Profiling Muslims is a bad idea and it’s unconstitutional

June 21, 2016

In his OpEd yesterday in the Washington Post titled, Trump’s special version of Jim Crow — for Muslims, Eugene Robinson wrote,

On Sunday, “Face the Nation” host John Dickerson reminded Trump that last year he had raised the idea of “profiling” for Muslims and asked him to elaborate. Trump’s response: “Well, I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country. Other countries do it,” he said, naming Israel, and “we have to start using common sense.”

Reuters reported late last week,

Muslim-Americans have repeatedly informed authorities of fellow Muslims they fear might be turning to extremism, law enforcement officials say, contrary to a claim by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump this week.

“They don’t report them,” Trump said in a CNN interview on Monday, in the wake of the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub of 49 people by an American Muslim who claimed allegiance to Islamic State. “For some reason, the Muslim community does not report people like this.”

But FBI director James Comey said, “They do not want people committing violence, either in their community or in the name of their faith, and so some of our most productive relationships are with people who see things and tell us things who happen to be Muslim.

“It’s at the heart of the FBI’s effectiveness to have good relationships with these folks,” Comey said at a press conference following the Orlando shootings.

In addition profiling Muslims is a violation of the reasonable-suspicion-based-on-articulable-objective-facts test of the 4th Amendment. It also violates the Freedom of Religion Clause of the First amendment.

Donald Trump and his supporters like to base their arguments on “common sense.”

Hogwash. If we relied on “common sense,” for example, we would still believe that the Earth is the center of the universe with the Sun, the planets and the stars revolving around it. We also would believe in magic, the supernatural and witches who consorted with the Devil. In Europe from approximately 1480 to 1650, the Inquisition murdered approximately, 80,000 to 100,000 mostly poor and elderly women for practicing witchcraft. After obtaining confessions through the use of torture, they burned them at the stake.

Since the Age of Enlightenment, we’ve been relying on evidence-based reasoning to question common-sense assumptions about reality. In the name of “common sense,” Trump and his merry band of idiots want to turn back time and recreate the witch craze. He has already promised to use torture to extract confessions. How many Muslims is he going to detain, torture and kill before we the people have to end the slaughter?

Hitler exterminated 6 million Jews less than a century ago.

There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. Will Trump exterminate them?

We need to make sure he loses the election.


Trump follows Fiorina and Carson down the rabbit hole of Big Lies

November 23, 2015

Big Lies take your breath away. They disqualify. No one should ever vote for a candidate who tells a Big Lie.

Carly Fiorina disappeared down the proverbial rabbit hole of Big Lies while searching for the mythical Planned Parenthood video that she claimed to have seen. Her last words before she disappeared were, “Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says, ‘We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.’ ”

Dahlia Lithwick said,

The enormity of the fabrication surprised me; the fact that nobody had ever seen this extraordinary smoking gun before stunned me; the fact that not one of the journalists moderating the debate followed up on her claim surprised me. The fact that contemporaneous mainstream media reports of the debate—more theater criticism than journalism—failed to fact-check it surprised me. The people who did fact-check it all immediately agreed that it wasn’t true, and yet Fiorina’s word-picture was touted for days as the emotional zenith of the debate.

Ever the hero, Ben Carson took off after Fiorina. Before he disappeared down the rabbit hole of Big Lies, he waved his gifted hands urging everyone to follow him and shouted something about stabbing someone in the belt, hitting his mother with a hammer, the Chinese are in Syria, and he has better sources of intelligence information than the White House. According to Politifact, this is what he said in context about China.

Moderator Maria Bartiromo: “Dr. Carson, you were against putting troops on the ground in Iraq and against a large military force in Afghanistan. Do you support the president’s decision to now put 50 special ops forces in Syria and leave 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan?”

Carson: “Well, putting the special ops people in there is better than not having them there, because they — that’s why they’re called special ops, they’re actually able to guide some of the other things that we’re doing there.

