Quotes of the day

Muslim Americans are pleading with Donald Trump to stop encouraging violence in demanding a “complete” halt to Muslim immigration after a New York shopkeeper was beaten in a possible hate crime…

“He’s giving the right to people to hurt us,” said Ahmed Shedeed, who moved to the United States from Egypt in 1980 with a degree in agricultural engineering and today runs a travel agency…

“I’m asking him, I’m begging him. It has to stop — all these accusations. Look at the Muslim community as part of the American mosaic and we are part of America. We are not going anywhere.”

Muslim Americans say they are afraid.


Facing harsh criticism for his proposal to temporarily halt Muslim immigration to the U.S., Donald Trump on Wednesday said he was acting in the Islamic community’s best interests.

“I’m doing good for the Muslims,” Trump told Don Lemon in an interview for “CNN Tonight.” “Many Muslim friends of mine are in agreement with me. They say, ‘Donald, you brought something up to the fore that is so brilliant and so fantastic.'”…

Trump also said his plan had been misrepresented and explained that the immigration ban may not last long.

“It could go quickly, but it’s a subject that has to be discussed,” he said, adding that there would be exceptions made for Muslim athletes and diplomats.


Via YouGov:



Serving police officers today backed Donald Trump’s claim that some Muslim communities in the UK are no-go areas because of extremism.

Several Met officers have said the ‘Islamification’ of some parts of the capital requires ‘extra vigilance’ and they can’t wear uniforms for safety reasons – despite Scotland Yard claiming the tycoon ‘couldn’t be more wrong’.

Home Secretary Theresa May tonight rejected Mr Trump’s claims, insisting: ‘The police in London are not afraid to go out and police the streets.’…

But one serving officer said today Trump had ‘pointed out something plainly obvious, something which I think we aren’t as a nation willing to own up to’.

Another policeman said that he and other colleagues fear being terror targets and spoke of the ‘dire warning’ from bosses not to wear a uniform ‘even in my own car’.


Like the champion fighter he is, Muhammad Ali took jabs Wednesday at “so called Islamic Jihadists” and those who would “use Islam to advance their own personal agenda.”…

But the real target of Ali’s roundhouse was Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump…

“We as Muslims have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda,” Ali said. “They have alienated many from learning about Islam. True Muslims know or should know that it goes against our religion to try and force Islam on anybody.”


[The Republican presidential frontrunner’s recent call for a moratorium on Muslim immigration has put him at odds with some of the most conservative people on the right—including congressional Tea Party darlings

“You gotta be very careful on lines of thought when you’re conveying these lines to the media,” [Dave] Brat said. “The right way to go is just to talk about overseas threats, and quantifying those based on what’s in the best interests of American citizens.”…

“I think that calling for a religious test is contrary to our founding principles and that our Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves right now,” said Penny Nance, who heads Concerned Women for America…

Taylor Budowich, executive director of the Tea Party Express, also said the real estate baron’s stance is incompatible with the Constitution.

“A religious qualification is unfitting,” he said. “It kind of flies in the face of the founding principles of the government.”


Webster defines terrorism as “the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal; the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.”

If violence can be an abstraction — and it can; that’s what a threat is — the Trump campaign meets this definition. Thus, Trump is ISIS’s greatest triumph: the perfect Manchurian Candidate who, instead of offering specific and realistic policies, preys on the fears of the public, doing ISIS’s job for them. Even fellow Republican Jeb Bush acknowledged Trump’s goal is “to manipulate people’s angst and fears.”…

While Trump is not slaughtering innocent people, he is exploiting such acts of violence to create terror here to coerce support. As I have written before, his acts could be interpreted as hate crimes. He sounds the shrill alarm of impending doomsday even though since 9/11, about 30 Americans a year have been killed in terrorist attacks worldwide — as The Atlantic pointed out, “roughly the same number as are crushed to death each year by collapsing furniture.” Trump’s irresponsible, inflammatory rhetoric and deliberate propagation of misinformation have created a frightened and hostile atmosphere that could embolden people to violence. He’s the swaggering guy in old Westerns buying drinks for everyone in the saloon while whipping them up for a lynching…

The same process works for Trump’s supporters. They are impervious to facts or truth because their (understandable) frustration and anger at partisan greed and incompetence have fatigued them out of critical thinking. Like deranged newscaster Howard Beale in Network, they are mad as hell and they aren’t going to take it anymore. To express their outrage, they have rallied around a so-called “outsider” with no political experience, no detailed policies, and whacky ideas that subvert the very Constitution that he would be required to swear to uphold. Electing him would be like asking the clown at a child’s birthday party to start juggling chainsaws.


Donald Trump recently qualified his recent proposal to temporarily freeze Muslim entry into the United States pending further evaluation of our visa and immigration processes. Trump’s language was quite striking.

“It’s not about religion. This is about safety,” Trump said. “This has nothing to do with religion. It’s about safety.”…

“You look at what went on in Paris. We have tremendous problems, it’s getting worse and worse and those problems are coming from a certain sector,” Trump said.

