In light of the fact that Trump denounced our free speech event in Garland, Texas, last May, it is not at all clear that he understands the jihad imperative or the war against free speech, or is at all equipped to counter them. People like Trump, Bill O’Reilly and Laura Ingraham who took issue what we were doing in the wake of the jihad attack on our event in Garland don’t seem to grasp what the freedom of speech is all about.
What they’re missing is neatly encapsulated in what used to be an adage: “I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” In other words, I will stand with you against tyranny, because even if I disagree with your opinions, I understand that once opinions begin to be criminalized, or those who hold them bullied into silence, we are all the poorer, and all at risk.
Trump doesn’t get this. After Garland, he breezily and readily voiced his willingness to adhere to Sharia blasphemy laws and refrain from drawing Muhammad.
But in this instance, however, he is running afoul of the prevailing insanity of our public discourse. It is blazingly obvious that “there’s something going on” with Islam, and “a lot of hatred coming out of at least a big part of it,” and “something nasty coming out of there.” That these are even controversial statements, much less evidence of “demagoguery,” shows how stringently the mainstream media enforces politically correct fictions. Islam is a religion of peace, and if you express the slightest skepticism, even the diffident and tentative skepticism Trump voices here, then you’re a xenophobic demagogue. White male Christians are the real terror threat, don’t you know that? War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.
“Morning Plum: Yes, Donald Trump’s demagoguery just got even uglier,” by Greg Sargent, Washington Post, November 30, 2015:
…Now Trump’s demagoguery has taken a new turn that could focus the debate a bit more directly on this implied message.
On Morning Joe today, Bloomberg’s John Heilemann asked Trump directly whether he thinks Islam is an inherently violent or peaceful religion. Trump declined to answer, and instead suggested that there is a “lot of hatred” coming out of a “big part” of Islam:
HEILEMANN: “Do you think that Islam is an inherently peaceful religion that’s been perverted by some? Or do you think Islam is an inherently violent religion?”
TRUMP: “All I can say is there’s something going on. I don’t know that that question can be answered. It could be answered two ways. It could be answered both ways. But there’s something going on there. There’s a lot of hatred coming out of at least a big part of it. You see the hatred. We see it every day. You see it, whether it’s in Paris, or whether it’s the World Trade Center….
“There’s something nasty coming out of there. You could answer it any way you want. But at least we have to know the problem.”…
By declining to say whether Islam is a violent religion, and by suggesting that “hatred” is coming out of a “big part” of Islam, Trump has exposed the xenophobic subtext of his rhetoric about Muslims…