Anti-Muslim Fear And Hatred

 


As leaders of the local NAACP Chapter, we wish to express our dismay at the anti-Muslim rhetoric being generated by Donald Trump in his bid for the presidency. If this were just one person speaking for himself, it would be bad enough, but Trump appears to be speaking to, and for, a sizable constituency of our fellow Americans. This is profoundly troubling to us as citizens of the United States.

Whatever his intent, by publicly unleashing his fear of Muslims and his contempt for their Islamic faith, Trump is encouraging his followers, and other Americans, to hate rather than love our Muslim neighbors as ourselves. It is not much of a stretch to suggest that this exploitation of peoples’ fears of “the other” is how fascism takes seed and grows, whether in Germany in the 1930s or the United States in 2015.

Trump’s ugly rhetoric, which his followers embrace, has huge implications, globally and locally: On the world stage, Trump is ISIS’s best hope! Trump and his followers are doing more for the radical jihadist cause than any other single force in this nation. Those who embrace Trump’s hateful message are demonstrating to people throughout the world that Americans and Christians and Jews really do hate Muslims — and that ISIS is the only place in which Muslim boys and girls and young men and women can be safe. ISIS couldn’t have a more effective ambassador than Donald Trump.

Locally, Trump’s message of hate seems to have found its way into Brevard High School. By his own behavior, a leading presidential candidate is telling kids that bullying is okay, and that being mean to people you don’t like is acceptable, and that threatening people of other races is what cool boys and girls do.

We urge our fellow citizens — of whatever faith traditions and political allegiances — to do whatever they can to denounce the hatred of Muslims, Mexicans, and others who are being demonized by Donald Trump and his followers and by some other candidates for the presidency who, while not as flamboyant as Trump, are conveying similar messages of fear and hatred.

We have a long way to go in this electoral process, and our nation cannot tolerate weeks and months of this fear and hatred. Only insofar as we reach out to one another across race, religion, and politics, can we learn together how to love one another and build a decent society in which all people of good will are welcome.

Tommy Kilgore

Rev. Carter Heyward

Rev. Robert Kilgore

Sheila Mooney

Diana Refsland

Tina Bell

Michael Wainwright

Maureen Copelof

Sylvan Copelof

Kathleen Barnes

 
 

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