This logic would bar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Muhammad Ali, Dr. Oz, Dave Chappelle, Ice Cube, and Representatives Andre Carson and Keith Ellison from freely practicing their Islamic faith in a hypothetical Donald Trump America, along with millions of ordinary Muslims like me.
Donald Trump’s bout of Islamophobia began during a New Hampshire town-hall rally earlier this year. The first person to speak during the Q&A part of the town-hall proved yet again that Islamophobia was going to continue to be a Republican political football for many years to come. “We have a problem in this country called Muslims,” the Donald Trump supporter immediately said into the microphone in New Hampshire. “We know our current president is one … You know he’s not even an American … That’s my question: When can we get rid of them?”
Instead of challenging these statements, Donald Trump simply responded, “We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things and you know, a lot of people are saying that, and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening and we’re going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.”
Now, this was not the first time that Donald Trump had publicly insinuated that Barack Obama was a Muslim. Back in 2011, Trump demanded that Obama release his long-form birth certificate, promising to send his own investigators to Hawaii to find out the truth about his birth. It helped advance the conspiracy theory that Obama was born in Kenya. "He doesn't have a birth certificate…He may have one, but there's something on that, maybe religion, maybe it says he is a Muslim," Donald Trump said in 2011. "I don't know. Maybe he doesn't want that."
More recently, after the November 2015, Paris attacks, Donald Trump once again doubled-down on his Islamophobic rhetoric, suggesting a national “database” of all 7 million American Muslims and other measures that he admitted would have been "unthinkable" even a year ago.
“I would certainly implement that [national Muslim database]. Absolutely,” Trump said in Newton, Iowa, in between campaign town halls. “There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases,” he added. “We should have a lot of systems.” When asked whether Muslims would be legally obligated to sign into the database, Trump responded, “They have to be—they have to be.” Later, Trump was repeatedly asked to explain the difference between requiring Muslims to enter their information into a database and making Jewish people register in Nazi Germany. He just responded four times in a row to the reporter, “You tell me…”
Trump drew the universal condemnation of Democratic leaders like Hillary Clinton, but even fellow Republican candidate Jeb Bush condemned Donald Trump’s blatantly Islamophobic remarks as “abhorrent” and “just wrong.” “You talk about internment, you talk about closing mosques, you talk about registering people. That’s just wrong. I don’t care about campaigns,” Jeb Bush said. “It’s not a question of toughness. It’s to manipulate people’s angst and their fears. That’s not strength, that’s weakness.”