Apparently, Donald Trump’s fear-mongering around the migrant caravan he says is currently headed to the southern border of the United States just hadn’t gone far enough. Polls show that he’s losing support for his border wall and American voters still largely blame Trump for the longest-lasting government shutdown in history.
He needed another tactic to spark fear in his supporters. On Friday morning, he tried stoking Islamaphobic fears around Central and South American migrants.
Trusting the word of an unnamed, random border rancher quoted by the right-wing Washington Examiner should give any thinking American pause, but specifically pointing out a prayer rug (that may or may not even be a prayer rug that may or may not exist at all) is specifically a fear-mongering attack on Muslims.
If a prayer rug was found at all, it doesn’t necessarily indicate that any of the migrants in the caravan are from other countries. The two countries from which the migrants reportedly originated are Guatemala, which does have a small Muslim population, and Honduras, which has a slightly larger Muslim population. In fact, the population there is significant enough that a mosque is maintained in two cities, including the country’s biggest city of Tegucigalpa.
Further, if a prayer rug was found at all, that would only indicate that a portion of the caravan includes Muslim migrants. Despite right-wing bias and Islamaphobic fears, Muslim does not equal terrorist any more than black equals thug or poor equals lazy. Trump is showing his bigotry once again, no matter how many times his supporters insist he isn’t racist or otherwise bigoted.
The idea that a terrorist would go to Guatemala, Honduras, or any other country in Central and South America to walk thousands of miles to get to the border of the U.S., where these poor travelers will likely be met with force and barred from coming into the U.S. to file legal asylum claims, is ridiculous. There are, however, no depths to which Trump will not sink to get his way and justify denying nearly a million American workers pay to win an argument.
Twitter was more focused on other news of the day and weren’t impressed with Trump’s fear-based claims. Read some of their comments below: