86 Times Donald Trump Displayed or Promoted Islamophobia
Just in case SCOTUS needs any more evidence of the xenophobic, bigoted intent behind Trump’s Muslim Ban
Note: the following list was compiled using data gathered by Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative (see the full Interactive Timeline here), along with other data. Any additions, modifications, or errors are solely the responsibility of MPower Change.
With SCOTUS set to hear the case on Trump’s Muslim Ban next week, here’s just some of the preponderance of evidence of Trump’s anti-Muslim bigotry and racist fear of refugees and immigrants — which have been the driving force behind every iteration of the Ban:
A Long History of Islamophobia
Five years before announcing his candidacy, Trump discusses the Park51 Islamic Community Center in Manhattan on The Late Show. Host David Letterman asks, “Does this, in fact, suggest that we are officially at war with Muslims?” to which Trump responds, “Well somebody knocked down the World Trade Center… somebody’s blowing us up. Somebody’s blowing up buildings, and somebody’s doing lots of bad stuff.”
In an interview with Fox News, Bill O’Reilly asks Trump if there is a “Muslim problem” in the world. Trump responds, “Absolutely. I mean, I don’t notice Swedish people knocking down the World Trade Center. There is a Muslim problem in the world, and you know it and I know it.”
In an interview with CBN, Trump took remarks he made in his interview with Bill O’Reilly a step further, saying that the Quran “teaches some very negative vibe [sic] … when you look at people blowing up in the street in some countries in the Middle East … when you look at 250 people who die in a supermarket while shopping …. there’s a lot of hatred there someplace.”
Trump tweets, “NYC’s top cop acted wisely and legally to monitor activities of some in the Muslim community. Vigilance keeps us safe.”
Bigotry on the Campaign Trail
In May of 2015, Trump attended the Iowa National Security Action Summit where an attendee asked him what he believed was “the most prominent lie that the American public is being propagandized in regards to national security.” Trump’s response included a mention of immigration. He said: “Muslims can come in but other people can’t; Christians can’t come into this country but Muslims can. Something has got to be coming down from the top… the Muslims aren’t in danger but the Christians are.”
During a campaign rally in New Hampshire, Trump does not correct a rally attendee who states that President Obama is a Muslim and “not even an American.” The attendee goes on to say, “We have a problem in this country; it’s called Muslims” and asks Trump, “When can we get rid of them?” Trump responds, “We’re going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.”
In 2015, a Twitter user directed a tweet at Fox News and Fox News show host Sean Hannity expressing contempt at Syrian Muslims entering the U.S., and calling for Congress to act. Trump quote tweeted this tweet in support of this concern.
When asked if he’d mirror a British counterrorism proposal to “clos[e] some mosques,” Trump responds that he’d consider it: “Well, I don’t know. I haven’t heard about the closing of a mosque. It depends on if the mosque is, you know, loaded for bear…I don’t know. You’re going to have to certainly look at it.”
Trump retweets user who claims “One of Paris terrorist came as Syrian refugee. Donald Trump is right again. BOMB THEIR OIL — TAKE AWAY THEIR FUNDING”
Following the November 2015 Paris attacks, Trump says the U.S. should “watch and study the mosques” and implement surveillance programs “in and around mosques.” When asked if he’d consider closing mosques, Trump says: “I would hate to do it, but it’s something that you’re going to have to strongly consider because some of the ideas and some of the hatred — the absolute hatred — is coming from these areas.”
Trump tweets “Refugees from Syria are now pouring into our great country. Who knows who they are — some could be ISIS. Is our president insane?”
Yahoo! News asks Trump if his call for increased surveillance of American Muslims could include warrantless searches. He responds:
“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before.. And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”
In between campaign town halls in Newton, Iowa, candidate Trump says he would “certainly implement” a database system to track Muslims.
After stating that he would “certainly implement” a database, Trump tweets the following day denying this claim, saying he did not suggest a database but rather the reporter did. He goes on to say we need more surveillance, including a “watch list”
Following controversy surrounding his remarks about a Muslim Registry, Trump goes on air with Fox News to address his comments at the Newton Town Hall earlier in the day. After explaining he wasn’t sure if he’d heard the reporter correctly, Trump states: “but even if I did [hear his question], I mean, I want a database for Syrian refugees that Obama’s gonna let in…if they come in. But they’re already started coming in, Kimberly, which is absolutely ridiculous. I think it’s a Trojan horse, and plenty of problems are going to be caused.”
At a campaign rally in Birmingham, Alabama, Trump calls for the “surveillance of certain mosques,” claiming that he had watched “thousands and thousands of people” cheering on 9/11 as the World Trade Centers came down.
At the same rally in Birmingham, Trump reaffirms his desire for a Muslim database: “So the database — I said yeah, that’s alright fine… but database is okay, and watch list is okay, and surveillance is okay. If you don’t mind, I want to be — I want to surveil.”
On Twitter, Trump claims “13 Syrian refugees were caught trying to get into the U.S. through the Southern Border. How many made it? WE NEED THE WALL!”
After journalists refute his claim that “thousands of people” celebrated on 9/11, Trump defends his remarks on ABC’s “This Week”: “There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey where you have large Arab populations,” he told George Stephanopoulos. “They were cheering as the World Trade Center came down. I know it might be not politically correct for you to talk about it, but there were people cheering as that building came down — as those buildings came down, and that tells you something. It was well covered at the time.”
Trump tweets link to an Infowars article as providing evidence that Muslims did celebrate 9/11.
Trump furthermore backed up his claim by tweeting a link to another article as a “credible source.”
Trump retweets user who claims “all kinds of youtube videos showing muslims celebrating 911.”
Trump retweets user who claims “I likewise saw militant Muslims burning our flag and burning George Bush photos and figures, right after 9/11!”
In an interview on CBS News, Trump expresses support for surveillance of Muslims, saying we “have to show vigilance.”
At a campaign rally in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, Trump announces that he has issued a statement calling for the “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”
On December 7, the same day that he announced the first Muslim ban, Trump again tweeted a link to an article as evidence to support his claim that Muslims celebrated 9/11. This article is the same article he shared in a tweet previously on November 25.
When asked if banning all Muslims is unconsitutional, Trump says: “It’s not unconstitutional keeping people out, frankly, and until we get a hold of what’s going on. And then if you look at Franklin Roosevelt, a respected president, highly respected. Take a look at presidential proclamations back a long time ago … what he was doing with Germans, Italians, and Japanese, because he had to do it. Because look, we are at war with radical Islam.”
Trump tweets “The United Kingdom is trying hard to disguise their massive Muslim problem.”
On Twitter, Trump thanks “respected columnist Katie Hopkins of Daily Mail.com for her powerful writing on the U.K.’s Muslim problems.”
Trump tweets Washington Post article titled “Why Franklin Graham says Donald Trump is right about stopping Muslim immigration.”
Trump tweets link to National Review article claiming that Islam is “given over to hate on a massive scale.”
In an interview on Fox News, Trump is asked if all Muslims should be banned from the United States. He responds, “There’s a sickness. They’re sick people. There’s a sickness going on. There’s a group of people that is very sick. And we have to figure out the answer. And the Muslims can help us figure out the answer.”
In a tweet, Trump writes “Hillary Clinton said that it is O.K. to ban Muslims from Israel by building a WALL, but not O.K. to do so in the U.S.”
Trump’s first paid campaign ad of 2016 spotlights Trump’s campaign statement about banning Muslims from entering the U.S.: “Politicians can pretend it’s something else, but Donald Trump calls it Radical Islamic Terrorism. That’s why he’s calling for a temporary shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until we can figure out what is going on.”
CNN’s Anderson Cooper asks Trump, “Is it really a Muslim problem or is it a radical Islamist problem?” Trump responds: “Maybe its a Muslim problem, maybe its not.”
At a campaign rally in South Carolina, Trump tells the crowd a false story about U.S. Gen. John Pershing executing Muslim insurgents with bullets dipped in pig’s blood: Pershing “caught 50 terrorists who did tremendous damage … and he took the 50 terrorists and he took 50 men and dipped 50 bullets in pig’s blood. You heard about that? He took 50 bullets and dipped them in pig’s blood. And he has his men load up their rifles and he lined up the 50 people and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said, you go back to your people and you tell them what happened.”
On CNN, Trump said: “I think Islam hates us. There’s something there that — there’s a tremendous hatred there. There’s a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. There’s an unbelievable hatred of us.”
