Editorials

Trump can’t be right about 1.6 billion Muslims

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke at a rally Monday aboard the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke at a rally Monday aboard the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. AP

Donald Trump stands alone.

Not that there aren’t people who agree with his reckless manifesto against Muslims on Monday — of course there are.

But we cannot believe that Trump and his followers represent America. No more than we believe the two terrorists who killed 14 people and wounded many others in San Bernardino last week represent the world’s more than 1.6 billion Muslims or the estimated 2.75 million Muslims of all ages in the United States.

Nor do we believe Trump’s views represent Republicans — the denouncements from other GOP presidential candidates are telling.

Trump read from a campaign news release Monday in South Carolina, saying he wants “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.”

Trump and those who agree with him are the ones who can’t seem to figure it out.

There are radical Islamic extremists among the world’s Muslim population. That much is clear from the rise of the Islamic State and its sponsorship of world terrorism.

There are those, like the two murderers in San Bernardino, who although perhaps not ISIS-directed are at least ISIS-inspired and would do Americans great harm.

Dealing with this threat requires concentrated attention from our government, top to bottom, as well as a high level of alert from all of us.

As President Obama pointed out in a speech to the nation Sunday night, it also requires a high level of attention and assistance from the U.S. Muslim community to locate individuals who are threats.

But it simply does not stand the test of reason to say we should retaliate against all Muslims by banning their entry into the United States.

They are business leaders crucial to our economic interests, students in our universities, families in our neighborhoods, children in our schools.

While we must deal with our enemies, we cannot turn our backs on our friends.

Trump said there is “great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population.”

One of his sources for that statement, the Center for Security Policy, is run by Washington Times columnist Frank Gaffney, whom the Southern Policy Law Center calls “one of America’s most notorious Islamophobes.”

Trump’s only other source, the respected Pew Research Center, has done several surveys of Muslims but was at a loss to identify where he got his information — and Trump didn’t clarify.

Trump stands alone.

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