Trump to track ‘honor killings’ by Muslim men while proposing cuts to violence against women grants

Facts be damned—the Trump administration wants Americans to believe Islam is a violent religion.

White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon listens at right as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on cyber security in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017 CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci
White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon listens at right as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on cyber security in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017 CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Trump’s second Muslim ban, signed on Monday, includes a provision directing the Department of Homeland Security to collect and make public “information regarding the number and types of gender-based violence against women, including so-called ‘honor killings,’ in the United States by foreign nationals.”

According to numbers from a Department of Justice-sponsored study conducted in 2014, there are less than 30 such “honor killings” in the country each year. The killings — which are “perceived by the perpetrator to be a way to restore honor to the family in the face of a perceived damage,” according to the report — are sometimes “motivated by a radical and dark interpretation of Islam,” as Fox News wrote in late 2015.

The inclusion of the “honor killings” provision in the new Muslim ban marks the second time in a week the Trump administration has outlined a plan to use federal resources “to whip up as much racial panic as possible,” as Matt Yglesias of Vox puts it. The first instance was Trump’s vow to create the Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement office, or VOICE, during his speech to Congress last week, even though immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans.

In a similar vein, the number of “honor killings” in the U.S. stands in stark contrast to the roughly 1,500 women who are murdered as a result of domestic violence in a given year. But according to numerous reports, Trump’s budget proposal will eliminate the Department of Justice’s Violence Against Women grants. Those grants had a $480 million budget last year and funded 25 grant programs helping domestic violence victims, according to Mother Jones. Trump and chief strategist Steve Bannon have both been accused of domestic assault.

In the new Muslim ban, the Trump administration claims that the original ban wasn’t intended to discriminate against Muslims.

But the “honor killing” provision is just the latest example of Trump trying to portray Islam in a violent light. Despite the fact that a person in America is much more likely to be killed by a right-wing extremist than a Muslim terrorist, the Trump administration has signaled it wants a federal counter-terrorism program to stop focusing on violent white supremacists and any other extremist groups not comprised of Muslims. And after the Department of Homeland Security released a report last month undermining the administration’s core rationale for the Muslim ban — “citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity,” it found — the administration tried to downplay the report.

“The president asked for an intelligence assessment,” the a senior administration official told the Wall Street Journal. “This is not the intelligence assessment the president asked for.”