During a Q&A session at Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s rally in New Hampshire on September 17th, one of his supporters asserted that America has a Muslim problem, even claiming that President Obama was a Muslim. Trump stayed silent in acknowledgement instead of addressing the disgraceful claims that were made. Days later, Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson stated his fear of a Muslim becoming President during his Meet the Press interview on September 20th. Carson further elaborated that he would not support a Muslim candidate for President because the religion of Islam is not compatible with the constitution.
“The constant fear mongering tactics used by Republicans to gain bigoted and racist votes does not benefit America whatsoever,” said Johanna Puno Hester, APALA National President. “Trump’s inability to correct the hateful anti-Muslim rhetoric amongst his supporters and Carson’s categorization of Muslims as unfit leaders exemplifies how racism, xenophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment has no boundaries within the GOP."
The freedom of religion is a right granted to all Americans under the constitution and should not be used against any individual. “We are not surprised about the bigoted views of members of the GOP given what we seen already in this presidential cycle so far,” said Gregory Cendana, APALA National Executive Director. “APALA denounces the use of anti-Muslim--and any racist rhetoric--that criminalizes millions of Muslims or people of color that make up the new American majority. We will continue to follow the statements of candidates and will ensure voters will not tolerate fear mongering to win votes.”