We thought we had seen it all, but then came Donald Trump, who still dominates the headlines in the USA, and also starts to receive major attention around the world. The man who is basically a SNL-parody which inexplicably came to life has become a huge danger especially for Muslims living in the USA. Trump's violent speeches undoubtedly encourage violence and abuse against Muslims, and in my view it will most likely get much, much worse.
The "Washington Post" reported on Thursday:
Rasheed Albeshari was praying in Castro Valley, Calif., on Dec. 7, when a woman approached him and began shouting insults about his Muslim faith. Albeshari was then "hit by an umbrella before taking a shower of coffee."
From sea to shining sea, Muslim Americans are coming under attack.
In New York City, a shop owner was savagely beaten Saturday by a stranger promising to “kill Muslims.” In California, a man was playing volleyball and praying in a park on Sunday when a woman accused of him of being a terrorist, struck him and splashed him in the face with coffee. And in Philadelphia, a severed pig’s head was tossed outside of a mosque on Monday.
On Wednesday, a Muslim American congressman linked the “rise in Islamophobia” — including a death threat he received on Monday — to the “demagoguery” of Donald Trump.
“You have other politicians who are joining the bandwagon and who are fanning the flames of bigotry,” Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.) told interviewer Jake Tapper. “That concerns me because we’re putting people — i.e. Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and others — into the line of fire exposing them to death threats, discrimination at the workplace and assaults.”
There are more incidents:
In Austin, two young Arab-American women reported they were verbally assaulted at a restaurant Sunday morning by another patron. Leilah Abdennabi, a Palestinian American born in Chicago, and Sirat Al-Nahi, an Iraqi American born in Seattle, who both wear Muslim head scarfs, said an older man at Kerbey Lane Cafe shouted they “should just go back to Saudi Arabia.” The restaurant moved the patron but did not make him leave, the women told Fox 7 TV.
Sarker Haque, who owns Fatima Food Mart in Queens in New York reported he was beaten Saturday by a customer who promised to “kill Muslims.” Haque was bleeding and bruised and had a dislocated hand. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital for treatment, according to NY1-TV. Police charged Piro Kolvani, 55, of Jacksonville, with assault and criminal mischief in connection with the incident.
At the Islamic Center of Greater St. Louis, someone claiming to be a former Marine left a threatening voicemail Saturday. The incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime, Fox 2 TV in St. Louis reported.
In Palm Beach, Fla., someone broke windows in a prayer room at the Islamic Center. Police arrested Joshua Killets, 27, on Friday in connection with the incident. He faces charges that include criminal mischief to a religious structure, according to WSVN-TV.
The Manassas Mosque in Virginia received a voicemail threat Dec. 2, the night of the San Bernardino attacks that left 14 people fatally shot by a married Muslim couple who the FBI says were "radicalized." A caller claiming to represent the Jewish Defense League referred to the California shooting and promised to “do to your people what you did to them,” according to a CAIR report.
The Tempe, Ariz., police department received a report of unspecified damage in the last week.
In Grand Forks, N.D., community members believe the deliberate Tuesday morning torching of a restaurant serving Somali food was a hate crime.
There also seems to be a growing trend to throw off Muslims from airplanes:
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee said it received complaints from three airline passengers pulled off planes since Dec. 2. Multiple death threats and other abusive comments have been directed at the group from phone callers, said Abed Ayoub, the committee's national legal and policy director.
The TV-report of the Muslim shopkeeper who was beaten is truly heartbreaking:
But it can and surely will get much worse, and I believe that this is just what Donald Trump wants. He hates other people with a passion, and the "Muslims" and the "Mexicans" are just very convenient targets for him. He will happily add more "targets" to this list, if it appears useful for him.
He is a true fringe candidate and does not care about truth or fiction, he only cares about propaganda, and from history, we know that propaganda can work extremely well.
People who are "infected" by the Trump-virus have become true "believers", and comments like this one can be found everywhere these days on the internet (from an article at Yahoo News):
Trump's rhetoric is in no way different from the methods how the Nazis incited the Germany against the Jews in the years before and after 1933.
If you for example look at old Nazi anti-Jewish cartoons, like this one from 1929 ("The year is over. The fight will go on!"), then the parallels are obvious. The groups are interchangeable. The person on the left could also very well be a Muslim:
The relentless propaganda against the Jews also had the desired results long before the Nazis came to power in 1933.
From an historical overview about the Jews in Berlin:
Goebbels exploited the February 1930 killing of Horst Wessel, an SA storm-trooper man in Berlin, to launch a campaign against the city’s Jews. On the Jewish New Year of 1931, Jews on the way home from the synagogues were attacked on the Kurfurstendamm in western Berlin.
The next year, 1932, saw a spate of attacks on Jewish university students and lecturers in the city. The election campaign that year served to intensify the anti-Semitic atmosphere.
