What one Christian does is his own responsibility. What one Jew [Muslim] does is thrown back at all Jews [Muslims].
— Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl (1944)
Both before and after becoming president, Trump’s anti-Muslim sentiments were well known. During the presidency of Barack Obama, Trump repeatedly insinuated in public comments, that the president was secretly a Muslim. At a campaign rally in 2015, one of the attendees said to Trump, without being contradicted by Trump, that Mr. Obama is “not even an American.” The attendee went on to say: to the candidate: “We have a problem in this country; it’s called Muslims.” As the man spoke, Trump interjected: “we need this question.” The questioner then asked the candidate: “When can we get rid of them” to which Trump responded : “We’re going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.”
At a campaign rally in New Hampshire, Trump promised he would kick all Syrian refugees out of the country because they might be a secret army. “They could be ISIS. . . .This could be one of the great tactical ploys of all time. A 200,000-man army, maybe.”
Mid-way during his first year as president, Trump commented on the reported rise in crime in the UK and attributed the rise to what he called the “spread of radical Islamic terror.” Trump’s repeated attempt to impose what was called a Muslim ban, a ban repeatedly struck down by federal courts, are well known.
As observed at the outset, Trump was following in the footsteps of a well-known would-be world leader who perceived a threat posed by a group of people who were identified by the man who would become the leader of Germany—Adolph Hitler. Hitler didn’t care about Muslims, but he had plenty to say about Jews.
Hitler’s hatred of Jews was every bit the match for Trump’s hatred of Muslims. Examples of Hitler’s sentiments can be found in a Collection of Speeches 1922-1945. In a speech given by Hitler in Munich, Germany, on April 12, 1922 he gave vent to his hatred of Jews.
Discussing the idea that different races can be distinguished by their approaches to work, Hitler observed that in contrast to the Aryan, “The Jew regards work as the means to the exploitation of other peoples. . . .” Quoting Theodor Mommsen, Hitler continued, saying: “The Jew is the ferment of decomposition in peoples that means that the Jew destroys and must destroy because he completely lacks the conception of an activity which builds up the life of the community. And, therefore, it is beside the point whether the individual Jew is ‘decent’ or not. In himself he carries those characteristics which Nature has given him, and he cannot ever rid himself of those characteristics.”
Hitler’s hatred finds a mirror in Trump’s characterization of Muslims. In a Fox news interview on March 30, 2011, a time when Trump, like Hitler, had not yet risen to power, Trump was asked by Fox News Host, Bill O’Reilly, whether there was a “Muslim problem.” In response, echoing Hitler’s comments about Jews, Trump said: “Absolutely. I mean, I don’t notice Swedish people knocking down the World Trade Center. There is a Muslim problem in the world, and you know it and I know it.”
In a speech in Munich on July 28, 1922, describing the role of the Jew in German society, Hitler said: “It is a battle which began nearly 120 years ago, at the moment when the Jew was granted citizen rights in the European States. The political emancipation of the Jews was the beginning of an attack of delirium. For thereby they were given full citizen rights and equality for a people which was much more clearly and definitely a race apart than all others, that has always formed and will form a State within the State. . . . That did not happen perhaps at one blow, but it came about. . . first a little finger, then a second and a third. . . until at last a people that in the eighteenth century still appeared completely alien had won equal citizen-rights with ourselves.”
Mirroring Hitler’s comments about Jews, Trump told a Fox news interview on November 20, 2015, that he wanted a database for Syrian refugees entering the country because: “They’ve already started coming in . . .which is absolutely ridiculous. I think it’s a Trojan horse and plenty of problems are going to be caused.”
Like Trump, Hitler liked long speeches. His July 28, 1922 speech was approximately 6,140 words in length and would have taken over an hour for Hitler to deliver. Trump’s speech at his June 26 rally in Orlando lasted more than an hour.
It is a sad day for our country when comparisons between the leader of Nazi Germany, and the president of the United States, are apt. It is an even sadder day when no one seems to notice.