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Trump asked Muslims to be more Islamophobic in the second presidential debate

Reuters/Jim Young
Unmoved by their plight.
  • Ananya Bhattacharya
By Ananya Bhattacharya

Tech reporter

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Donald Trump isn’t just going after Islamic terrorists—he’s also blaming the entire Muslim community for failing to identify them.

In the second US presidential debate on Oct. 9, a Muslim audience member (which was made up of undecided voters) asked “how will you help people like me deal with the consequences of being labeled as a threat to the country after the election is over?”

“You’re right about Islamophobia and that’s a shame,” he started by saying.

But then he immediately went on to insinuate that millions of American Muslims are keeping secrets to protect terrorists within their communities.

“Muslims have to report the problems when they see them,” he said. “And you know there’s always a reason for everything. If they don’t do that, it’s a very difficult situation for our country.”

The 3.3 million Muslims in America could be doing more to stop attacks, he said. ”As an example, in San Bernardino many people saw the bombs all over the apartment of the two people that killed fourteen and wounded many many people,” he said.

Clinton’s staff immediately pointed out the hypocrisy of his first comment.

Trump claimed that his proposed ban on Muslim immigration “has morphed into an extreme vetting,” but he refused to disavow racial profiling altogether. In fact, the plan for the Muslim ban was still on his campaign’s website when he was speaking on stage, as the internet was quick to point out.

Muslim Americans were also probably not reassured by Trump calling Captain Humayun Khan, a slain US soldier, an “American hero” in passing during the second debate—or at least not enough to write off his July comments about the soldier’s parents’ speech at the Democratic convention, including his assertion that the soldier’s father delivering the speech because his mother was not “allowed” to speak.

Some questioned whether any American Muslims could actually still be considering voting for Trump.

But in any case, it’s unlikely he won many more Muslim voters tonight:

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