By Jonathan Walsh
By Jonathan Walsh
Rabat – Donald Trump has once again found himself at the center of controversy related to comments he made about Muslims, after telling a hoax story about General Pershing executing captured terrorists with bullets dipped in pigs ‘blood.
The Republican presidential candidate and current frontrunner made the comments during a rally in South Carolina ahead of the state’s primary in which Republicans voted for their preferred candidate to represent the party in November’s presidential election. Trump later won, registering 32 percent of the vote.
During his speech, Trump told the historically unfounded story that was widely circulated online after the September 11 attacks. In Trump’s version of the tale, a US Army general in the Philippines took 50 Muslim hostages accused of terrorism and shot 49 of them with bullets dipped in pigs’ blood. He then released the final hostage and told him to warn “your people,” a statement that drew cheers from the crowd of Trump’s supporters.
“And for 25 years there wasn’t a problem, okay?” Trump said. “We better start getting tough and we better start getting vigilant, and we better start using our heads or we’re not gonna have a country, folks.”
Trump appeared to be telling the story in order to make a point about now-banned torture practices such as water boarding, which he argued is not harsh enough for suspected terrorists.
“Is it torture or not? It’s so borderline,” he said “It’s like minimal, minimal, minimal torture.”
Prominent US Muslim advocacy groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), quickly responded to Trump’s speech.
In a statement, Nihad Awad, the Executive Director and founder of CAIR, criticized Trump’s comments.
“Donald Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric has crossed the line from spreading hatred to inciting violence,” he wrote. “By directly stating that the only way to stop terrorism is to murder Muslims in graphic and religiously-offensive ways, he places the millions of innocent, law-abiding citizens in the American Muslim community at risk from rogue vigilantes.”
Edited by Kelsey Fish