Sunday, June 12, 2016

Right-Wing Figures Use Orlando to Stir Up Anti-Immigrant Hysteria

Not even 24 hours have passed since the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, and already right-wing figures are using the shooting as an opportunity to slam immigrants. Even though the reported gunman, Omar Mateen, was born in the U.S., some right-wing commentators are using the massacre to inflame fears of Muslim immigrants and refugees.

First, Republican presidential candidate and presumptive nominee Donald Trump (who vowed to prevent Muslims from entering the U.S. last year) wasted no time in exploiting the tragedy. In a June 12th statement, Donald Trump warned his supporters that Middle Eastern immigrants would put America at risk for future terrorist attacks. He assured readers that he would protect America from Islamic extremists if elected president. (Hat tip to the New York Times.)
"The terrorist, Omar Mir Saddique Mateen, is the son of an immigrant from Afghanistan who openly published his support for the Afghanistani Taliban and even tried to run for President of Afghanistan. According to Pew, 99% of people in Afghanistan support oppressive Sharia Law.

We admit more than 100,000 lifetime migrants from the Middle East each year. Since 9/11, hundreds of migrants and their children have been implicated in terrorism in the United States.

Hillary Clinton wants to dramatically increase admissions from the Middle East, bringing in many hundreds of thousands during a first term – and we will have no way to screen them, pay for them, or prevent the second generation from radicalizing.

We need to protect all Americans, of all backgrounds and all beliefs, from Radical Islamic Terrorism - which has no place in an open and tolerant society. Radical Islam advocates hate for women, gays, Jews, Christians and all Americans. I am going to be a President for all Americans, and I am going to protect and defend all Americans. We are going to make America safe again and great again for everyone."
In a commentary piece at Breitbart entitled "The Left Chose Islam Over Gays; Now 100 People are Dead or Maimed in Orlando", Milo Yiannopoulos defended Trump's 2015 call for a ban on Muslim immigrants. In the wake of the Orlando shooting, he depicted Muslims as a dangerous force besieging western culture.
"A lot of people laughed at Donald Trump when he suggested a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country. No doubt they thought he was further harming his chances in the general election.

No one is laughing now. What’s more, I expect many are quietly wondering if the “temporary” ban might have to be permanent. Western capitalist democracy gave women and gays equal footing in society; Islam has arrived to roll the clock back."
In another commentary piece at World Net Daily entitled "We Are Not A Nation of Immigrants", Gina Loudon warned readers about "evil men" who seek to "breach our borders" and "shout to their god as they massacre innocent Americans". While she did not mention the Orlando shooting per se, the timing of her column was revealing.

"Enemies of our American system wave the flags of foreign countries as they disrupt our political process and wage violence against Americans.

Evil men pledging allegiance to our enemies and to a religious system incompatible with America’s freedoms shout to their god as they massacre innocent Americans.

The safety of innocent Americans is at stake as we debate border security and immigration policy. Also at stake is the legacy of the men who sacrificed so much to pioneer the American wilderness and create this great land that immigrants and citizens enjoy today.

We must honor hard-working American families who deserve safety from those who wish to breach our borders, and we should also honor Daniel Boone and those brave pioneers by securing our borders and keeping our enemies at bay."
None of this talk is really about protecting America from extremists. It's about fear. Demagogues will continue to exploit Americans' fear of terrorist attacks by scapegoating immigrants and refugees from the Middle East. Demonizing immigrants and refugees will not make America safer, but it will fan the flames of irrational hatred, the force that produces mass violence in the first place.


  1. Thank you for having this blog, Ahab. I have read it for years, and I am always well informed.

    1. Vertigo -- Thank you. It means a lot to me.

  2. As long as weapons of mass destruction (AR-15 in this case) are available to any lunatic who wants one these stories will continue.

    1. Jono -- I'm so tired of hearing about these massacres. Every time we turn around, more people have been killed. The loss of life is devastating.

  3. And in saying these things they are playing along with the explicit strategy outlined by Dâ'ish (ISIL) -- treating all Muslims as enemies, convincing them that the West really is implacably hostile and thus driving them into the arms of the jihadists.

    Do these idiots even know that most of the ground troops fighting to defeat Dâ'ish are Muslims?

    Glad to see you back to blogging.

    1. Infidel -- I don't expect these people to know much about current events. They revel in ignorance.

      I also don't expect them to show nuance in how they approach Muslims, immigrants, and refugees. It's much easier to demonize whole groups than to examine the roots of mass violence.


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