On Sunday, people around the world logged into Twitter ... only to be bombarded with a series of Islamophobic, racist, vile tweets by U.S. President Donald Trump — not that it would be the first time.
In a series of tweets, the president told Democratic congresswomen (who, mind you, are mostly American-born) to "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came from."
Though he did not tweet at any particular Congresswoman, he was most likely referring to the newly elected women including Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — most of whom are U.S. citizens. Among these four are two Muslims who became the first women of the faith to be elected to Congress at the end of last year. Omar was born in Somalia and became a naturalized citizen as a teenager; Tlaib, born to Palestinian immigrant parents, was born and raised in Detroit.
Exhibit #2 & #3:
Omar, Tlaib, and Pressley recently took part in the progressive Netroots Nation conference and criticized Trump and his policies — something they haven't shied away from previously.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, has joined the battle against Trump in a tweet posted Sunday in which she called Trump's comments "xenophobic." This comes just a week after the speaker criticized Democratic leadership in the U.S.
In her tweet, Pelosi says the fact that Trump told these Congresswomen to go back to their countries is proof that "Make America Great Again" is synonymous with "Making America White Again" — in his mind.
"Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power"
The Muslim Congresswomen know no silence. "He is the crisis."
A Reminder: "As Members of Congress, the only country we swear an oath to is the United States"
Omar and Tlaib — both practicing Muslims — have been targeted by Trump on multiple occasions. It's not just their policies that have been criticized, though.
In April, Trump tweeted an edited video of a speech given by Omar integrated with footage of the 9/11 attacks — somehow lumping her (and practically all Muslims) with the terrorist attacks. According to VOX, Omar's statement "some people did something" in the video was altered to "paint [Omar] as an anti-American radical indifferent to those killed during the 9/11 attacks."
Generally, Trump has discussed what he believes to be a "Muslim problem" so many times in the past ... that it ultimately began to sound like a broken record. It all started when Donald Trump was asked if there is a "Muslim problem" when speaking to Fox News' Bill O'Reilly in 2011.
"Bill O'Reilly asked me 'is there a Muslim problem' and I said absolutely yes," Trump said in an interview with CBN News.
"Most Muslims are wonderful people. But, is there a Muslim problem? Look what's happening, look what happened right here in my city with the World Trade Center," he said.
Islamophobia following Trump's presidency
In just the first 100 days of Trump's presidency, Islamophobic incidents at U.S. borders rose by 1,035 percent. According to preliminary data released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), 193 incidents involving U.S. Customs and Borders Protection were recorded from January to March of 2017, up from just 17 cases during the same period last year. Of the 193, 181 were recorded after Trump's attempted "Muslim ban."
FBI statistics revealed that anti-Muslim hate crimes rose by 67 percent in 2015 (prior to the U.S. election). And the number of anti-Muslim hate groups actually tripled in the U.S. from 2015 to 2016 — a surge of 197 percent — according to a 2017 report by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
The author of the SPLC report, Mark Potok, pointed fingers at President Trump, as well as other right-wing pundits and politicians, for energizing hate groups and White supremacist organizations.
"Trump's run for office electrified the radical right, which saw in him a champion of the idea that America is fundamentally a white man's country," Potok said.
A survey conducted in 2017 by Pew Research Center also found that U.S. adults hold the most negative views toward Muslims compared to followers of other major religions.