Following the tragedy at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, presidential candidate Donald Trump posted a series of tweets which began with the words “appreciate the congrats,” a nod to those congratulating him on “being right on radical Islamic terrorism.” In response, comedian Aziz Ansari has penned a scathing op-ed in the New York Times, wherein he admits that Trump makes him afraid for his family.
— Mic (@mic) June 25, 2016
Aziz Ansari is the son of Muslim immigrants who regularly attend a mosque to pray. In his opinion piece, he writes that after the Pulse nightclub shooting, he sent a text to his mother, begging her not to go anywhere near a mosque, and instead to “do all your prayer at home.” Ansari goes on to say that after sending the text, he realized how terrible it was to have to tell an American citizen to be careful about how she chooses to practice her religion. He is afraid for his family, and he blames a lot of that fear on Donald Trump.
“Today, with the presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and others like him spewing hate speech, prejudice is reaching new levels. It’s visceral, and scary, and it affects how people live, work and pray. It makes me afraid for my family. It also makes no sense.”
The prejudice Ansari is talking about is something that many, if not all, American Muslims are feeling these days; just because the color of their skin, or the religion they follow, seems to match that of a terrorist, they are all looked at like they could be the next one to pledge allegiance to ISIS and go on a killing spree. It’s a prejudice that has been growing since 9/11, and Donald Trump is just adding fuel to the fire, says Ansari, who recounts a story of his pre-celebrity days when he was shouted at from a passing motorist who called him a “terrorist” simply because of the color of his skin, according to Vanity Fair. Aziz Ansari’s story is just one of many told by Muslim Americans nationwide, who, he says, feel as though “[they] must almost prove [themselves] worthy of feeling sad and scared like everyone else.”
Ansari quotes Donald Trump as saying that all Muslims “know who the bad ones are,” implying that all of the 3.3 million Muslim Americans across the nation know who among them are terrorists, but, they allegedly refuse to tell — a notion that Ansari finds absolutely ridiculous. He then goes on to say that likening all Muslims to terrorists would be the same as saying that all white people are like the few who choose to shoot up movie theatres, schools, and abortion clinics.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) June 26, 2016
Aziz Ansari does, however, believe that something needs to be done about terrorism in America — both the kind perpetrated by radical Muslims as well as white people — and he has a solution. Ansari believes that keeping military-grade weaponry out of civilian hands would go a long way to quelling the string of tragedies the country has faced in recent years, reports Rolling Stone.
“Suspected terrorists can buy assault rifles, but we’re still carrying tiny bottles of shampoo to the airport. If we’re going to use the ‘they’ll just find another way’ argument, let’s use that to let us keep our shoes on.”
“Xenophoic rhetoric,” Ansari says, has been a focal point of Donald Trump’s campaign from the get go. He reminds readers about Trump’s spiel regarding Mexicans, and of how the Donald still insists Muslims in New Jersey were cheering in the streets following the September 11 attacks, though it has been disproved time and time again.
Aziz Ansari closes his op-ed about Donald Trump by bringing up those tweets Trump posted after the Orlando shooting — where Trump is thanking his supporters for the congratulations — and pointing out the irony of them: “it appears that day he was the one who was celebrating after an attack.”
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