Media figures across the ideological spectrum are condemning Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, calling it “dangerous,” a violation of the First Amendment, and “fascistic.” Trump's proposal builds on previous calls from Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush to exclude Muslim Syrian refugees from entering the United States.
Trump Calls For Banning All Muslims From Entering The United States
Donald Trump: “Shutdown” All Muslims Entering The United States Until We "Can Figure Out What Is Going On." A December 7 press release from Donald Trump's presidential campaign called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on”:
Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on. According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population. Most recently, a poll from the Center for Security Policy released data showing “25% of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad” and 51% of those polled, “agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah.” Shariah authorizes such atrocities as murder against non-believers who won't convert, beheadings and more unthinkable acts that pose great harm to Americans, especially women.
Mr. Trump stated, “Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life. If I win the election for President, we are going to Make America Great Again.” [Donald J. Trump Press Release, 12/7/15]
Even Right-Wing Media Figures Condemn Trump's “Indefensible” Proposal To Ban Muslim Entry Into U.S.
Fox's Hasselbeck: Trump's Proposal Is “Combating A Religious Cleansing With A Religious Cleansing.” On the December 8 edition of Fox News Radio's Kilmeade & Friends, Fox News host Elisabeth Hasselbeck described Trump's plan to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. as “combating a religious cleansing with a religious cleansing.” Hasselbeck explained that Trump's plan was “not practical, not constitutional, and it is below what I think the standards of our nation are”:
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: Well, it's interesting. I mean, Donald Trump certainly knows how to ignite a new firestorm when he needs it. The polls are still in his favor right now. Will they be after the statement? Some say yes. I mean, to say that we're not going to let any Muslims into our borders, I mean how are we -- personally, I just think -- so we're combating a religious cleansing with a religious cleansing? Does that make sense to anybody? It certainly doesn't, I'm not one, I want this nation to be safe. I believe that our process, and I believe that the methods that they have need to be airtight. But I certainly don't believe that we have to be like that of our enemy.
BRIAN KILMEADE (HOST): Would you give more scrutiny to a Middle-Eastern, a Syrian coming over here as opposed to a Japanese person?
HASSELBECK: Look, that's not my job, that's why I don't work at -- I'd be the worst person at the border. I would be like “You know what, you look kind. You have a kid and you're hungry, come on in.” I mean, I am -- I would be the worst, and I'll tell you that. Now I think our leaders need to be strong, and I think the vetting process needs to be much, much more, as I've said, airtight, as before. But I do not believe that a blanket statement -- which by the way, which happens to be unconstitutional, on the part of Donald Trump -- is the solution. It might sound good and get a bunch of bells and whistles when it comes to the media, but it is absolutely not practical, not constitutional, and it is below what I think the standards of our nation are. [Fox News Radio, Kilmeade & Friends, 12/8/15]
Daily Caller's Matt Lewis: Trump's Proposal Is “Indefensible.” The Daily Caller's Matt Lewis slammed Trump's call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., writing about how he went from criticizing President Obama one day, to condemning Trump another day, and called Trump's proposal “indefensible”: “If you are a Republican, you have two choices: You can either defend the indefensible (Trump's ridiculous proposal), or spend your valuable time and energy policing your own side -- and attacking someone who was ostensibly on your 'team.'” [The Daily Caller, 12/8/15]
Fox's Stephen Hayes: If Trump's Proposal “Pleases You, You're A Bigot.” Responding to Trump's call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., Weekly Standard writer and Fox News contributor Stephen Hayes wrote on Twitter, “If Trump's proposal to ban all Muslims surprises you, you haven't been paying attention. If it pleases you, you're a bigot”:
If Trump's proposal to ban all Muslims surprises you, you haven't been paying attention. If it pleases you, you're a bigot.
-- Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) December 8, 2015
Breitbart News' Joel Pollak: “Trump Excludes Entire Muslim Faith To Catch A Radical Minority.” Breitbart News' Joel Pollak responded to Trump's statement by writing on Twitter, “Hillary won't say 'radical Islam' bc refers to entire Muslim faith. Trump excludes entire Muslim faith to catch a radical minority. 2 wrongs”:
Hillary won't say “radical Islam” bc refers to entire Muslim faith. Trump excludes entire Muslim faith to catch a radical minority. 2 wrongs
-- Joel Pollak (@joelpollak) December 8, 2015
Breitbart News' John Nolte: Trump Refusing Muslim Doctor Or Military Recruit Is “Nuts.” Breitbart News' John Nolte responded to Trump's proposal by writing on Twitter, “So if a Muslim doctor from Australia wants to come here or a Muslim from Canada wants to join our military, Trump says no. That's nuts”:
So if a Muslim doctor from Australia wants to come here or a Muslim from Canada wants to join our military, Trump says no. That's nuts.
