On Tuesday night, former President Bill Clinton appeared to make an effort to counter the Islamophobic rhetoric which has become commonplace in the Republican Party. But, it backfired miserably.
Addressing the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Clinton said, “If you’re a Muslim and you love America and freedom and you hate terror, stay here and help us win and make a future together. We want you.”
The former Democratic president has received tremendous criticism for this particular remark, in which some critics declared he “lapsed into Trumpism” when he began discussing the demographic.
In giving Clinton’s own variant of Bush’s anti-terrorism cliché “you’re either with us or against us,” he did what Trump has been doing all along: defining Muslims according to their relationship to terrorism and violence.
Clinton further insulted Muslims by dismissing them as a foreign subgroup among Americans and therefore have to prove that they are against terrorism in order to show that they “love America." His comment for Muslim Americans to “stay here” is equally absurd, as if they all have plans to leave the country or get deported if Trump wins.
Regardless of what Clinton intended to say, Muslim Twitter was definitely annoyed by this remark.
Just once I want, as a muslim, my value not to be tied to helping fight terror. We have more to offer. #DemsInPhilly— rabia chaudry (@rabiasquared) July 27, 2016
Bill Clinton's use of "If you're a Muslim" followed by "and you love America" suggests that if you're the former, you must prove the latter.— Laila Lalami (@LailaLalami) July 27, 2016
Bill Clinton tells American Muslims to "stay here." Yeah, no shit, we're American. Where are we going? #DemsInPhilly— Nour Saudi (@Nour_Saudi) July 27, 2016
US Muslims, especially, are given one choice: 'you're either violent or you're fighting violence'. Violence defines us either way. #DNCinPHL— Sana Saeed (@SanaSaeed) July 27, 2016
Because no one ever says, "If you're a white man & love America & freedom and hate mass shooters, stay here & help us win. We want you."— Ismat Sarah Mangla (@ismat) July 27, 2016
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters