Love him or hate him, everyone has something to say about Donald Trump’s antics. While some brush off his comments as poorly-times humor, others claim his words have real and dangerous ramifications. Legendary journalist Ted Koppel made it clear he is part of the latter camp, commenting on this morning’s episode of Meet the Press that Trump is “the recruiter in chief for ISIS.”
Koppel not only sounded off on The Donald but people of his ilk who are responding to terrorism by endorsing restrictive policies that targets Muslims. “They think they’re being tough on ISIS and Trump thinks he’s being tough on ISIS,” Koppel told Chuck Todd during this morning’s panel conversation. As a result, Koppel believes that “Donald Trump is, in effect, the recruiter in chief for ISIS," rather than the destroyer of the terrorist organization. Though Koppel's comments may come off like another talking head too ready to attack an easy target, the former Nightline anchor brought up an excellent point about ISIS’ goal that needs to be repeated ad nauseam.
ISIS wants nothing more right now than to have the world divided into Judeo-Christian on one side and the Islamic world on the other It’s exactly what Trump is doing for them. I think it’s time we started thinking about what ISIS wants and then not doing it.
And you know what? Koppel is 100 percent correct. His comments may seem harsh, but so are Trump’s. Most importantly, they are entirely accurate. ISIS thrives off of division between the world’s religions. What better way to drive a wedge between religious group than by suggesting Muslims should be entered into a database, that we should increase surveillance on mosques, and even require Muslims to carry specialized identification cards? All of which, Trump has suggested during his run for the Republican presidential candidate. I won’t get into the parallels between Trump’s statements and Nazi Germany, but I will say this: None of this helps to protect us against terrorism. It actually alienates Muslims and casts Western society in a terrible light — something that ISIS is sure to exploit for recruitment and is certain to put all Americans in danger in the long run.
So what is the best way to combat ISIS? Make it clear that Muslims — your neighbor, your friend — are welcomed and that treating them like second-class citizens in the face of terrorism is not an option. Realize that Muslims are the biggest victims of ISIS and that Islam can be misinterpreted and perverted like any religion. But most importantly, we can all stand to reject this new brand of anti-political correctness that perpetuates racism and Islamophobia. And we can do this by understanding that our words do have an impact beyond hurt feelings. These brash calls-to-action punish innocent Muslims — who want just as much for ISIS to be a thing of the past — and takes something away from them that is synonymous with our country: their freedom. So, as Trump would say, let's do what we can to "make America great again."
Image: NBC News