It’s Not Just Trump – Islamophobia Is Widespread In the GOP Field

Last week, Donald Trump made news offering a dangerous and un-American proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States. But while some of his opponents have offered lip service to distancing themselves from this extreme proposal, the truth is that many of those Republican candidates have been pedaling the same Islamophobia as their party’s inflammatory frontrunner.

You don’t have to just take our word for it…

New York Times Editorial: The Trump Effect, and How It Spreads

“Do not make the mistake of treating [Donald Trump] as a solitary phenomenon, a singular celebrity narcissist who has somehow, all alone, brought his party and its politics to the brink of fascism. He is the leading Republican candidate for president. He has been for months. The things he says are outrageous, by design, but they were not spawned, nor have they flourished, in isolation. The Republican rivals rushing to distance themselves from his latest inflammatory proposal — a faith-based wall around the country — have been peddling their own nativist policies for months or years. They have been harshening their campaign speeches and immigration proposals in response to the Trump effect. Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush want to allow only Christian refugees from Syria to enter the country, and Mr. Cruz has introduced legislation to allow states to opt out of refugee resettlement.”

Huffington Post: Donald Trump’s Islamophobia Is Bad, But His Rivals Aren’t Much Better

“But Trump is not the only candidate presenting Islamophobic proposals. The refugee and immigration policies put forth by several Republican presidential hopefuls would effectively bar a huge percentage of the world’s Muslims from entering the United States…. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced legislation last week that was ostensibly designed to prevent would-be terrorists posed as refugees from entering the U.S. In reality, the amendment would ban refugees from 33 countries – almost all of which have Muslim-majority populations…. Cruz was one of a handful of Republicans who voted in favor of the failed amendment last week, but he has advocated for a religion-based admission process for refugees ever since the terror attacks in Paris last month.… Kasich and Rubio slammed Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration as outrageous and divisive, but they failed to point out the explicit racism in Trump’s comments.

Associated Press: Donald Trump’s Call For ‘Shutdown’ On Muslims Entering US Escalates GOP Rhetoric On Islam

“Amid fear of terrorism, Republican presidential candidates for months have escalated their rhetoric about the place of Muslims in the United States. A Muslim shouldn’t be president. Muslims fleeing war-torn Syria and Iraq should be barred from the country. Mosques should be placed under surveillance and shut down if people are radicalized in them.”

Washington Post’s EJ Dionne: The slippery slope to Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims

Trump’s embrace of a religious test for entry to our country did not come out of nowhere. On the contrary, it simply brought us to the bottom of a slippery slope created by the ongoing exploitation of anti-Muslim feeling for political purposes. You don’t have to reach far back in time to see why Trump figured he had the ideological space for his Muslim ban. Last month, it was Jeb Bush who introduced the idea of linking the rights of Syrian refugees to their religion. He said he was comfortable granting admission to “people like orphans and people who are clearly not going to be terrorists. Or Christians.” Asked how he’d determine who was Christian, he explained that “you can prove you’re a Christian.” Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) took a similar view, saying , “There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror.” Trump took limits on Muslim access to our country to their logical — if un-American and odious — conclusion.

Associated Press: Republicans see little downside to railing against Muslims

Some leading Republican presidential candidates seem to view Muslims as fair game for increasingly harsh words that they might use with more caution against any other group for fear of the political cost. So far, that strategy is winning support from conservatives influential in picking the nominee. Many Republicans are heartened by strong rhetoric addressing what they view as a threat to national security by Islam itself, analysts say. Because Muslims are a small voting bloc, the candidates see limited fallout from what they are saying in the campaign.

Politico: Trump plan pushes Muslim Republicans toward exit

Many Republicans have rushed to condemn Trump this week…But most have simultaneously walked a wobbly tightrope to say they would nonetheless support Trump, if he became the party’s nominee….That is not enough for many Muslims in America, especially after Ben Carson has said a Muslim shouldn’t be president, Ted Cruz has suggested a religious test for accepting Syrian refugees and Marco Rubio has doubted whether “discrimination against Muslims” is widespread in America.

Republican Muslim Coalition founder, Saba Ahmed

“Our candidates aren’t being very welcoming and they’re making absurd comments, one after another.”

Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson: Republicans pander to anti-Muslim bigotry

The founders of this nation recognized Islam as one of the world’s great faiths. Incredibly and disgracefully, much of today’s Republican Party disagrees….Indeed, the Constitution states that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” Some of the GOP candidates for president, however, simply do not care.

Vox: Donald Trump’s Islamophobic rhetoric resonates with many Republicans

But Trump’s Islamophobic comments are part of a broader trend within the Republican field: Over the past few months, particularly in the weeks following the terrorist attack in Paris, Republican candidates have increasingly targeted Muslims in their rhetoric…. What’s worse, Republican candidates are not making these types of comments off the cuff. They know they are pandering to a very sizable portion of Americans, particularly within the Republican base.