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American Muslims alarmed at Anti-Muslim rhetoric by Rand Paul, Wesley Clark, Franklin Graham

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Message Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
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The seven-million-strong American Muslim community was alarmed by the recent anti-Muslim proposals by Senator Rand Paul, former NATO Commander General Wesley Clark and Christian evangelist Franklin Graham.

Their anti-Muslim proposals came in reaction to the deadly shootings that took the lives of five service members and injured one law enforcement officer in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Although investigators are still searching for possible terrorist links of the attacker (Kuwait-born Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez), right wingers quickly jumped in to cash in on the attacker's Muslim identity.

Senator Rand Paul

In the wake of the tragedy in Tennessee, 2016 presidential hopeful Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) -- notorious for his Muslim-bashing speeches -- wants to restrict immigration from Muslim countries.

He told Breitbart News: "I'm very concerned about immigration to this country from countries that have hotbeds of jihadism and hotbeds of this Islamism. There was a program in place that Bush had put in place--it stood for entry-exit program from about 25 different countries with a lot of Islamic radicals, frankly. I think there does need to be heightened scrutiny. Nobody has a right to come to America, so this isn't something that we can say 'oh their rights are being violated.' It's a privilege to come to America and we need to thoroughly screen those who are coming."

Paul suggested to revive NSEERS [National Security Entry Exit Registration System] program set up in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, required non-immigrant men and boys from predominantly Muslim countries to report to an immigration office to be photographed, fingerprinted and interviewed.

Portions of the program were suspended in 2011 and in 2012 the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General called for a full termination of NSEERS as the "database that supports this program is obsolete" and it "does not provide any increase in security."

Civil liberties organizations criticized NSEERS as being highly discriminatory and biased in its design and application.

General Wesley Clark

In an interview with MSNBC's Thomas Roberts, retired general and former Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark called for the creation of internment camps for what he called "disloyal Americans."

"In World War II, if someone supported Nazi Germany at the expense of the United States, we didn't say 'that was freedom of speech,' we put him in a camp, they were prisoners of war," he said adding: "If these people are radicalized and they don't support the United States and they are disloyal to the United States as a matter of principle, fine. It's their right and it's our right and obligation to segregate them from the normal community for the duration of the conflict."

The rounding up of more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans -- and their placement in squalid camps -- during the Second World War was a racist disgrace that the country apologized for in 1988 and left traumatic scars that last to this day. The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 offered an official U.S. government apology and granted reparations to Japanese Americans interned, without due process, during the war.

With Clark's "self-radicalized" quote being coded language for American Muslims, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said adding that with growing anti-Muslim sentiments and hate crimes across the nation it is important to remember that the U.S. government internment of Japanese-Americans in camps was one of the greatest injustices our nation has ever committed against innocent Americans and that such a crime must never be repeated again.

Franklin Graham

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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