Responding to a question about bias against Muslim people, Donald Trump said that while Islamophobia is an issue, he said Muslims who come into the country must “report when they see something going on.”
To illustrate this, Trump again claimed that “many people saw” bombs all over the apartment belonging to the couple who fatally shot and killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif., last year. He has said this repeatedly, even though there is no evidence for this claim. (One neighbor said he saw some suspicious activity outside; another neighbor reportedly told a friend the couple was receiving a lot of packages. Again, nobody saying they saw bombs inside.)
Trump went on to use this as proof that Muslim-Americans needed to do more when they see suspicious activity, something he has said before.
“Muslims have to report the problems when they see them,” he said during the town hall. “And there’s always a reason for everything. If they don’t do that, it’s a very different situation for our country.”
However, the FBI does not agree with Trump that Muslim-Americans are failing to report things. In fact, the FBI’s director has said quite the opposite this year.
“They do not want people committing violence, either in their community or in the name of their faith, and so some of our most productive relationships are with people who see things and tell us things who happen to be Muslim,” Comey said over the summer, not long after the Orlando nightclub attack, according to Reuters. “It’s at the heart of the FBI’s effectiveness to have good relationships with these folks.”
After the Orlando attack, a Florida man came forward to say that he had reported that gunman, Omar Mateen, to the FBI.
In an essay for The Post, this Florida man wrote that he had “called the FBI and offered to tell investigators a bit about the young man” because “I’m an American Muslim, and I wanted to do my part.” The author of that essay, Mohammed A. Malik, said he also contacted them again after hearing other comments made by Mateen.
Malik’s essay was published after Trump, in a speech following the Orlando attack, said of American Muslims: “The Muslims have to work with us. They have to work with us. They know what’s going on.”
In his essay, Malik said he spoke out in part because he was tired of what he called false comments about his faith.
“I am hardly the first American Muslim to report on someone; people who do that simply don’t like to announce themselves in to the media,” Malik wrote. “Trump’s assertions about our community – that we have the ability to help our country but have simply declined to do so – are tragic, ugly and wrong.”