Donald Trump seems to relish making provocatively offensive statements, no matter how outrageous the implication or hypocritical the message. The former side was put on full display as the disgustingly smug drawl of FOX’s Stuart Varney asked Trump if he would endorse the United Kingdom’s repressive, anti-Muslim policies that call for the closing of mosques.
“Absolutely” replied Trump. “I would do that…I think it’s great.” Varney, unable to pass on that softball, asked: “Can you do it? Can you close a mosque? We do have religious freedom.”
“Well, I don’t know” said Trump. “I mean, I haven’t heard about the closing of the mosque. It depends, if the mosque is, you know, loaded for bear, I don’t know. You’re going to have to certainly look at it.”
Ignoring the absurd implication that American Muslims are hoarding weapons in their religious buildings (especially considering that Americans bring their guns into churches all the time), this is just astonishing coming from a man who swore at the Iowa Faith & Family Coalition that his first priority was to “preserve and protect our religious liberty.” Evidently, like all Republican politicians, he cherry-picks his priorities based on the subject involved. Religious liberty for Muslims in America clearly doesn’t hold any importance for them, and it really highlights how the entire “religious liberty” argument is just an excuse to discriminate against minorities.
Gay marriage apparently infringed on their “religious liberties,” and the far-right wing wept and moaned and gnashed their teeth. But when it comes to the religious liberty of Muslim-Americans, the right has no problem with refusing to teach Islamic culture in schools and closing down their mosques. This despicable hypocrisy goes against everything our nation stands for, and we cannot tolerate these rabble-rousing hatemongers tearing apart our social unity with their repulsive bigotry.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.