-- John Nolte (@NolteNC) December 8, 2015
National Review's David French: “To Treat Every Single Muslim As A Threat ... Is To Act Mindlessly.” National Review's David French condemned Donald Trump's comments in an article headlined, “Trump's Proposed Muslim Immigration Moratorium Is the Wrong Response to Political Correctness,” writing that “to treat every single Muslim as a threat ... is to act mindlessly,” and called the proposal “a political stunt”:
By tacking to the opposite of Obama's scolding self-righteousness, Trump isn't charting his own course so much as merely reacting. In fact, now that he's “clarified” that he's not just talking about immigration but a moratorium on all Muslim entry to the United States, he's gone well beyond being the anti-Obama and has reacted straight into foolishness.
There is nothing wrong with closing our borders to select groups when confronted with actionable intelligence or to place some groups under greater scrutiny because of known threats. But to treat every single Muslim as a threat, regardless of whether they're from Raqqa, Erbil, Cairo, or Des Moines -- and regardless of whether they've tweeted jihadist threats or bled on the battlefield alongside our troops -- is to act mindlessly. I would also say Trump is acting maliciously, but I don't think Trump despises Muslims as much as he loves leading the news cycle. This is a political stunt and should be treated as such. [National Review, The Corner, 12/7/15]
Fox's Geraldo Rivera: “The Pity Is Not That [Trump] Proposes Banning All Muslim Immigrants, But That So Many Americans Agree With Him.” Fox News host Geraldo Rivera criticized Donald Trump's remarks, writing on Twitter, “The pity is not that [Donald Trump] proposes banning all Muslim immigrants but that so many Americans agree with him”:
The pity is not that @realDonaldTrump proposes banning all Muslim immigrants but that so many Americans agree with him.
-- Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) December 8, 2015
Commentary's Noah Rothman Labeled Trump's Suggestion As A “Dangerous, Fascistic Policy.” Commentary magazine's Noah Rothman wrote on Twitter that Trump's suggestion to bar Muslims from entering the United States is a “dangerous, fascistic policy [that] should be called as much”:
Retracted. This is dangerous, fascistic policy. It should be called as much. Talk is cheap, this is very costly. https://t.co/1uj3H1sxok
-- Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) December 7, 2015
Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol: “Important To Save Conservatism From” Donald Trump. Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol wrote on Twitter that “Trump has entered John Birch Society/Pat Buchanan territory” and that it is “Important to save conservatism from him”:
Trump has entered John Birch Society/Pat Buchanan territory. Important to save conservatism from him.
-- Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) December 7, 2015
Breitbart News' Ben Shapiro: Trump's Proposal “Factually Wrong And Ethically Incomprehensible.” Responding to Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslim entry into the U.S., Breitbart News' Ben Shapiro wrote that, “We need to work with Muslims both foreign and domestic,” asserting that Trump's proposed policy is “factually wrong and ethically incomprehensible.” [The Daily Wire, 12/7/15]
Media Figures Denounce Trump's “Fascistic” Proposal
Daily Beast's Tim Mak: It Is "Still Neutral To Call A Fascistic Proposal, A Fascistic Proposal." The Daily Beast's senior congressional correspondent Tim Mak responded to Donald Trump's statement by writing on Twitter, “Still neutral to call a fascistic proposal, a fascistic proposal”:
Still neutral to call a fascistic proposal, a fascistic proposal https://t.co/z1c0xSopL3
-- Tim Mak (@timkmak) December 7, 2015
BuzzFeed's Rosie Gray: “Flashback: When People Thought Insulting John McCain Was Rock Bottom For Trump.” BuzzFeed reporter Rosie Gray brought up on Twitter Trump's previous attacks on Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to suggest that Trump's behavior has worsened, writing, “flashback: when people thought insulting John McCain was rock bottom for Trump”:
flashback: when people thought insulting John McCain was rock bottom for Trump
-- Rosie Gray (@RosieGray) December 7, 2015
National Journal's Ron Fournier: “Focus Less On *Whether* Trump's Bigotry & Bullying Will Hurt Him And More On Why It *Should*.” National Journal columnist Ron Fournier condemned Trump's plan, which he labeled as demagoguery, writing on Twitter: “TV Pundits: Can we focus less on *whether* Trump's bigotry & bullying will hurt him and more on why it *should*”:
TV Pundits: Can we focus less on *whether* Trump's bigotry & bullying will hurt him and more on why it *should*? Denounce demagoguery
-- Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) December 8, 2015
NBC's Katy Tur: "Constitutional Scholar: Trump's Anti-Muslim Immigration Proposal Is Probably Illegal." NBC News foreign correspondent and embedded Trump campaign reporter Katy Tur responded to Trump, tweeting, “Constitutional scholar: Trump's anti-Muslim immigration proposal is probably illegal. @AriMelber lays it out”:
-- Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) December 7, 2015
The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza: "The Trump Internment Camps Are Going To Be Really Classy." The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza responded to a statement from Donald Trump's campaign defending his position, writing on Twitter, “The Trump internment camps are going to be really classy”:
The Trump internment camps are going to be really classy https://t.co/s94p206FVE
-- Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) December 8, 2015
NBC News' Richard Engel: “This Is Really Not The Country I Know.” On the December 7 edition of MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, NBC News' Richard Engel stated, “this is really not the country that I know”, asserting that Trump's proposal is “a black spot on our collective foreign policy and our conscience” that “also just feeds into the ISIS narrative”:
RACHEL MADDOW (HOST): Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump speaking tonight with my friend Greta Van Sustern on the Fox News Channel. Joining us now is NBC News chief foreigncorrespondent Richard Engel. Richard, it's great to have you here.
