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#RegisterMeFirst takes off after Trump camp’s talk of Muslim registry

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said Tuesday that the president-elect’s advisers are weighing a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries. (Dave Kaup/Reuters)

Two days after a key member of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team sparked a backlash with talk of creating a registry for immigrants and visitors from Muslim countries — an idea that has drawn comparisons to internment camps for Japanese Americans during World War II — faith leaders and human rights groups took to the Twittersphere on Thursday with the hashtag #RegisterMeFirst.

ReThink Media, a Washington nonprofit that has launched previous public advocacy campaigns on behalf of American Muslims, came up with the idea and circulated it to faith organizations and other groups on Wednesday afternoon.

The evolution of Donald Trump and the ‘Muslim database’

On Thursday morning, the nonprofit asked its supporters to postpone the Twitter campaign out of concern that it would conflate a program started under the administration of President George W. Bush to monitor visitors from “higher risk” countries with a broader idea of registering American Muslims. ReThink Media noted that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the Trump adviser who brought up the registry on Tuesday, was probably thinking more about a reinstatement of the Bush-era program, which civil rights groups said had unfairly targeted Muslims and which ended in 2011.

But the hashtag took off anyway. Here are some of the tweets: