The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, said Friday that leading GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s continued use of a debunked anti-Muslim myth is endangering ordinary American Muslims who are already facing a surge in hate.
At a rally in California, Trump repeated the myth about U.S. Gen. John Pershing executing Muslim prisoners in the Philippines using bullets dipped in pig’s blood.
Disturbingly, according to CAIR, the audience erupted in applause in response to that Islamophobic hoax, which Trump first related at a rally in South Carolina last February.
CAIR has previously stated that Trump’s pig’s blood claim and other instances of his Islamophobic rhetoric, including his calling for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, his false claim that “Islam hates us,” his refusal to rule out special IDs for American Muslims, and his willingness to consider closing down American mosques place millions of innocent, law-abiding citizens in the American Muslim community at risk.
In a statement, CAIR national executive director Nihad said, “It is deeply disturbing that a leading candidate for the nation’s highest office continues to repeat an Islamophobic myth that he must certainly know to be false. Equally disturbing is the positive response of Mr. Trump’s supporters to this violence-inspiring hoax.
“Mr. Trump, because of his continued use of Islamophobic rhetoric, must shoulder at least part of the blame for the recent spike in anti-Muslim bias, discrimination and hate crimes.”
CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide since the Paris terror attacks, the San Bernardino shootings and Trump’s bigoted call for a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States.
CAIR has asked the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., to preserve any surveillance video covering the site of an alleged attack on a Muslim woman by another woman shouting religious slurs and statements of support for Trump.
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department or by filing a report.