During a GOP primary debate, Trump is asked, “You said ‘Islam hates us.’ Did you mean all 1.6 billion Muslims?” Trump responds, “I mean a lot of them.”
Trump joined Fox News host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” and, doubling down on his statement that “Islam hates us,” he suggested that there is a “tremendous” amount of hatred on the part of Muslims for the United States. Citing a Pew Research poll, Trump said that 27 percent of Muslims around the world are “very militant.”
On Fox Business Network, Trump says: “We’re having problems with the Muslims, and we’re having problems with Muslims coming into the country… You need surveillance. You have to deal with the mosques, whether you like it or not. These attacks are not done by Swedish people.”
After the attacks in Brussels, Trump criticizes Hillary Clinton’s proposed policies.
On Bloomberg TV, Trump says Muslims: “…have to respect us. They do not respect us at all. And frankly, they don’t respect a lot of the things that are happening throughout not only our country, but they don’t respect other things.”
During a campaign Town Hall in Wisconsin, CNN’s Anderson Cooper asks Trump if he “trusts” Muslims in America. Trump responds: “Many of them I do. Many of them I do, and some, I guess, we don’t. Some, I guess, we don’t. We have a problem, and we can try and be very politically correct and pretend we don’t have a problem, but, Anderson, we have a major, major problem. This is, in a sense, this is a war.”
Following the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Donald Trump tweets that we need to “be tough,” reiterating the need for his proposed Muslim Ban.
While waiting to attend a press conference, Trump tells Fox & Friends, “We have to be very strong in terms of looking at the mosques, you know which a lot of people say, ‘Oh, we don’t want to do that. We don’t want to do that.’ We’re beyond that.”
Following the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub, Trump makes a speech at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he reiterates the need for his proposed Muslim Ban: “I called for a ban after San Bernardino. And it was met with great scorn and anger. Many are saying that I was right to do so. And although the pause is temporary, we must find out what is going on. We have to do it. It will be lifted, this ban, when and as a nation we’re in a position to properly and perfectly screen these people coming into our country.”
During the same speech in Manchester, Trump states that the entry of Syrian refugees would be a “more horrible version than the legendary Trojan horse ever was,” claiming that Syrian refugees are “trying to take over our children and convince them how wonderful ISIS is, and how wonderful Islam is.”
Referring to Trump’s remarks during his Republican nomination acceptance speech, NBC’s Chuck Todd asks Trump if he has “pulled back” on his Muslim Ban proposal. Trump replies, “I actually don’t think it’s a rollback. In fact, you could say it’s an expansion. I’m looking now at territories. People were so upset when I used the word Muslim. Oh, you can’t use the word Muslim. Remember this. And I’m okay with that, because I’m talking territory instead of Muslim.”
In a speech on new policies Trump gave in Ohio, he discussed the screening process of visa applicants and proposed an ideology test stating: “any who have hostile attitudes towards our country or its principles — or who believe that Sharia law should supplant American law. Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country.”
In a tweet, Trump claims that Clinton wants to flood the U.S. with Syrian immigrants, asserting that they pose a massive danger.
Steve Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News — a media website responsible for spreading anti-Muslim content — was named as CEO of the Trump campaign.
During the second presidential debate, Trump states that “the Muslim ban is something that in some form has morphed into an extreme vetting from certain areas of the world.” When asked “whether or not the Muslim Ban still stands,” Trump replies, “It’s called ‘extreme vetting.’”
In a tweet, Trump claims that “ISIS has infiltrated countries all over Europe by posing as refugees”
The Anti-Muslim Trump Administration
Among a long history of anti-Muslim statements, Bannon once claimed that “the Judeo-Christian west” is engaged in a “global war” against “jihadist Islamic fascism.”
Flynn, with deep ties to the organized anti-Muslim hate movement, once claimed that Islam is a “cancer.”
Katherine Gorka, a well-known figure in the anti-Muslim hate movement, is named as part of Trump’s Department of Homeland Security “landing team.”
Trump signs an executive order banning Syrian refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen) for a period of 90 days.The ban went into effect immediately on a Friday afternoon, leading to chaos and confusion at airports across the nation and leaving many people detained. Large protests were held at dozens of prominent international airports in the U.S.