RICHARD ENGEL: What has happened since I last spoke to you? I was in Paris.
MADDOW: You left the country. We broke everything.
ENGEL: I came back and things have gone totally mad. The country is in a panic. There is demagoguery. This is really not the country that I know.
MADDOW: You are somebody who I know because we're friends, I know you do not care very much about partisan politics. You're not a like horse race kind of guy. And I know that you can, you kind of box a lot of that stuff out when you think it's kinda small ball. But this, it seems like this concerns you. This matters.
ENGEL: This is not small ball, actually. It would be interesting to say oh this is just fun. This is just more, you know, he's trying to score a few points. But the world watches this. The world sees the leading political candidate from one party making these kind of statements and still doing well and having these rallies. And those vox pops you showed where people are saying, yes, we need to do them. Send them back home. Those are going around the world right now, and people realize this person is leading in the polls. That must be what Americans think. I was today with an ambassador from the Middle East. Today. And we were talking exactly about this subject. And he said, well, people in our country watch what is going on, and it makes us very concerned. So from the world perspective, it is absolutely an image, an impression, a black spot on our collective foreign policy and our conscience. And it also just feeds into the ISIS narrative. [MSNBC, The Rachel Maddow Show, 12/7/15]
Journalist Glenn Greenwald Places Blame For Trump's Anti-Muslim Policy Proposals On “The Toxic Anti-Muslim Polemicists Stoking This Sickness.” Investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted that Trump's policy proposal “is the fault of Trump first, but it's also the doing of the toxic anti-Muslim polemicists stoking this sickness”:
This is the fault of Trump first, but it's also the doing of the toxic anti-Muslim polemicists stoking this sickness https://t.co/j76yMSd51k
-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 7, 2015
Little Green Footballs' Charles Johnson: “Trump's Fascist Call To Ban Muslims Cites A Bogus Poll.” Charles Johnson of the Little Green Footballs blog tweeted that “Trump's fascist call to ban Muslims cites a bogus poll from the far right anti-Muslim Center for Security Policy”:
Trump's fascist call to ban Muslims cites a bogus poll from the far right anti-Muslim Center for Security Policy https://t.co/X96oSzVF6n
-- Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) December 7, 2015
The Guardian's Jill Filipovic Asked If “Trump Just Went From Fascist-Lite To Fascist-Fascist.” Guardian columnist Jill Filipovic tweeted that “Trump just went from fascist-lite to fascist-Fascist, right?”:
So Trump just went from fascist-lite to Fascist-Fascist, right?
-- Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) December 7, 2015
Mother Jones' David Corn: “Trump: My Kristallnact Will Be The Best Kristallnacht. It Will Be Huge.” Mother Jones DC editor David Corn responded to Trump, tweeting,“Trump: ”My kristallnact will be the best kristallnacht. It will be huge":
Trump: “My kristallnact will be the best kristallnacht. It will be huge.”
-- David Corn (@DavidCornDC) December 8, 2015
Vocativ's Erin Gloria Ryan: “Donald Trump Is A Human ISIS Recruitment Video.” Vocativ deputy editor Erin Gloria Ryan reacted to Trump's suggestion to bar Muslims from entering the United States by suggesting that Trump “is a human ISIS recruitment video”:
donald trump is a human ISIS recruitment video
-- Erin Gloria Ryan (@morninggloria) December 7, 2015
Right Wing Watch's Brian Tashman Tweeted That Trump's Announcement Is Proof For “Anyone [Who] Was On The Fence About Whether Trump Is A Fascist Or Not.” Right Wing Watch's Brian Tashman tweeted that Trump's announcement to bar Muslims from entering the United States should be enough proof for “anyone [who] was on the fence about whether Trump is a fascist or not”:
So if anyone was on the fence about whether Trump is a fascist or not... https://t.co/0h4BvqaxY5
-- Brian Tashman (@briantashman) December 7, 2015
Slate's Josh Voorhees: "Donald Trump's No-Muslims-Allowed Policy Is Disgusting -- But Hardly Surprising." In a December 7 post on Slate.com titled “Donald Trump's No-Muslims-Allowed Policy Is Disgusting -- But Hardly Surprising,” Josh Vorhees wrote that, “The shock over Trump's proposal is certainly warranted”, considering “the Republican Party's long-time polling front-runner [is] putting forth a clearly xenophobic plan that is as disgusting as it almost certainly is unconstitutional.” [Slate, 12/7/15]
Philadelphia Daily News: Trump Is “The New Furor.” The Philadelphia Daily News presented a photo of Donald Trump on the cover of the December 8, 2015 print edition of its newspaper, placing the text “The New Furor” over a photo of Donald Trump, with one arm outstretched.
