Worse than angering a close ally, President Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim tweets consistently undermine the war against ISIS, says Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
On Wednesday, Trump retweeted a bunch of anti-Muslim videos posted by “Britain First,” a fascist hate group based in the United Kingdom.
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The outrage was immediate as British lawmakers in Parliament and Prime Minister Theresa May condemned Trump for giving the group a major platform to spread their racist Islamophobic ideology.
Even InfoWars, a right-wing extremists website that often supports Trump, couldn’t believe he would stoop so low.
On Thursday, during an appearance on CNN, Senator Lindsey Graham chimed in with his own outrage because such tweets undermine the war against ISIS. Graham said:
“I think it was a very unhelpful decision by the president to embrace a right-wing website in Britain that markets in Islamophobia and religious bigotry and give it credibility. One thing I’ve learned after 42 trips to the region is that the antidote to terrorism is not racism and religious bigotry. When you embrace religious bigotry, when you say that all Muslims are the same, then you’re undercutting our effort to win the war.”
Indeed, demonizing all Muslims makes it easier for ISIS to spread their propaganda and recruit new soldiers to their cause. If Muslims feel that the United States is out to kill them all, it makes them more vulnerable to being radicalized.
“I think it was very inappropriate for the president of the United States to retweet these videos because they just breed hatred and contempt. The way to fight the war against radical Islam is to side with those who reject the radical elements of their own faith, not cast the entire faith with a broad brush, and I just cannot tell you how big a miscalculation this is. This is embracing people who are religious bigots. The antidote to terrorism is not racism and religious bigotry. The antidote to terrorism is going after the terrorists in cooperation with those in the faith who reject terrorism.”
Here’s the video via Twitter.
Sen. Graham on President Trump’s anti-Muslim retweets: “The antidote to terrorism is not racism and religious bigotry” https://t.co/IbeHtXYTz4
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) November 30, 2017
Lindsey Graham is right. Trump should apologize for his tweets and condemn hate groups like “Britain First” for stoking fear and hatred. A responsible leader would not give a platform to such groups, but by doing so, Trump has endorsed it and sent a message to Muslims around the globe that the United States supports anti-Muslim extremism.
This will not help us defeat ISIS. It will only help ISIS get more followers to launch attacks against us. That makes Trump a threat to our national security.
Featured Image Via YouTube Video.