While most college graduates are settling in for the summer and basking in their recent accomplishments with family and friends, one newly-minted graduate is blaming President Trump for anti-Muslim sentiment one year following the terrorist attack in Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
In a New York Times opinion piece, “A night of terror, a year of racism,” Adam Manno – a gay American man whose father is from Pakistan – says Trump’s language is scaring American Muslims because it supposedly fosters Islamophobia among the general population.
Wait! A radical Islamic terrorist went to a gay bar and slaughtered 49 people… and the scary part is what Donald Trump has to say about it?
Manno thinks so. He writes, “Despite the outpouring of support for L.G.B.T. and Latino people, the tragedy became an excuse to vilify Muslims before the 2016 presidential election.”
Sure, the press vilified a radical Muslim terrorist – but not all Muslims. In fact, the press was all too eager to report Islamophobic hate crimes… many of which turned out to be hoaxes.
President Trump did not smear all Muslims when he tweeted “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.” He did NOT say “appreciate the congrats for being right about Islam.” (That the future President’s first instinct in the wake of a terrorist attack was to congratulate himself is, in itself, a problem. But I digress.)
Manno cannot seem to separate the vilification of Omar Mateen (a villain if there ever was one) in the press with an overall supposed rise in Islamophobia.
The piece also claims that “Muslim refugees have not killed anyone in the United States.” That’s technically correct.
Only one of the San Bernardino terrorists was an immigrant (the other was the son of immigrants). The Tsarnaev family came to America on tourist visas and later applied for political asylum. Nidal Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter, was born in America to parents from Palestine. As for Omar Mateen, his parents were both immigrants from Afghanistan.
Manno has a point, albeit an incomplete one: The terrorists are not Muslim immigrants. They are the children of Muslim immigrants. That doesn’t help the case for allowing increased immigration from the Middle East.
People in central Florida viewed Muslims more negatively after the shooting. This is not fair to the millions of law-abiding Muslims in America. Why do people view Muslims less favorably?
- Because Donald Trump wants to vet who’s coming into this country.
- Because a radical Muslim terrorist murdered 49 gay men.
Take your pick. However, regardless of the reason, it is still unfair for all Muslims to be judged by the actions of a murderous, radical few. If we want to stop Islamophobia, and we know that Islamophobia increases in the wake of terrorist attacks, then stopping terrorist attacks should stop Islamophobia.
We already know how to stop terrorist attacks: heavily vet anyone coming to America from a high-risk country. The people most worried about Islamophobia are least willing to take the one step that would prevent it.