“And what we have to recognize is that Putin is trying to really spread his influence throughout the Middle East. This is going to be his base. And we have to oppose him there in an effective way.

“We also must recognize that it’s a very complex place. You know, the Chinese are there, as well as the Russians, and you have all kinds of factions there.”

Positively brilliant, except the Chinese are not involved in the Syrian conflict and his intelligence sources have denied telling him that. After thoroughly checking the story, Politifact concluded,

In context, Carson’s comments suggested a military presence. That claim appears to be lifted from unconfirmed blog posts and a news report by a Lebanese news site. China and the White House have denied that Chinese troops are in Syria, and experts told us there’s no evidence to the contrary. Even if Carson meant something less than a military presence, China seems to be taking a hands-off approach to the conflict in Syria.

We rate Carson’s claim False.

Not to be outclassed,  Donald Trump took off after Fiorina and Carson this weekend. As he dove head-first into the rabbit hole of Big Lies, he said he saw “thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the collapse of the Twin Towers after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Here is what he said when George Stephanopoulos interviewed him on ABC This Week,

It was on television. I saw it. It was well covered at the time, George. Now, I know they don’t like to talk about it, but it was well covered at the time. There were people over in New Jersey that were watching it, a heavy Arab population, that were cheering as the buildings came down. Not good.”

Politifact checked it out,

We looked back at the record to see what we could find about American Muslim celebrations in New Jersey on 9/11. While we found widely broadcast video of people in Palestine celebrating, we found no evidence to back up Trump’s description of events on American soil.

They concluded that the story is an urban myth

We conducted an exhaustive search of newspaper and television transcripts on LexisNexis, looking for reports from September 2001 through December 2001 that made any mention of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the 9/11 attacks.

Regarding Jersey City, which Trump mentioned specifically, we found two uncorroborated and unsourced mentions.  Neither begins to approach the scale Trump described.

The Associated Press, on Sept. 17, 2001, described “rumors of rooftop celebrations of the attack by Muslims” in Jersey City. But the same report said those rumors were “unfounded.”

The Washington Post, on Sept. 18, 2001, published an article that claimed “law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river.” The Post story includes no source for this information, and we found no evidence that any of these allegations ever stuck.

A more rampant rumor of Muslim or Arab-Americans cheering the attacks centered around nearby Paterson, N.J. But that turned out to be just a rumor, spawned by chain emails and perpetuated by shock jock Howard Stern’s radio show.

The Star-Ledger reported that as the rumors spread, “Paterson police rushed to South Main Street, the center of the city’s Middle Eastern community.”

“When we got there, they were all in prayer,” Paterson Police Chief Lawrence Spagnola said.

Three percent of New Jersey residents are Muslim — the highest of any state — according to Pew Research Center. Suspected 9/11 terrorists had ties to Jersey City and Paterson. But there is no conclusive evidence that any New Jersey residents celebrated the attacks, and there is no evidence whatsoever of any demonstrations where “thousands and thousands of people” cheered.

Nor is there any evidence Trump saw these events play out in any way, be it on TV or in person. We reached out to Trump’s campaign but didn’t hear back.

These three clowns have been caught lying red-handed. Their lies are BIG Lies they told to win the Republican nomination for president. All three are unfit for public office.

Last, but certainly not least, Trump is demonizing all Muslims for political gain. That is what Hitler did when he demonized the Jews, and just like Hitler did to the Jews, he wants to force all Muslims to register with the federal government.

He has committed an unpardonable sin.

Never ever forget that because innocent lives and possibly your own life or the life of someone you love depends on it.


Donald Trump is unfit to be president because he is a demagogue and a racist Islamophobe

November 21, 2015

We are living in dangerous times when economic insecurity, fear and hatred create fertile soil for demagogues to take root and spread. Donald Trump is such a man and he is not alone.

