During his propaganda commercial today, Donald Trump threw a bone at his gullible white evangelical base when he pretended that Christians were being persecuted during the pandemic while Muslims were given all the freedom in the world.
He was referring to the fact that law enforcement and journalists have warned pastors against having in-person meetings, including over Easter, while no one’s complaining about Muslims.
“They go after Christian churches, but they don’t tend to go after mosques,” Trump says.
This is false and dangerous.
He’s peddling anti-Muslim bigotry while playing into the far-right Christian persecution complex that has no basis in reality. pic.twitter.com/ujVcGnyhZp
— Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons (@GuthrieGF) April 18, 2020
He went on to say, “The Christian faith is treated much differently than it was, and I think it’s treated very unfairly.”
“I would like to see that,” Trump said. As in, he too was wondering if local authorities would treat mosques differently than churches.
“You know I just spoke with leaders and people that love mosques,” he continued. “They love mosques! And I’m all in favor of that. But I would say that there could be a difference. And we’ll have to see what will happen. Because I have seen a great disparity in this country. I’ve seen a great disparity… Because they go after Christian churches but they don’t tend to go after mosques. And I don’t want them to go after mosques! But I do want to see what their event is—”
That’s a lie. Just like there’s no “disparity” between churches and mosques under the law. Trump sure as hell didn’t offer any evidence of it.
Trump also neglected to mention that Muslims in the U.S. aren’t as selfish or ignorant as his base of white Christians, so there’s been no need to stop Muslims from gathering. They’re doing it on their own! They’re not staging some rebellion by meeting in person, and no imam is seriously encouraging them to do so. It’s a handful of Christians who insist on putting their congregations’ lives at risk, not Muslims.
But for what it’s worth, yes, the same social distancing rules would apply to Muslims during Ramadan, which begins next week, as Christians right now — and for everyone else who typically gathers in person. No one’s suggesting some non-Christian religious groups should be exempted from the rules while Christians are not.
It’s just another example of Trump spreading a lie — that Muslims get special treatment — in order to win affection from the most hardcore, ignorant, and racist Republicans in the country. All while Trump himself has routinely oppressed Muslims by calling for a ban on them entering the country if they live in certain countries, suggesting mosques be subject to government surveillance, and insinuating there was something wrong with the previous president by falsely labeling him a Muslim.