February 16, 2017
The number of organized anti-Muslim hate groups in the United States has nearly tripled since 2015, according to a new report.
A journalist and political commentator believes the rise has been “fueled” directly by US President Donald Trump’s rhetoric against Muslims.
“We can see this level of Muslim hate in the highest levels of the US government not just President Trump but his adviser Steve Bannon and Steven Miller and others have a visceral deep hatred of Islam,” Richard Silverstein told Press TV in an interview on Thursday.
He went on to say these people assume that the United States should fight a “holy battle” against Islam, and that Islam is not a religion but rather a “political ideology.” Therefore, he said, this idea allows them to “set aside any protections that Islam might have as a religion in the United States.”
The commentator further described the situation as “very alarming,” noting that as time goes on, Trump’s rhetoric which is very violent and angry, will encourage the worst in his followers.
Silverstein further highlighted the fact that the rise of Donald Trump has coincided with the rise of anti-Muslim hate among political parties in Europe, arguing that “this is ominous.”
He also opined that there is a “horrific backlash” happening against Muslims due to the unrest in the Middle East and the flood of refugees into Europe and the United States.
This backlash, he said, has caused the United States to turn its back on its traditional democratic values and its role as a refuge for immigrants and those who are persecuted around the world.
The commentator further expressed hope that there are powerful elements in US society who are opposing Trump’s policies towards Muslims and refugees, adding that people are going to fight as strong as they can over the next four years against what he represents.