With his improvised, frequently contradictory policy statements, Donald Trump’s proposals have often better resembled a Rorschach test than a traditional political platform. On Monday, however, the presumptive Republican nominee offered his clearest rejection of authorial intent yet, tasking the American people with decoding his claim that “there’s something going on” with President Obama and radical Islam.
The entire Augusta County, Virginia, school district will be closed Friday, a week after one teacher touched off controversy by issuing an assignment to students, during a block study of world religions, asking them to copy an example of Arabic calligraphy—the Islamic statement of faith, or shahada.
When Terry Jones burned a copy of the Quran outside of his Gainesville, Florida, church in 2011, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed didn’t riot, like some outraged Muslims did in the Arab world, or protest peacefully, like many fellow followers of Islam did elsewhere. He didn’t even stay home, turn off the TV, and try to ignore Jones’ provocations. Mohamed was there, standing with Jones at the pastor’s Dove World Outreach Center, just before Jones burned the book.
There are sprawling industries and self-proclaimed career “terrorism experts” in the U.S. that profit greatly by deliberately exaggerating the threat of Terrorism and keeping Americans in a state of abject fear of “radical Islam.” There are all sorts of polemicists who build their public platforms by demonizing Muslims and scoffing at concerns over “Islamaphobia,” with the most toxic ones insisting that such a thing does not even exist, even as the mere presence of mosques is opposed across the country, or even as they are physically attacked.
Hoping to impress the teachers at his new school, an Irving, Texas, high school freshman named Ahmed Mohamed brought a homemade clock with him to MacArthur High Monday morning, which he’d assembled before bed the night before. When he showed it to those teachers, though, they were something other than impressed, and by Monday afternoon, Mohamed was being led out of school in handcuffs. Ahmed’s English teacher believed the device was a bomb.