Last week, I compared the leading GOP candidates’ responses of the Syrian refugees to the social media postings of your crazy Tea Party-loving uncle.
What a difference a week makes. These guys belong inside a cell between Miggs and Hannibal Lecter at the Baltimore State Hospital.
“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule,” current leading GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump told Yahoo! News when discussing surveillance of American Muslims in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks.
“And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”
Trump continues the interview as if he is auditioning for the lead villain in an Indiana Jones film.
The reporter asks if Trump’s surveillance policies would include the creation of a national database registering all Muslims or giving them identification proclaiming their religion. According to the piece, he wouldn’t rule it out.
When Trump was asked at an event in Newton, Iowa on Friday, if a Trump White House would implement a Muslim database the real estate mogul stated: “I would certainly implement that. Absolutely.”
To put this into perspective, this is what former President George W. Bush said about American Muslims just one week after the tragic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001:
“America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country. Muslims are doctors, lawyers, law professors, members of the military, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, moms and dads. And they need to be treated with respect. In our anger and emotion, our fellow Americans must treat each other with respect.”
During a Saturday rally in Alabama, Trump told supporters:
“So here’s the story just to set it clear: I want surveillance of these people. I want surveillance if we have to and I don’t care,” Trump rambled to supporters during an Alabama rally on Saturday. “I want surveillance of certain mosques, OK. If that’s OK? I want surveillance. And you know what? We’ve had it before and we’ll have it again.”
Trump is likely referencing the New York City Muslim surveillance unit. Naturally, he leaves out a crucial detail.
In 2003, the New York City Police Department created the Demographics Unit. The unit spied on the Muslim community, including mosques, in an attempt to gather intel on potential terror plots.
It was disbanded last year after never generating a single lead or investigation. The city of New York is currently facing a civil rights lawsuit over the issue.
While Trump garnered the white supremacist vote, Ben Carson showed off the softer side of the GOP… when he compared the Syrian refugees to dogs.
“If there’s a rabid dog running around in your neighborhood, you’re probably not going to assume something good about that dog,” Carson said during an Alabama campaign stop. “And you’re probably going to put your children out of the way. That doesn’t mean that you hate all dogs.”
Gov. Chris Christie is one of twenty-seven governors who have refused to accept Syrian refugees into their states. Speaking with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Christie was asked if he would allow “orphans under the age of five” into New Jersey.
“The fact is that we need appropriate vetting, and I don’t think orphans under five are being, you know, should be admitted into the United States at this point.”
Since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, 2,165 Syrians have been resettled into the United States. Not a single one has been arrested or deported for ties to terrorism. That seems pretty appropriate to me.
As I mentioned in my previous entry, nearly 40% of the Syrian refugees are under the age of twelve.
While the three Democratic presidential nominees continue to advocate for resettlement, every GOP candidate has called for a halt to accepting Syrian refugees.
ISIS identifies itself as an Islamic entity, rather than what it is: a terror organization. By doing so, it perpetrates the false narrative that the West is waging a war against Islam.
However, when GOP presidential candidates attack the Muslim community and governors openly reject innocent victims of terror, they’re writing the next ISIS recruitment poster for them.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz prepped the canvas and paints last week when he called for a block against Muslim Syrian refugees entering the United States, but was willing to make an exception for another religious group:
“There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror. If there were a group of radical Christians pledging to murder anyone who had a different religious view than they, we would have a different national security situation,” Cruz told reporters.
Cruz’s policy is so un-American, Rocky Balboa should have been boxing it in a ring to a Robert Tepper soundtrack.
While Cruz and other members of his party are quick to speak out against the atrocities committed against Christians by ISIS, they omit the thousands of innocent Muslim deaths for which the terror group is responsible.
Although not all of the deaths can be contributed to ISIS, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported in February that the Syrian civil war has resulted in 210,060 deaths (nearly half are civilians, including 10,664 children). 87% of the region is Muslim, while only 10% is Christian.
Failure to acknowledge the deaths of innocent Muslims in this conflict, while attacking American Muslims and the Syrian refugees (as the GOP candidates have done) simply makes the ISIS propaganda machine stronger.
As the result of a successful fear mongering campaign, the GOP-controlled House quickly passed legislation on Thursday that would essentially suspend the resettlement of Syrian refugees within the United States.
Although President Obama threatened to veto the American SAFE Act of 2015, it passed in a vote of 289-137. With a two-thirds majority, the House can now override a presidential veto.
Acting like jellyfish rather than bipeds, 47 Democrats voted in favor of the act. The legislation will go to the Senate after the Thanksgiving break.
Prior to the vote, an unnamed senior House GOP aide told The Hill if Democrats blocked the bill “we’ll crucify them.” Which is literally what ISIS is doing to the Syrian people.
On the same day, Senate Democrats successfully blocked a separate piece of legislation from Ted Cruz, which would have prevented refugees from Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen from entering the U.S.
While the Republican candidates continued to make assisting victims of atrocities a debatable issue, French President Francois Holland announced his country would accept 30,000 Syrian refugees.
This is not a partisan issue; it’s the right thing to do.
While discussing the current climate in the U.S., National Policy Director at the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Abed Ayuob told CNN: “The sense we get now is that it’s not only worse for Arabs and Muslims. The sense we get now is that it’s worse for all immigrant and brown communities as a whole.”
Fear and hate is a dangerous combination, and it’s in abundance in a Republican Party that has moved to the right of George W. Bush.