In an OpEd at CNN yesterday, Dean Obeidallah said,

 Shockingly, Trump told Yahoo News that he would consider requiring Muslim-Americans to register with a government database, or worse, mandating that they carry special identification cards that note their faith.
The reaction to this idea, fairly or unfairly, by many on social media, was to accuse Trump of wanting to mimic laws that Nazis had imposed on Jews, including requiring them to wear a gold Star of David on their clothes.
After Trump confirmed that he would set up a database for Muslim-Americans, an NBC reporter asked him point blank: “Is there a difference between requiring Muslims to register and Jews in Nazi Germany?” A clearly annoyed Trump at first refused to respond, but then told the reporter, “You tell me,” and walked away.

Trump, like most Republicans, is opposed to accepting any Syrian refugees. Contrast his response to the Paris bombings and shootings eight days ago that killed 130 people, for which ISIS claimed credit, to French President Francois Hollande’s affirmation after the attacks that France will not only honor its promise to accept 30,000 Syrian refugees, it will increase that amount.

Meanwhile, to combat a rising tide of Islamophobia in France, many people are planning on participating in a rally in Paris by Muslims against ISIS. Huffington Post is reporting,

At the same time, some French citizens — banned by police order from demonstrations in Paris until Thursday — were expressing their support for French Muslims and Muslims worldwide on social media and organizing interfaith gatherings.

By Sunday, 3,000 people had pledged to attend a multi-faith “Rally with Muslims of France for Peace and National Unity,” scheduled for the end of the week near Paris’ Grand Mosque. Another 6,000 said they were interested in going. Several other gatherings were being organized via Facebook to take place after the demonstration ban, including “I am a Muslim, Daesh [ISIS] Is Not,” and a rally of “Prayers for Paris” — with 13,000 possible attendees as of Sunday afternoon — at the Arc de Triomphe next weekend.

“Terrorism has no religion or nationality,” wrote Grand Mosque demonstration organizer Samia Edd Cardi, a Muslim and tech entrepreneur, on the event’s page, which also gathered atheists and Christians who said they would attend. Cardi did not reply to a message on Facebook from The Huffington Post, and the Grand Mosque of Paris did not return a message requesting information about the event.

At the Cathedral of Holy Trinity in Paris, imams from around the globe are scheduled to gather for a meeting of the World Union of Experts of Islam for Peace and against Violence, which was already planned ahead of the attacks but is now taking on even more urgency. Bishop Pierre Whalon of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe will host the meeting.

“After this heinous attack, we may wish for God to come down and wipe out our enemies. Instead, Christ on the cross, completely powerless at the last, shows us that it is only love that can overcome hatred, evil and even death,” Whalon, who is based in Paris, said in a statement.

And it’s not just Donald Trump who is beating the fear and hate drums. Ben Carson, who has been running neck and neck with Trump in the polls, referred to Syrian refugees a few days ago as “rabid dogs,”and the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill that would so complicate the process of vetting Syrian refugees as to make it virtually impossible to admit any of them. All but one Republican voted in favor of the bill. 47 Democrats also voted for the bill.

Donal Trump doesn’t just hate Muslims. He also hates Latinos, specifically Mexicans, even though more Mexican illegal immigrants have been returning to Mexico since 2010 rather than entering the United States. Shamefully, Trump and the Republicans continue bleating about a non-existing illegal immigration problem through a supposedly insecure southern border with Mexico. Trump went so far as to claim that Mexico is exporting rapists and murderers into our country. He has promised to round up all the illegals, who are estimated to number around 11 million people, and send them back to Mexico. Then, he’s going to build a fence to keep them out and present the Mexican government with a bill to pay for it.

Whether his cheap theatrics and brazen appeal to fear and hate will prevail remains to be seen.

Update: Add Marco Rubio to the list of Islamophobes. From Think Progress: Rubio Trumps Trump: Shut Down Any Place Muslims Gather To Be ‘Inspired’ — Not Just Mosques


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