-- Philly Daily News (@PhillyDailyNews) December 8, 2015
Trump's Proposal Builds On Previous Proposals From Other Republican Presidential Candidates To Limit Muslim Refugees From Syria
Jeb Bush: The United States “Should Focus Our Efforts As It Relates To The Refugees For The Christians That Are Being Slaughtered.” Appearing on CNN's State of the Union on November 15, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush called for “focus[ing] our efforts as it relates to refugees on the Christians that are being slaughtered,” saying that “there are a lot of Christians in Syria that have no place now”:
JAKE TAPPER (HOST): We have breaking news this morning. As you heard from Christiane Amanpour, according to French authorities, at least one of the Islamist terrorists smuggled into France amongst refugees from Syria. There are Syrian refugees coming into the United States right now. Clearly there is a heart-breaking humanitarian imperative at stake, but what would you do as president, given this new information?
JEB BUSH: Well, I think we need to lead as it relates to taking action in Syria and Iraq to eradicate ISIS from the face of the Earth. That should be our first and foremost responsibility. But as it relates to the refugees, I think we need to do thorough screening and take a limited number. But ultimately, the best way to deal with the refugee crisis is to create safe zones inside of Syria so that people don't risk their lives, and you don't have what will be a national security challenge, both for our country and Europe, of screening. In addition to that, Jake, I'd say that there are a lot of Christians in Syria that have no place now. They'll be either executed or imprisoned, either by Assad or by ISIS. And I think we should have -- we should focus our efforts as it relates to the refugees for the Christians that are being slaughtered.
TAPPER: How does the United States -- how do screeners tell which refugees are Christian and which ones are not?
BUSH: Well, we do that all the time. We do that -- it takes almost a year for a refugee to be processed into the United States. I think we need to be, obviously, very, very cautious. This also calls to mind the need to make sure we protect our borders, our southern border particularly. We need to focus on counterintelligence capabilities that have been weakened when the PATRIOT Act was reauthorized. This is a warning for our country that this threat is not going to go away. This is a threat against Western civilization, and we need to lead. The United States has pulled back, and when we pull back, voids are filled. And they're filled now by Islamic terrorism that threatens our country. [CNN, State of the Union, 11/15/15]
Sen. Ted Cruz Calls For The U.S. To Accept Christian Refugees While Barring Muslims. During a November 15 campaign visit to South Carolina, Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) “continued to call for Muslim refugees from Syria to be barred from entering the United States but opening the borders to displaced Christians.” According to The Washington Post, Cruz said, “We need to be working to provide a safe haven for those Christians who are being persecuted and facing genocide, and at the same time we shouldn't be letting terrorists into America.” Cruz “reiterated his assertion that it is 'lunacy' to allow Muslim refugees into the United States, asserting that there is no way to know if they are aligned with the Islamic State”:
Sen. Ted Cruz Sunday continued to call for Muslim refugees from Syria to be barred from entering the United States but opening the borders to displaced Christians, arguing there is not a “meaningful risk” that Christians will commit terrorist acts.
“There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror. If there were a group of radical Christians pledging to murder anyone who had a different religious view than they, we would have a different national security situation,” Cruz (R-Tex.) told reporters in a middle school gym here.
“But it is precisely the Obama administration's unwillingness to recognize that or ask those questions that makes them so unable to fight this enemy. Because they pretend as if there is no religious aspect to this,” he said.
Cruz did not say how he would determine that refugees were Christian or Muslim. He reiterated his assertion that it is “lunacy” to allow Muslim refugees into the United States, asserting that there is no way to know if they are aligned with the Islamic State.
“We can't roll the dice with the safety of Americans and bring in people for whom there is an unacceptable risk that they could be jihadists coming here to kill Americans,” Cruz said. “We just saw in Paris what happens when a country allows ISIS terrorists to come in as refugees and the result can be a horrific loss of life,” he said, using an acronym for the Islamic State.
The assertion is a shift for Cruz, who in early 2014 told Fox News that America should allow Syrian refugees to come to the United States. Now he is saying that Muslim refugees should be resettled in majority Muslim countries in the Middle East. [The Washington Post, 11/15/15]