During the presidential debate on Sunday, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump responded to a question from a Muslim woman about increasing Islamophobia by arguing that we need to stop being “politically correct.”
“You are right about Islamophobia, and that’s a shame,” he said. “But one thing we have to do is make sure that because there is a problem, whether we like it or not, and we can be politically correct, but whether we like it or not, there is a problem.”
“We have to be sure that Muslims come in and report when they see something going on,” he continued. “Muslims have to report the problems when they see them.”
“You look at Orlando and you look at San Bernardino, and the World Trade Center. Go outside and you look at Paris and that horrible thing,” he continued, before complaining that Hillary Clinton and President Obama don’t say the words “radical Islamic terrorism.”
This isn’t the first time that Trump has accused Muslims of knowing about such attacks before they occur — and not reporting on them. He has blamed Muslims for not reporting on the attack in Brussels in March, and he has said that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated in the streets after the 9/11 attacks. (For what it’s worth, Muslims have reported on potential threats when they know of them, such as in the case of the gunman responsible for the Orlando massacre.)
Trump had nothing to say about the increasing Islamophobia in the United States, but that’s not a surprise given the series of offensive remarks about Muslims throughout his campaign.
He has made banning Muslims from the country one of the main points of his campaign. In March, he said that “Islam hates us,” and after being asked whether his comment was referring to the world’s entire Muslim population of 1.6 billion people, Trump reaffirmed, “I mean a lot of them.” He has also proposed killing Muslims with bullets dipped in pig blood to fight terrorism, suggested registering all Muslims in the country in a federal database, and called for surveillance of all mosques in the country — and some to be shut down entirely.