Democratic front runner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made it clear that she believes Donald Trump will do the opposite of making America great again. In fact, Clinton says, Trump is doing much to damage America’s standing in the world, and takes particular issue with Trump’s treatment of Muslims. Clinton says that Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and blustering is hurting the U.S. in its fight against terrorism.
“He is becoming ISIS’ best recruiter,” she said. “They are going to people, showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.”
Clinton’s strong indictment of Donald Trump and his anti-Muslim stance stems from Trump’s recent call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” in the wake of the terrorist attacks both overseas, in Paris, and in the U.S., in San Bernardino, California.
Although Trump is ostensibly seeking to appear tough on terrorism, many — including Clinton — believe that his extreme positions taken against not just terrorists but against an entire religious community will have the opposite of its intended effect.
“The first line of defense against radicalization is in the Muslim American community — people who we should be welcoming and working with,” Clinton said. In fact, Clinton continued, it isn’t just the inflammatory speech coming from Donald Trump, but the increasingly intolerant rhetoric coming from the entire Republican party that is worrisome.
“I worry greatly that the rhetoric coming from the Republicans, particularly Donald Trump, is sending a message to Muslims here in the United States and literally around the world that there is a clash of civilizations, that there is some kind of Western plot or war against Islam, which then, I believe, fans the flames of radicalization.”
Clinton is correct in pointing out that, although Donald Trump’s radical ideas regarding Islam have drawn the most media attention, his Republican counterparts’ ideas and beliefs are not much different from his own. Senator Rand Paul recently introduced legislation that claimed to prevent potential terrorists from entering the U.S., but in reality, actually bans refugees from a total of 33 countries, most of which have a Muslim-majority in their populations. Ted Cruz voted in favor of the bill, and drafted his own bill that would ban refugee admissions from countries with territory controlled by a terrorist group, with a special exception for Christians.
Jeb Bush, who has called Donald Trump “unhinged,” also seems to quietly favor similar ideas. Bush believes that Syrian refugees fleeing the very terrorist groups the U.S. is fighting should settle closer to home — with one notable exception.
“I do think there is a special important need to make sure that Christians from Syria are being protected because they are being slaughtered in the country. And but for us, who?” Bush said on CBS This Morning. “Who would take care of the number of Christians that right now are completely displaced?”
So while Trump is, perhaps, the most vocal and certainly the most visible of those within the GOP presidential field clamoring for a ban against Muslims, he is not alone in the sentiment.
Clinton also strove to draw a marked contrast between her own response in how to deal with ISIS and that of Donald Trump.
“If you’re going to put together a coalition in the region to take on the threat of ISIS, you don’t want to alienate the very countries and people you need to be part of the coalition,” she said.
Trump’s own plan to fight ISIS is crude and reckless.
“I would just bomb those suckers,” Trump said in Iowa last month. “That’s right. I’d blow up the pipes, I’d blow up the refineries, every single inch, there would be nothing left.”
Trump’s extreme stance on both how to handle ISIS, as well as his incessant calls to ban Muslims from entering the United States, has not hurt his standing in the polls with Republicans. However, it is not clear how much support his ideas have from the general electorate, since surveys have come up with with mixed results.
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