Posted by Arab American Institute on November 20, 2015 in Blog

It’s been nearly a week since the tragic attacks on Paris and some U.S. officials, particularly presidential candidates, have reacted to the events with tired bigotry and hateful statements. We have seen bigotry before, but this level is a new low and these officials need to be held accountable. Despite the robust vetting process, many have doubled down on the misinformed and bigoted rhetoric that refugees are not vetted and pose security threats to the United States. Listed below is some of the worst rhetoric we have heard directed at Syrian refugees and American Muslims. Join us in standing against bigotry via social media using #NoBigotry

  • “I'm reminded that President Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and it appears that the threat of harm to America from Isis now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then.” – Mayor David Bowers (D) of Roanoke, Virginia (@City_Of_Roanoke
  • "The fact is that we need for appropriate vetting, and I don't think that orphans under 5 should be admitted to the United States at this point. We need to put the safety and security of the American people first.” – Governor of New Jersey and Republican Presidential Candidate Chris Christie (@GovChristie)
  • "It seems to me the craziest thing we could do is take people who live in a desert who don't speak our language, who don't understand our culture, who don't share a same worldview, and bring them to Minnesota during the winter." – Former Governor of Arkansas and Republican Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee)
  • "It's time to wake up and smell the falafel. Something isn't going right in this open immigration policy. We are importing terrorism... I would not bring refugees into the United States.” – Former Governor of Arkansas and Republican Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee)
  • "There’s hatred and there’s hatred like nobody has ever seen, and it’s obviously emanating from and coming out of, among other places, the mosques... I think we ought to start [surveillance] up again, and we ought to start it up this morning. We ought to start it up again and get going. And use your head. This is a lot of nonsense that we ended." – Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
  • After being asked if there should be a database to track Muslims in this country, Trump responded, "There should be a lot of systems, beyond database systems and you can do it... I would certainly implement that. Absolutely." – Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
  • In comparing Syrian refugees to rapid dogs, Carson commented, "We must balance safety against just being a humanitarian. For instance, if there's a rabid dog running around in your neighborhood, you're probably not going to assume something good about that dog. And you're probably going to put your children out of the way." – Republican Presidential Candidate Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson)
  • "There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror. If there were a group of radical Christians pledging to murder anyone who had a different religious view than they, we would have a different national security situation." – Texas Senator and Republican Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz)
  • "When you see Christians being beheaded and crucified by ISIS trying to engage in genocide, we ought to be a beacon of hope and a safe haven for the Christians that are fleeing that persecution…  they’re [Muslims] not facing genocide the way Christians are." – Texas Senator and Republican Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz)
  • “U.S. public diplomacy and international broadcasting have lost their focus on the case for Western values and ideals and effectively countering our opponents' propaganda and disinformation. I will consolidate them into a new agency that has a clear mandate to promote the core, Judeo-Christian Western values that we and our friends and allies share: the values of human rights, the values of democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of association… It’s essential by the way that those in the West begin to embrace again our Jewish-Christian tradition rather than running from it, hiding from it.” – Governor of Ohio and Republican Presidential Candidate John Kasich (@JohnKasich)