different from the view people have who have not traveled outside the United States as young children.' Through her travel, Jarrett felt that she had come to see the Unites States with greater objectivity as one country among many, rather than as the center of all wisdom and experience. 'We were both, in a sense, only children,' she went on,' because his sister is so much younger than he is , and I am an only child. We were forced to be with adults at a very young age, and, therefore, if not to participate, be in the room where there were adult conversations going on about world politics. We were both inundated with a lot of diverse information, which gives you a lot of appreciation for diversity of thought and how that shapes you. And I think that's why we clicked.'" (Remnick, p. 273)

Does that give you pause? It gives me the creeps. He took a job to be POTUS, and she has a senior advisor role to POTUS. Who's looking out for us? I don't give a crap where they traveled or lived as children. Is Obama willing to fulfill his oath, and is Jarrett going to support him in that?

Let's apply this in a different context. Karl Rove was the political mastermind behind George W. Bush, and Rove was a media obsession. My goodness, PBS "Frontline" did a full episode on Rove, titled "The Architect." Ever seen hard-hitting, in-depth reportage on Jarrett?

People are afraid of her. If you hear the rumors and grumbling coming out of the Obama White House, particularly former senior staffers, you will learn that they almost universally do not like Jarrett. That includes Robert Gibbs, Rahm Emanuel, et al. Look at what's happened to Hillary with the server. Was that part of some grand investigative reporting? No. It was leaked. And Jarrett's fingerprints are all over that, too. It's fairly well known within D.C. insider circles. Why do we know so little about her?

That's where Valerie Jarrett comes in. Rather than talking about Islamophobia, I'd like people to pay more attention to this Administration's Islamophilia, starting with Jarrett. Kapische?

Ares Olympus said...

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD, thanks for the reply on Valerie Jarrett.

I do confess my failing to pay attention to people behind the scenes, but she certainly sounds close to Obama, articles on her back to 2009.

On Islam connection, the first match was snopes:
----- Jan 2015
Claim: White House adviser Valerie Jarrett once said she seeks "to help change America to be a more Islamic country."
Status: False

Contrary to common rumor, however, neither Jarrett nor her parents are Iranian, nor (as far as well can tell) are any of them Muslim. Jarrett's parents, James E. Bowman and Barbara Taylor Bowman, were both American-born U.S. citizens from Washington, D.C. and Chicago, respectively; the couple merely lived in Iran for about six years in the late 1950s and early 1960s while James served as chair of pathology at Nemazee Hospital in Shiraz as part of a program that sent American physicians to work in developing countries.

But you are not repeating those rumors. Still, you say "People are afraid of her" and senior staffers don't like her. I'm in no place to evaluate anything, but I can pay more attention when I see her name.

And as far as growing up outside the U.S. everyone I talk to seems to think such experiences are a great asset. Perhaps half of the yuppish parents I know got their kids into at least one year exchange programs in school in other countries.

I really can't imagine thinking Obama's oath as president has compromised by any of this. And seeing the false information debunked, I'm just as likely to think people are looking for dirt and finding their minds can connect facts that are not even facts, much less connected.

But for you, I'll keep a look out, just in case the last 16 months of Obama's presidency matters.

FreeAmerica said...

Tweet real? Source? Googled and saw Trump supporting GOP on the 6th, then 8th he is lovey dicey to Dems?