Seven-million strong American Muslim community is alarmed at the mounting anti-Islam and anti-Muslim rhetoric by Republican Presidential hopefuls, particularly leading GOP candidate Donald Trump. An unprecedented wave of Islamophobia is now sweeping the United States as the Republican Party has become the epicenter of Islamophobia this election season.
In recent months, GOP presidential candidates vying for the nomination have repeatedly used anti-Muslim and anti-Islam rhetoric to seek support of their voters. Senator Marco Rubio has advocated for shutting down mosques while Ben Carson insists that a practicing Muslim should not be president. Frontrunner Donald Trump, who in December 2015 proposed a ban on all Muslim immigration into the United States, declared Wednesday that "Islam hates America."
In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper Trump claimed that the war was against radical Islam, but said, "it's very hard to define. It's very hard to separate.
On Thursday, asked during the Republican debate if he meant that all 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide hate the United States, Trump replied, "I mean a lot of them. I mean a lot of them. There's tremendous hatred, and I will stick with exactly what I said."
Not surprisingly, Donald Trump lauds historic myth about shooting Muslims with pig's blood-dipped bullets. On February 19, 2016, while addressing a rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, Trump lauded U.S. General John Pershing who supposedly executed dozens of Muslims held prisoner in the Philippines with pig's blood-dipped bullet. According to the New York Daily News, Trump said "He took 50 bullets and he dipped them in pig's blood. And he had his men load his rifles and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said, 'You go back to your people and you tell them what happened.' And for 25 years there wasn't a problem." The New York Daily News pointed out that the yarn that Trump rehashed on the eve of the South Carolina primary stems from a hoax spread via email, according to rumor tracker Snopes.com. There's no evidence it occurred. But the blowhard billionaire seemed to find fresh inspiration in the story.
Trump rhetoric boon for white supremacists
According to experts at the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center who monitor hate groups and anti-Muslim sentiment, Trump's call to halt the entrance of Muslims to the United States is driving online chatter among white supremacists and is likely to inspire violence against Muslims.
"When well-known public figures make these kind of statements in the public square, they are taken as a permission-giving by criminal elements who go out and act on their words." said Mark Potok of the SPLC.
Marilyn Mayo, co-director of the ADL's Center on Extremism, said: "Since the beginning of Donald Trump's candidacy, we've definitely seen that a segment of the white supremacist movement, from racist intellectuals to neo-Nazis have been energized."
The Ku Klux Klan is using Donald Trump as a talking point in its outreach efforts. Stormfront, the most prominent American white supremacist website, is upgrading its servers in part to cope with a Trump traffic spike.
Majority of Republicans approve Donald Trump's Anti-Muslim rhetoric
Alarmingly, Republicans are mostly okay with Donald Trump's anti-Islam and anti-Muslim rhetoric. According to Huffington Post, throughout this primary campaign, polls have shown over and over that many Republicans agree with Trump's extremist rhetoric.
Many of the exit polls in states that have already held primaries have asked Republicans whether they support a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S. These voters overwhelmingly support the ban -- over two-thirds of Republican voters in most states are in favor of temporarily banning Muslims, as are over three-quarters of voters in many deep South states.
A Pew Research poll from December shows large-scale agreement among Republicans that Islam is dangerous in general. In that poll, 68 percent of Republicans agreed that Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers, compared to only 45 percent of independents and 30 percent of Democrats. Sixty-five percent of Republicans said they are very concerned about the rise of Islamic extremism in the U.S., while 49 percent of independents and 38 percent of Democrats said the same.