In an interview on Fox News, Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s advisors, is asked how Trump selected the seven countries targeted in the first ban. Giuliani answers, “So when he first announced it, he said ‘Muslim ban.’ He called me up. He said, ‘Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally.’ What we did was we focused on, instead of religion, danger. It’s based on places where there are substantial evidence that people are sending terrorists into our country.”
On Twitter, Trump claims that “a horrible mess” is occurring all over Europe and the world, due to a lack of “strong borders and extreme vetting.”
In a tweet days after announcing the first Muslim Ban, Trump claims that the ban was introduced without prior announcement in order to prevent “bad dudes” from rushing into the country.
Gorka, who also came under fire for his ties to pro-Nazi groups in Hungary, had previously been terminated by the FBI for having “over-the-top Islamophobic rhetoric.”
Trump criticizes the legal cases against the ban on Twitter, claiming that “anyone, even with bad intentions, can come into U.S.”
One hour later, Trump directly critizes the federal judge who blocked the order, claiming “many very bad and dangerous people may be pouring into our country.”
In reference to countries covered by the initial Muslim Ban, Trump tweets claim that “77% of refugees allowed into U.S. since travel reprieve hail from seven suspect countries,” adding, in all caps, “SO DANGEROUS!”
Trump signs a new executive order that replaces the executive order issued on January 27th. The order still restricts the entry of six Muslim-majority countries (Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen), removing Iraq from the list of banned countries.
Brigitte Gabriel, head of ACT for America — the U.S.’s largest anti-Muslim hate group — tweets photos of herself meeting with Trump at Mar-a-Lago and making a visit to the White House, backing up her earlier claim that “ACT for America has a direct line to Donald Trump.”
On Twitter, Trump claims “we need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!”
In a tweet, Trump states that the second iteration of the Muslim Ban is a “watered down, politically correct version” of the first.
Trump again refers to the second iteration of the Ban as “watered down.”
Trump tweets that the Muslim Ban is needed for “certain DANGEROUS countries” and “not some politically correct term that won’t help us protect our people!”
On Twitter, Trump decries the 9th Circuit ruling against the Muslim Ban, which he claims comes “at such a dangerous time in the history of our country.”
8/17/2017 — Trump Again Tweets Reference to False Story About General Pershing Shooting Muslims with Pig’s Blood
Trump tweets: “Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!”
In a tweet, Trump says “Radical Islamic Terrorism must be stopped by whatever means necessary,” adding that “the courts must give us back our protective rights.”
Trump tweets that the Ban “should be far larger, tougher, and more specific-but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!”
The Trump Administration issues a Presidential Proclamation that indefinitely bars foreign nationals from eight countries (six of which are Muslim-majority) from entering the United States. The new iteration of the ban lifted restrictions on Sudan and added Chad (a Muslim-majority nation), Venezuela, and North Korea to the list of banned countries.
Shortly after the Proclamation is published, Trump tweets the link to the new order.
On Twitter, Trump falsely claims that a rise in UK crime rates is caused by “spread of Radical Islamic terror.”
Following the attack in Manhattan in which pedestrians were hit by a truck, Trump tweeted about stepping up his “extreme vetting” program.
In a series of tweets, Trump blames visa programs for Manhattan attack.
Trump claims on Twitter that immigrants are using family reunification policies to bring in “truly evil” family members
Following the bomb and gun attack in a mosque in Sinai, Egypt, Trump reinforces his call for a wall and ban.
On November 29, Donald Trump retweeted three inflammatory tweets perpetuating anti-Muslim propaganda from Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of UK’s far-right political group Britain First. Fransen has been convicted of anti-Muslim harassment in the UK previously. At least two of the tweets are almost immediately debunked.
After being pressed for an apology for retweeting anti-Muslim hate group Britain First, Trump claims “ I know nothing about them” — mirroring his refusal to quickly condemn former KKK leader David Duke’s support for his presidential campaign. In the same interview with Piers Morgan, Trump concedes a pseudo-apology: “If you are telling me they’re horrible people, horrible, racist people, I would certainly apologize if you’d like me to do that.”
4/6/2018 — Trump Appoints John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, Both With Deep Ties to Anti-Muslim Hate Groups
The NY Times reports that “Mr. Bolton and Mr. Pompeo both have ties to individuals and groups promoting a worldview that regards Islam not so much as a religion, but as a political ideology that is infiltrating the United States and other Western countries with the goal of imposing Shariah law, the Muslim legal code.”