Just hours after her likely rival in November’s presidential election accused American Muslims of failing to warn the rest of the country about the terrorist who killed at least 49 people in an assault on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Hillary Clinton struck a very different tone in response to the mass murder.
Speaking in Cleveland, Clinton did talk tough when it came to fighting ISIS and similar radical jihadists groups, comparing the “twisted ideology and poisonous psychology” of their views to a “metastasizing” cancer. “We cannot contain the threat,” she said. “We have to defeat it.”
However, when it came to dealing with the U.S. Muslim community, Clinton’s approach sounded very different than Donald Trump’s. On Monday morning, Trump appeared to place the onus of preventing domestic terror attacks on Muslims Americans, suggesting there would be consequences otherwise. Trump also recommitted himself to his proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S.
Clinton, however, said, “We should avoid eroding trust in [the Muslim] community, which will only make law enforcement’s job more difficult. Inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric, and threatening to ban the families and friends of Muslim Americans as well as millions of Muslim business people and tourists from entering our country hurts the vast majority of Muslims who love freedom and hate terror.
“So does saying that we have to start special surveillance on our fellow Americans because of their religion,” she continued. “It’s no coincidence that hate crimes against Muslim Americans and mosques have tripled after Paris and San Bernardino. That’s wrong and it’s also dangerous. It plays right into the terrorists’ hands.”
In another none-too-subtle dig a Trump, Clinton also called for closer cooperation with U.S. allies to monitor and reduce the flow of Western passport holders to parts of the world where radical jihadist groups operate. That cooperation, she pointed out, will require closer relationships with our allies and not, as Mr. Trump has suggested, a withdrawal from international obligations.
Clinton also took the time to deliver a message to the nation’s LGBT community. “You have millions of allies that will always have your back,” she said to applause. “I am one of them.”
She added, “Our open, diverse society is an asset in the struggle against terrorism, not a liability. It makes us stronger and more resistant to radicalization.”