Whether he’s calling for a ban on Muslim immigration or the wholesale surveillance of American Muslim communities, Donald Trump’s Islamophobia throughout the presidential campaign has been notoriousand well documented.
But Hillary Clinton’s rhetoric on American Muslims isn’t doing them any favors, either.
In Wednesday’s (Oct. 19) third presidential debate, Clinton said the US needs “to work with American Muslim communities who are on the front lines to identify and prevent attacks.” It wasn’t a new talking point; Clinton has consistently employed that language in her campaign. She singled out the Muslim community in the first and second debates, as well: “We need American Muslims to be part of our eyes and ears on our front lines.”
On the face of it, Clinton’s rhetoric doesn’t seem blatantly problematic. But her framing of Muslims solely in terms of national security has an insidious effect in continuing to stigmatize them as something less than fully American.
American Muslims don’t possess some special knowledge of terror attacks. They are simply trying to live unsensational lives, serving as doctors, engineers, lawyers, teachers, artists and journalists. Their citizenship shouldn’t come with conditions—it’s not contingent on how “useful” they are in the war on terror.
— Iman Zawahry (@imankzfilm) October 20, 2016
— Taz Ahmed (@TazzyStar) October 20, 2016
Tired of hearing how Muslims r only on front lines of fighting terrorism. What about front lines on immigrant rights, #BlackLivesMatter?
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) October 20, 2016
— Hussein Rashid (@islamoyankee) October 20, 2016