30 May 2017

Trump under fire over his call to bar all Muslims from entering US

KONFRONTASI - Amnesty International and the White House have condemned Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call to bar all Muslims from entering the United States.

"Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," Trump’s campaign said in a statement issued on Monday.

In response, Margaret Huang, Interim Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, issued a statement saying that such hate-filled rhetoric must be rejected.

"Trump's proposal caters to the worst instincts of ethnic and religious prejudice – the kind that marked the worst chapters of US history, including Japanese internment. All political figures should reject the scapegoating and fear-mongering at play here. Bigotry should not masquerade as a counter-terrorism measure,” the statement said.

"The recent surge in anti-Muslim and anti-refugee rhetoric by candidates has nothing to do with making Americans safer. It's about winning support by scaring the public,” it added.

"This type of hate-filled rhetoric has no place in a society committed to freedom from discrimination. Donald Trump's bigoted scapegoating of Muslims flies in the face of equality and religious freedom."

Meanwhile, the White House also blasted Trump's proposal calling for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."

"It's totally contrary to our values as Americans," White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told CNN.

"You know, we have in our Bill of Rights respect for the freedom of religion. Muslim Americans have made extraordinary contributions to our country, but it's also contrary to our security," he said.  

Rhodes then said the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group "wants to frame this as a war between the United States and Islam" and Trump was aiding in that effort.

"If we look like we're applying religious tests [for] who comes into this country, we're sending a message that essentially we're embracing that frame," Rhodes said.  

Trump has adopted a more virulent tone against Muslims and Islam since the last month Paris attacks that were allegedly claimed by Daesh.

The New York billionaire has also called for a database to track Muslims across the United States, and he has also said that the US would have "absolutely no choice" but to close down mosques.

Trump’s latest statement against Muslims comes in the wake of a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, last week by suspected ISIL sympathizers.

Only hours after news broke that suspects had Muslim names, American Muslims strongly condemned the incident, but this did not stop the US mainstream media from spewing hate and venom against Muslims and Islam.

The US media characterizes a shooting attack as “terrorism” only when there is indication that the perpetrator might be a Muslim but refuses to use the word in other cases, according to American scholar Dr. Kevin Barrett.

“The word terrorism apparently means when anybody who is ostensibly Muslim conducts a shooting, and if anybody else does it’s not terrorism,” Dr. Barrett told Press TV on Sunday.

“Well, the problem though is that as with so many other similar cases, it appears that the link between the allegedly Muslim perpetrators and terrorism may have been fabricated," he noted. [PTV]

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