An interesting article explains who the Jews in Germany were living in fear already before 1933 - and how the Nazis were not taken very seriously at the same time:
True, many German Jews understood the danger early on and were all too eager for others to understand their dire situation, as well, including the relatively rare American Jewish visitor like labor organizer Abraham Plotkin. When Plotkin arrived in Berlin in November 1932, German Jews peppered him with questions about Jewish life in the United States. When he said there was anti-Semitism there, too, they scoffed at the notion that it was at all comparable. “Do they ever throw Jews out of subway cars in New York?” they asked, enumerating other acts of violence.“There is hardly a Friday night that we pray without trembling.”
And yet when Plotkin went, on December 16, 1932, to see a Nazi rally, which featured chief propagandist Joseph Goebbels, he found the event anticlimactic. “I confess my disappointment,” he wrote in his diary. “I had come to see a whale and found a minnow.” On January 30, 1933, Hitler was named chancellor.
It is absolutely justified in my opinion to compare Donald Trump's statements and his tactics, his unashamed use of propaganda, with the methods of the Nazis. Such rhetoric inevitably leads to violence and abuse, and this surely is not unintended, as violence seems to emphasize the strength of your very own movement.
Donald Trump and his minions have a very relaxed attitude to violence, to put it like that, as evidenced again by a campaign event on Friday, when a female protester was shoved to the ground by Trump's security guards:
It is also hardly surprising that Neo-Nazi groups enjoy a spike in attention and support:
But its leaders consistently say that Trump's rhetoric about minority groups has successfully tapped into simmering racial resentments long ignored by mainstream politicians and that he has brought more attention to their agenda than any American political figure in years. It is a development many of them see as a golden opportunity.
Meanwhile, analysts from the two leading organizations that track violence against minority groups say Trump is energizing hate groups and creating an atmosphere likely to lead to more violence against American Muslims.
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 on Monday 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. “Is it energizing the groups? Yeah. They’re thrilled.”
Marilyn Mayo, co-director of the ADL’s Center on Extremism, said Trump’s proposal this week to halt the entrance of Muslims into the United States is only the latest statement to inject vigor into the racist fringe of American politics. “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,” she said.
Donald Trump meanwhile also continues his love-affair with lies and conspiracy theories and a few days ago gave a long interview to the largest promoter of outrageous conspiracy theories, Alex Jones from "Infowars." For me as a German, this type of behavior also immediately reminds me of Nazi-tactics, as the Nazis loved nothing more than conspiracy-theories in order to justify their warped and dangerous views.
It is almost comical to see that even extreme right-wing politicians from abroad disagree with Trump - he is too extreme for some of them:
Trump has also been called out by other Western allies, including politicians in France and the Netherlands. France's prime minister, who is less powerful than the nation's president, said Trump "feeds the hatred and the confusion," and Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders called the brash billionaire's remarks "very unhelpful and very discriminatory."
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls also compared Trump to the country's far-right nationalist party, but even the party's leader, Marine Le Pen, rejected the comparison.
"Seriously, have you ever heard me say something like that?" she said when asked about Trump comparisons in a TV interview, according to The New York Times. "I defend all the French people in France, regardless of their origin, regardless of their religion."
In the USA, a broad coalition of members from the public, politicians, journalists and others, strongly condemn Donald Trump. It surely is also a harsh reminder for some people that radical rhetoric will have consequences at some point. Eventually, a larger part of the population will get radicalized, and there will be politicians who will be eager to exploit this. Once you define a huge group of people summarily as "the enemy", then the gloves are off, and anything can happen.
It is refreshing and encouraging to see that some people use social media very effectively to call out Donald Trump, like the British war veteran Chris Herbert, who lost his right leg in Iraq.
His facebook post is very powerful:
I do hope that people continue to speak out against Donald Trump, the big bully of US politics - celebrities, politicians, journalists and citizens. His is riding the Nazi-train, trying to push anyone aside who is "weak." His supporters should not get the impression that they are in the majority, because they clearly are not.
Also worth a read (from Raw Story):
Katrina Pierson has long been a fixture on cable news, often defending Trump, although she only officially joined his campaign in November. A professional activist who has warned Tea Party members of UN plans to take over Texas, she has worked for the Tea Party Leadership Fund, one of the most prominent “ scam Pacs ” – groups, mostly on the right, that spend almost all the money they raise on themselves. In 2014, she mounted an unsuccessful primary challenge to veteran Texas congressman Pete Sessions. Her campaign was damaged by the revelation that while preparing her run and doing consulting work for the Senate campaign of Ted Cruz , she was receiving government unemployment benefits .
Most of you will probably not watch Donald Trump's interview with Alex Jones which I posted above, but if you do, you will see that this is a conversation of two people who are clearly insane. You will also see that Trump uses another Nazi-tactic to the extreme: Declaring that your own country is the victim of virtually every other country around you, that everybody else just wants to exploit and weaken the USA. That's exactly the type of talk with which Adolf Hitler poisoned the hearts and minds of many Germans.
Donald Trump will cause lasting damage, whether he succeeds with his campaign or not, but it is important that he is being properly called out and exposed as the despicable and insane person he actually is. The USA has to withstand the propaganda, and this will be a great challenge.