Donald Trump is running slightly behind Hillary Clinton in Michigan. So he visited Novi, a metro-Detroit town five miles from where I live, yesterday. There were plenty of adoring crowds lined up to see him. And later on he tweeted to his swooning audience that:
Such assurances are more than a little rich coming from a Putin wannabe who digs Saudi Arabia’s Islamic sharia law because it makes it easy for men to get divorced.
As Mother Jones reported today:
The Republican presidential candidate praised the Islamic law, or Shariah, system during a 60-second syndicated daily radio commentary called “Trumped!” that he recorded from 2004 to 2008. In a January 2008 segment, Trump discussed a news story of a Saudi man who had divorced his wife for watching a television show while alone at home because, in Trump’s telling, the husband considered it tantamount to being alone with a strange man.
“Men in Saudi Arabia have the authority to divorce their wives without going to the courts,” Trump said. “I guess that would also mean they don’t need prenuptial agreements. The fact is, no courts, no judges—Saudi Arabia sounds like a very good place to get a divorce.”
Maybe that statement, made before Trump acquired any serious political ambitions, can be dismissed as the rantings not of a neo-reactionary in the making but a benign if loudmouthed shock jock. But not his comments in Novi that are false and malicious – and revealing of just how foul Trump is.
As I noted in my recent Reason feature, “Muslim in America,” the vast majority of Muslims in Dearborn are Shias who hate and despise ISIS even more than we do. Why? Because ISIS is a Sunni outfit that terrorizes Shias more than Christians and other infidels.
But that doesn’t stop Islamophobes – the people whom Trump is trying to court with his remarks — from making up stories about Dearborn’s ISIS sympathies. Indeed, last December in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting they spread a vicious rumor that Dearborn’s Muslims had held a pro-ISIS rally waving ISIS flags – and the only reason why the rest of the country didn’t know about this is because the mainstream media was refusing to cover it out of political correctness.
The reality was actually the opposite. As Factcheck.org pointed out then, Dearborn residents did indeed hold a march but it was an anti-ISIS march:
Local TV station WXYZ in Detroit reported on the anti-ISIS rally. Hundreds of Arab Americans attended, WXYZ reported. The station’s video report shows demonstrators chanting, “No more ISIS in the world!” Many carried flags or banners — but in opposition to ISIS, not in support of it. One of the signs reads, “99.9% of ISIS victims are Muslims.”
This is not the first time that there has been an anti-ISIS rally in Dearborn. There was also an anti-ISIS rally held there in March, as reported by the Detroit News.
Likewise, rumors that Dearborn’s Muslim city council has declared sharia law and ordained stoning of adulterers pop up with disturbing regularity – never mind that the council is not majority Muslim (it’s majority Arab American, including two Christians); it hasn’t imposed sharia law; and it most certainly hasn’t legalized stonings.
Indeed, after 9-11 even though George Bush (who had ridden to victory by earning close to 70 percent of the Muslim vote nationally) illegally put 1,400 Arab-American Muslims into indefinite detention, about 4,000 of Dearborn’s Muslims voluntarily signed up as translators and agents for the CIA and FBI to assist America’s fight against terrorism.
What’s more, Trump may think that he was the first one to come up with the bright idea of surveiling mosques, but the reality is that Dearborn’s mosques are already under constant surveillance. Indeed, just to keep the feds off their back, many of them have embraced a policy of complete transparency. They have installed video cameras to track everyone entering and exiting their premises and also started taping all their sermons and events.
This is not to say that they are not furious at the feds for many of its unconstitutional programs such as one that tried to turn imams into informants that I wrote about here and panicked by Trump’s suggestions to impose a travel ban on Muslims, subject them to “extreme vetting,” and stop all Syrian refugees.
But they don’t deserve to be vilified and demonized by a pathetic and desperate man trying to insult his way to the presidency.