Donald Trump has made a name for himself in this election by trafficking in prejudice and paranoia. Now he says he wants to stop all Muslims from entering the United States. That’s a shameful idea. It’s also dangerous. At a time when America should be doing everything we can to fight radical jihadists, Mr. Trump is supplying them with new propaganda. He’s playing right into their hands.
Some Republicans have been quick to condemn Trump’s statements, but the truth is, many GOP candidates have also said extreme things about Muslims. Ben Carson says a Muslim shouldn’t be president, Marco Rubio compares Muslims to members of the Nazi party, and Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz have suggested we should only allow Syrian refugees to come to America if they’re Christian.
I’m proud that you and I are working to build a country that stays true to our founding principles, where all people are welcome to practice their faith free of persecution. If you’re with me, I hope you’ll add your name right now.
To Muslim Americans, I want to say this: What you’re hearing from Trump and other Republicans is absolutely, unequivocally wrong. I’m proud to be your fellow American, and many, many other Americans feel the same way. Now is the time for all of us to stand up to hateful, dangerous words and deeds.
Just a few days ago, two young women wearing headscarves were trying to have breakfast at a café in Austin when another diner started shouting racist things at them. The girls left in tears — in part because of the ugly words, but also because no one came to their defense.
As they left, one of the girls asked the room, “Who cares about us?” Somebody called out, “Nobody.” “We left,” they said, “because it was true.”
But it’s not true. And we have to make sure Muslim Americans know that. It’s how we stay true to our values as Americans. And it’s how we show the world who we really are — a strong, proud, united country that still knows, after all these years, that all men and women are created equal.