VOICES | The Trump White House Wants You To Fear Muslims: Don’t Be Fooled

Excerpted below are the first two paragraphs of an essay that appeared on Huffington Post on February 4, 2017. The entire essay can be found here

By Vernon Schubel, (HuffPo) Contributor

Vernon James Schubel is Professor of Religious Studies and Asian and Middle East Studies at Kenyon College.


The Trump White House wants you to fear Muslims. President Trump, like all autocrats, is a fear monger who knows that when people are afraid they can be more easily manipulated. Playing on people’s fears candidate Trump on December 17, 2015 infamously called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” Despite his cynical denials that his recent executive order is not a “Muslim ban” that statement is still up on his website. On that same website Trump warns us that Muslims hate “us” Trump argues that “it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension.”

As a Muslim American I take this accusation personally. Trump wants my fellow Americans to fear me, my family, and all of my Muslim friends and co-workers. He wants Americans to fear the entire Muslim world including men. women and children; refugees and asylum seekers; scientists and researchers; students and artists. Trump has surrounded himself with advisers who share his fearful vision—Kelly Anne Conway, who recently tried to justify the Muslim ban with reference to a non-existent “Bowling Green Massacre;” right-wing provocateur Steve Bannon who once pitched a paranoid film project about a Muslim takeover of the United States; General Michael Flynn, who has called Islam a “cancer” and a “political ideology” that hides behind “the notion of being a religion.” It is not an insult to call Trump a fear monger. It is a sad statement of fact.

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