As European law enforcement officials scramble in the wake of the Brussels attacks last week, presidential candidate Donald Trump played on fears that terror would strike in America once again in telephone interview on the Easter Sunday edition of ABC’s This Week. The Brussels attacks, which killed 28 people and injured hundreds more, is the latest in a series of terrorist attacks that have occurred during the present election cycle. While the most publicized attacks have occurred in Western Europe, many others have been killed in bombings and shootings orchestrated by followers of Political Islam throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Donald Trump, who has garnered formidable support by suggesting radical and controversial measures to counter political Islam, continues to assert that more attacks will follow in the United States, similar to the San Bernardino attack in December.
“I don’t think America is a safe place for Americans, you want to know the truth,” Trump warned, “We’re allowing thousands of people to come in here. Nobody knows where they’re from. Nobody knows who they are and they’re coming in here by the thousands and let me tell you something, we’re going to have problems.”
Donald Trump also criticized European law enforcement agencies and national governments, advising that they failed to address influxes in immigration and the infiltration of ethnic and religious subcultures by extremists.
“I don’t think that Europe is a safe place,” he said. “When you look at Brussels, when you look at the way they’ve handled things from law enforcement standpoints, when you look at Paris, when you look at so many other places – no, it’s not.”
Conservative news outlet NewsMax indicated that in subsequent comments, Donald Trump said he would be “very vigilant, very smart” in how a Trump administration would engage American Muslims. He said he would “rule out” placing American Muslims in internment camps, but acknowledged that there has been widespread speculation that he would entertain such a measure. Trump noted that he has never actually proposed anything like that to date.
Trump’s primary rival, Ted Cruz, called for extraordinary changes in law enforcement in the hours following the Brussels attacks, calling on police to “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized,” as noted by Salon.
Although the ideas proffered by the likes of Trump and Cruz have some degree of support in the American electorate, their plans have been met with skepticism and criticism by community leaders.
Cruz’s above-noted proposal was slammed by New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who accused the Republican candidate of “denigrating” American Muslims.
“The statements he made today is why he’s not going to become president of this country,” Bratton said in remarks re-published by Huffington Post. “We don’t need a president that doesn’t respect the values that form the foundation of this country.” Bratton also chided Ted Cruz, noting that many of NYPD officers have served in the United States military, but Cruz himself has not had the same experience.
Donald Trump’s recent address before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was boycotted by some Jewish leaders and rabbis, who suggested that Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric is similar to attitudes and practices towards Jews in Germany during the rise of the fascism. For his part, Donald Trump has rejected comparisons between his divisive statements on the campaign trail and the propaganda of the Nazi Germany.
[Photo by John Moore/Getty Images]