Were Muslims partially responsible for American independence?
Hillary Clinton raised eyebrows with a questionable claim during Sunday’s fiery presidential debate by stating Islam was always part of American history – even since the Revolutionary War.
After recycling the Khizir Khan controversy, the Democrat nominee claimed “we’ve had Muslims in America since George Washington.”
Several conservatives found humor in this seemingly overlooked part of colonial American history.
Hillary: “Muslims in America since George Washington.”
Um, the Barbary pirates?
— Diana West (@diana_west_) October 10, 2016
Yeah, all those Muslims fighting with George Washington.
— (((Mark Krikorian))) (@MarkSKrikorian) October 10, 2016
George Washington & the Muslims. Huh? Weak. #PresidentialDebate
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) October 10, 2016
But Clinton’s pronouncement was designed to put Donald Trump on the defensive because of his earlier proposed shutdown of Muslim immigration. Paying tribute to American Muslims, Clinton mourned, “We just lost a particular well-known one with Muhammad Ali.”
She accused Trump of being “short-sighted” and “dangerous,” even putting American security at risk.
The former Secretary of State intoned:
“We need American Muslims to be part of our eyes and ears on our front lines. I’ve worked with a lot of different Muslim groups around America. I’ve met with a lot of them and heard how important it is for them to feel they are wanted and included and part of our country, part of our homeland security. And that’s what I want to see.
“It’s also important to know I intend to defeat ISIS as part of a coalition with majority Muslim nations. Right now a lot of those nations are hearing what Donald says and wondering, ‘Why should we cooperate with the Americans?’ And this is a gift to ISIS and the terrorists. Violent jihadist terrorists. We are not at war with Islam. And it is a mistake and it plays into the hands of the terrorists to act as though we are.”
However, Trump did not back down. He called the late Capt. Khan an “American hero” but quickly pivoted to the question of the Iraq War, saying Khan would still be alive if he had been in command because Trump opposed the invasion.
Trump accused Clinton of having “voted for the war without knowing what she was doing” and called it a “disaster.” He also said American Muslims need to report suspicious activities to law enforcement in order to prevent attacks like those which occurred in San Bernadino.
Trump did not defend a Muslim ban in explicit terms, but explained he favored “extreme vetting.”
He slammed Hillary Clinton for favoring a 550 percent increase in the Syrian refugee program beyond what the Obama administration has authorized.
Trump warned of dire consequences unless American security was prioritized.
“People are coming into our country and we have no idea who they are,” he said. “Where they are from, what their feeling about our country is. And she wants 550 percent more. This is going to be the great Trojan Horse of all time.”
Trump slammed the moderate Muslim nations Hillary Clinton praised as American allies for not doing more to solve the refugee crisis.
“I believe in building safe zones, in having other people for them,” Trump said. “As an example, the Gulf States who are not carrying their weight but have nothing but money.”
For her part, Clinton claimed she would “not let anyone into our country that I think poses a risk to us.”
However, the former secretary of state claimed sad pictures of Syrian refugees moved her to welcome more migrants. She also pinned the blame on Russia for the Syrian crisis.
“There are a lot of refugees, women and children,” Clinton said. “Think of that picture we all saw of that 4-year-old boy with the blood on his forehead because he had been bombed by the Russian and Syrian air forces. There are children suffering in this catastrophic war. Largely I believe because of Russian aggression. And we need to do our part. We are by no means carrying anywhere near the load that Europe and others are.”