“Our country has to get its act together,” Trump said. “We need safety.”


Is there any­thing Trump could say that would prompt GOP elec­ted of­fi­cials to say they’ll with­hold their sup­port if he be­comes the nom­in­ee?

“I sup­pose there are things that people could do that would get me to that point,” Chaf­fetz said. “There is cer­tain egre­gious be­ha­vi­or that really goes over the line.” Asked what go­ing over the line would look like, Chaf­fetz de­clined to go in­to “hy­po­thet­ic­als.”

GOP Rep. John Duncan of Ten­ness­ee said that “I am go­ing to sup­port who­ever is the GOP nom­in­ee.” But he didn’t en­dorse Trump’s call for a sweep­ing ban.

Asked if there’s any­thing Trump could say that would cause him to re­con­sider a will­ing­ness to back Trump should he win the nod, Duncan replied: “I am sure there is maybe something. But so far he is very pop­u­lar in my dis­trict. In fact he came to Knoxville two or three weeks ago and drew one of the biggest crowds that I have ever seen.”


Many prominent conservatives have, to their credit, responded to Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the United States with horror. “It is un-Republican. It is unconstitutional. And it is un-American,” declared the head of the New Hampshire Republican Party. The head of the South Carolina GOP said it “send[s] a shiver down my spine.” Even Dick Cheney said it “goes against everything we stand for and believe in.”

The problem is that Trump didn’t invent this. He’s exploiting a market for anti-Muslim bigotry that conservatives have nurtured for more than a decade. I don’t doubt that many on the right are genuinely outraged by Trump’s comments. But he’s just the latest, and most successful, in a string of GOP contenders—from Herman Cain in 2012 to Ben Carson this year—who have proposed denying American Muslims basic rights. If conservatives want to stop not only Trump but the Trumps who will follow, they have to establish the same red lines for anti-Muslim bigotry they’ve established for anti-Semitism…

When it comes to violent jihadism, conservatives are quick to say that it’s not enough to go after leaders. You must confront the culture from which they arise. It’s time they took their own advice. If the right wants to defeat Trump, and the Trumps who will almost certainly follow, it needs to draw a clear line between being a conservative and being a bigot, as William F. Buckley did decades ago when he expelled anti-Semites from his movement’s ranks. When Ann Coulter stops appearing on Fox, we’ll know that the right’s intellectual counterattack against Trumpism has truly begun.


There is no excuse for death threats or tossing a pig’s head at a mosque, but is it really the case that people are lashing out because of “hateful words” or because they might be upset at the deaths of 120 innocent people in Paris or 14 innocent people in San Bernardino? I would say that hateful acts have far more real-life consequences than hateful words. Indeed, there is no politician’s statement that is more inflammatory than actual murder and actual terrorism — especially when murder and terror occur on a large scale.

As I’ve said before, since 9/11 Americans have suffered more than 60,000 casualties in our war against jihadists, with thousands more suffering from lingering psychological wounds from grief, loss, and difficult deployments. We’ve watched as radical Muslims burn people alive, throw them off buildings, and chop off heads. In some parts of the Muslim world, mobs of Muslims will sometimes hunt down and kill Christians in the most vicious and gruesome of ways. We’ve seen ISIS attempt genocide, Boko Haram enslave girls, and al Qaeda kill journalists at their desks in Paris. Yet Americans have responded with remarkable grace, and anti-Muslim hate crimes are rare indeed.

Yes, it’s true that many Americans dislike Islam. It’s true that many Americans want to either ban Muslim immigration or dramatically restrict entry into the United States (I’m in Andy McCarthy’s camp on the issue). But don’t blame political rhetoric for this hostility. Blame actions — actions taken in the name of Islam.


So what explains the chasm between these particular candidates’ online versus live polling data? It turns out that a nontrivial share of these same working-class, anti-immigrant voters won’t tell a live person who they support but will share their true feelings when their support is secret—like on Election Day. This is no surprise: Support for immigration and globalization are perhaps the only political sentiments that unite elites from both business and the academy, from right and left. Openly supporting an anti-immigration candidate can risk social opprobrium, ridicule, or worse. In other words, for every group of vocal Trump supporters, there are probably a lot more who just don’t advertise it…

Which is why Trump is on track to do much better than many of his detractors think; he’ll likely be much closer to the Internet and automated polls, where his lead is in the double digits, than the live polls, where his lead is still in the single digits…

American elites must understand that Trump’s appeal is large and not going away. Working-class voters all over the world are legitimately upset about the turn their lives have taken in the last decade and a half. They are largely not racists, nor are they “fruitcakes and loonies,” as British Prime Minister David Cameron once called UKIP backers. And whether Trump’s support strengthens or fades, the real issue remains: Millions of working-class voters are angry, and their anger is not going to quickly disappear even if their current champion does.


Ginsberg: Well, it’s December. There are 60 days to Iowa.

Trump: I will never leave the race.

Ginsberg: You will never leave the race?

Trump: Are you ready? [He waves one arm over his head, as if to clear away everything and remove all doubt.]

I. Will. Never. Leave. This. Race.