“We’re at war. We’ve been invaded, in my opinion, when you see the rise of homegrown terrorism through the Internet,” Sen. David Perdue said earlier this week.
Following Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s lead, Perdue is doing the incredibly brave and patriotic act of being afraid of other people, and having power and a platform to spread this hate and fear.
During a campaign stop in Ohio, Trump called for a ban on people immigrating to the U.S. from countries with a “history of exporting terrorism.” What countries qualify is unknown. He additionally suggested an ideological test for any person seeking to immigrate to the U.S.
“Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country,” Trump said.
To Perdue and Trump: look no further than your own mirror, to identify hateful, bigoted humans currently in this country.
Let’s do a reality check.
Two Muslim women in Chicago were verbally harassed for over a month, before it escalated into a physical attack last week. An imam and his assistant were murdered while leaving their mosque in New York City on Saturday. In Tulsa, Okla, the Jabara family endured slurs and harassment for years, before their neighbor ultimately shot and killed the father earlier this week.
The Jabara family were actually Christians from Lebanon, but Islamophobia is an ideology of hate. Many non-Muslims get caught in its cross-hairs merely for their last name, country of origin, or wearing certain types of wraps and headscarves.
Perdue said, “We have to be more vigilant in terms of homegrown terror.”
This, apparently, excludes the terror that Muslims feel in this country, violence that has left many Muslims feeling like it is “open season” on them as political rhetoric heats up ahead of the November election.
“The feeling within the Muslim community is that it’s open season,” Ahmed Rehab, the E.D. of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Chicago Office, said in an interview on WBEZ.
Rehab noted that his office has seen an increase in reports of hate crimes and violations of Muslims’ civil rights, saying, “it seems to be directly tied and related to the Trump rhetoric and the media coverage of it which keeps it fresh in the news.”
It is hard to unpack just how awful Trump’s recent speech “Understanding The Threat: Radical Islam And The Age Of Terror” is, as it is full of self-aggrandizing lies and fear-mongering politics. His comments create an environment of fear and hate that puts Muslims directly in the path of violence, and frame violence against Muslims as being necessary and commendable.
Nor can we let the hateful ideology of Radical Islam — its oppression of women, gays, children, and nonbelievers — be allowed to reside or spread within our own countries.
Don’t worry, Donald Trump, we’ve already got those hateful ideologies down real good in this country.
Trump and Perdue might feel awfully proud of the xenophobic, Islamophobic hate they peddle, but the rest of us just feel awful watching (and living) it unfold again and again.