Washington, March 11, 2016: Muslim leaders in the USA are angry with the GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and have demanded an apology for claiming that “Islam hates us.”
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is joining other Muslim leaders at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to demand that leading GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump apologize for his latest quip.
The American Muslim leaders will outline how Trump’s Islamophobic rhetoric, and that of other Republican officials, is to blame at least in part for the recent unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim hate incidents nationwide.
The controversy surrounding Donald Trump erupted when last night he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper: “I think Islam hates us.” “We have to get to the bottom of it,” Trump said. “There is an unbelievable hatred of us — anybody.”
At a rally in South Carolina, Trump repeated the online myth about U.S. Gen. John Pershing executing Muslim prisoners in the Philippines.
“He took 50 bullets and he dipped them in pig’s blood,” Trump said. “And he had his men load his rifles and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said, ‘You go back to your people and you tell them what happened.’ And for 25 years there wasn’t a problem.”
“Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric does not reflect leadership, but instead reflects a bigoted mindset that only serves to divide our nation and the world,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “He should apologize to the Muslims serving in our nation’s armed forces, to the Muslim doctors who provide health care to millions of Americans, to the Muslim law enforcement officers who keep communities safe, to the Muslim women targeted by hate because of their attire, and to the Muslim students who face bullying because of their faith.”
Awad suggested that Trump take the opportunity of tonight’s GOP presidential debate to offer his apology.
CAIR has previously stated that Trump’s Islamophobia “places the millions of innocent, law-abiding citizens in the American Muslim community at risk.”
The Washington-based civil rights organization reports that the spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide has been occurring since the Paris terror attacks, the San Bernardino shootings and Donald Trump’s bigoted call for a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States.
CAIR noted that the media reported today of a “Muslim Free Zone” sign put up by a Vermont homeowner is just one example of the hate inspired by the Islamophobic rhetoric used by Trump and other public figures.
CAIR also cited the almost-daily anti-Muslim incidents such as an arson threat to a Kentucky mosque, a bomb threat targeting an Islamic school in Ohio, armed threats to a Muslim family in Missouri, an assault on Muslim women riding a train in New Jersey, an attack on a Buddhist monk in Washington state who was mistaken for a Muslim, the desecration of a Sikh temple in that same state because the vandal believed it was a mosque, arson attacks on California mosques, an assault on Muslim teens in New York, Muslim women thrown off flight for “staring,” bigoted opposition to the construction of mosques, and the firing of Muslim workers seeking religious accommodations in Colorado and Wisconsin.
CAIR recently released a report on more than 70 incidents targeting American mosques and religious institutions in 2015 that showed a greater frequency of damage, destruction, vandalism, and intimidation than in any other year since CAIR started tracking such cases in 2009.
Examples of the mainstreaming of Islamophobic sentiments such as an anti-Muslim lawn display in Illinois, the introduction of an anti-Islam bill in Idaho (and in many other states) and the proliferation of “Muslim-free” businesses.
But will Donald Trump apologize?