On Monday, the leading presidential candidate for the Republican Party, Donald Trump proposed banning an entire group of people from the United States, based solely on their religious preference.
Even the neocons on the right and left were forced to make statements opposing his outlandish proposal. However, many people actually supported this tyrannical notion.
Former supporter of liberty at Infowars.com, Alex Jones put out a video Tuesday, supporting Trump's plan, saying, "Donald Trump is right about saying that we need to ban Muslims coming into the nation until we get the Visa situation and the problem handled....because upwards of 25% (of Muslims) who've been polled say they sympathize with ISIS and want to conduct violent attacks in Europe and the United States."
Jones' assertion that upwards of 25% of Muslims have gone on record and said they want to "conduct violent attacks" against the US and Europe is supported by zero evidence. In fact, Infowars published an article Wednesday, linking to the actual data which proves them wrong.
In a blatant attempt to strike fear into the hearts of their xenophobic reader base, (who used to be antiwar and pro freedom of religion) Jones shills once again for Trump by pointing out that 21% of Syrians polled have favorable views ISIS. What Infowars conveniently left out, however, is the fact that the country with the highest levels of support for Isis outside Syria showed only 14 percent of people having a favorable view of the group.
None of the data showed that any of these supposed ISIS supporters "want to conduct violent attacks in Europe and the United States." Nevertheless, Jones, Trump, and the rest of the fascist Muslim-fearing cowards have been pushing this narrative and stoking dangerous levels of hate, because they are buying into the ISIS propaganda.
In one of their recent and repulsive anti-Muslim posts, Paul Joeseph Watson dared to refer to everyone who thinks Muslims are peaceful, as "stupid."
To make brash sweeping statements about hundreds of millions of people is not only dangerous but it's, as Watson would say, "stupid." As The Free Thought Project's Will Grigg points out,
These claims must be perplexing to Will Coley, an observant Muslim who serves as national director of Muslims4Liberty, a libertarian organization promoting “charity, voluntaryism,” and mutual respect among people of all backgrounds. Rather than seeking a centralized, despotic theocratic state, Coley maintains, Islam in its original manifestation promoted a decentralized social order in which the believer enjoys unmediated access to God, and all men and institutions are equal before the law.
From Coley’s perspective, sharia law does not require universal submission to Muslim rule, but rather dictates that Muslims are to respect the liberties of those who follow a different faith.
Aside from the insanely off keel generalization that highlights a deliberate ignorance among those pushing such fear, the effects of said fear are dangerous.
The impact of fools spreading hate have already begun to materialize, sending ISIS into a fury of celebration - as creating a divide between Muslims and everyone else is their stated mission.
As the Free Thought Project's Jay Syrmopolous points out, if there is one thing that Islamic fundamentalists and Islamophobic fascists like Trump agree on, it's that there should be no "gray zone;" only black and white.
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The gray zone is the zone of peaceful coexistence. Eliminating the gray zone - and rendering a world as black & white as the flag of the Islamic state is the ultimate goal of fundamentalists on all sides.
In fact, a recent ISIS publication, titled Extinction of the Grayzone made clear that the strategy has been at play for the past 14 years.
"The grayzone is critically endangered, rather on the brink of extinction. It’s endangerment began with the blessed operation of September 11th, as these operations manifested two camps before the world for mankind to choose between, a camp of Islam… and a camp of kufr – the crusader coalition."
These are the same sentiments expressed by George W. Bush when he infamously said,
"Either you are with us or with the terrorists."
Now, the terrorists and the demagogues in the West are getting closer to their goal of divide and conquer than ever before.
We are witnessing Muslims being thrown off of buses because of ignorant passengers fearing for their lives. We see physical assaults waged by fearful pawns in ISIS's propaganda campaign against peaceful Muslims, who've harmed no one.
Since the Paris attacks alone, there have been two-dozen anti-Muslim attacks in the United States. These attacks range from rubbing human feces and leaving pigs heads outside of mosques, to beating and even killing people for their religion.
If you are willing to harass, hurt, or kill an innocent person because of their religion, you are no better than ISIS.
You are also hurting the fight against terrorism.
According to recent polls and studies conducted in the last few years, Muslims have been crucial in helping law enforcement find terror suspects in the United States. Many have served in the military protecting the country against terrorists. And, many Muslims have been highly outspoken against terrorist organizations.
Just this week, 70,000 clerics came together, representing the majority of the Muslim world and publicly denounced ISIS as a threat to humanity.
Also, a Duke University study found more terrorism suspects and perpetrators were brought to the attention of law enforcement by members of the Muslim-American community than were discovered through U.S. government investigations. And a Pew survey found that roughly half of U.S. Muslims say their religious leaders aren't speaking out enough against Islamic extremism, reports CNN.
The way to truly defeat ISIS is by rendering their fear and divisive tactics impotent. The US needs to show ISIS, and those being manipulated by their tactics, like Donald Trump, that tolerance and freedom are far more powerful than bigotry and hate.
Also, Americans will do well to remember how it was that ISIS came to be in the first place, and avoid future murderous blunders that will inevitably fill the ranks of extremist groups with even more susceptible victims of Western foreign policy.
You can bow down to the will of ISIS by allowing their hate-filled rhetoric and divisive tactics to cloud your mind with fear and hatred. Or, you can rise up and stand against those who would drive a wedge through the heart of humankind. The choice is yours.