“The Donald” has once again reared his head, this time in an interview with Piers Morgan on ITV’s Good Morning Britain. After being called out last year for his lie about no-go areas in the UK by the Chief of the Police, he claimed today that Muslims are sheltering terrorists and not reporting suspected terror cases to the police.
The problem with Donald Trump - other than the fact that his statements on Muslims seem to be a classic case of political fear-mongering: conflating issues of terrorism, criminality, refugees and migration to gain votes with no regard to its consequences - is that he seems to makes claims based on very little real evidence.
Let’s break this down into some simple questions and answers: do British Muslims condemn terrorism? Do British Muslims report terrorism when they see it? Can British Muslim communities do more?
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
1/14 On Isis:
"Some of the candidates, they went in and didn’t know the air conditioner didn’t work and sweated like dogs, and they didn’t know the room was too big because they didn’t have anybody there. How are they going to beat ISIS?"
2/14 On immigration:
"I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me —and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."
3/14 On Free Trade:
"Free trade is terrible. Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people. But we have stupid people."
PAUL J. RICHARDS | AFP | Getty Images
4/14 On Mexicans:
"When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists."
5/14 On China:
"I just sold an apartment for $15 million to somebody from China. Am I supposed to dislike them?... I love China. The biggest bank in the world is from China. You know where their United States headquarters is located? In this building, in Trump Tower."
6/14 On work:
"If you're interested in 'balancing' work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead make your work more pleasurable."
7/14 On success:
"What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate."
8/14 On life:
"Everything in life is luck."
9/14 On ambition:
"You have to think anyway, so why not think big?"
10/14 On his opponents:
"Bush is totally in favour of Common Core. I don't see how he can possibly get the nomination. He's weak on immigration. He's in favour of Common Core. How the hell can you vote for this guy? You just can't do it."
11/14 On Obamacare:
"You have to be hit by a tractor, literally, a tractor, to use it, because the deductibles are so high. It's virtually useless. And remember the $5 billion web site?... I have so many web sites, I have them all over the place. I hire people, they do a web site. It costs me $3."
12/14 On Barack Obama:
"Obama is going to be out playing golf. He might be on one of my courses. I would invite him. I have the best courses in the world. I have one right next to the White House."
13/14 On himself:
"Love him or hate him, Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred. Women find his power almost as much of a turn-on as his money."
14/14 On America:
"The American Dream is dead. But if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before and we will make America great again."
Do British Muslims condemn terrorism?
If you find yourself asking this question, you may have failed to look for the answer. Muslim communities across the UK have and will continue to condemn terrorism unequivocally. See, for example, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) website for a list of such statements. In fact, the MCB even issued a full page advert in the Daily Telegraph to underscore this point.
It is also important to ask why Muslims should be confronted on the street, as seems to have happened in Croydon, to “explain Brussels”. Many Muslims wonder why they should have to respond on behalf of the acts of murderers in other parts of the world.
Do British Muslims report terrorism when they see it?
According to Neil Basu, a senior counter-terrorism officer on BBC Radio 4, Donald Trump “is wrong” when he asserts that Muslims are not reporting enough. Richard Walton, the Scotland Yard’s former anti-terror chief actually praised Muslims in London for coming forward to help the fight against extremism, explaining how “we have had increasing support from the Muslim community”. The National Police Chiefs Council states that there have been hundreds of tip-offs directly from the community or faith leaders in the last six months. And according to a BBC Comres poll, 94 per cent of British Muslims said that if someone they knew from the Muslim community was planning an act of violence, they would report them to the police.
We have to face that challenges remain: how can we know that someone is a terrorist? We know that the Paris attackers and the people who were arrested last week drank, smoked and owned bars. We know that these individuals operate on the fringes of society and online – how do mosques find out about these small number of individuals?
Can British Muslim communities do more?
Almost definitely. As can we all. We should all work harder to build stronger communities, to reach out to those outside society and to challenge criminality where we see it.Reuse content