Muslim group: Trump a ‘bigot’ and ‘liar’ for saying people celebrated 9/11
Members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Thursday criticized Donald Trump's continued "vicious and unfounded claims" that Muslims celebrated the fall of the World Trade Center — saying such statements are to blame for increased violence against Muslims.
CAIR executive director Nihad Awad said that "those who would drive this nation apart, whether they are ISIS through terror or Donald Trump through his words, our message is this: you will not succeed." He said that Trump cannot substantiate his story because "no such video exists."
He then showed a blowup of a full-page ad in the Washington Post published in the days after 9/11 by "American Muslims from New Jersey" thanking first responders and offering condolences to those injured.
Awad said that many of Trump's suggestions to monitor and register Mulsims, and to close mosques are "not only unconstitutional but unAmerican."
Comparing Trump's criticisms of Muslims to those in Nazi Germany against Jews, Awad blamed Trump's "reckless statements" for "putting the lives of millions of Americans and their families in danger."
He also blamed Dr. Ben Carson's for being partially to blame for increased violence against mosques and American Muslims.
"Trump is not only a bigot but a liar and a dangerous one at that," Awad said.
He urged the Republican party to distance itself from Trump's "hatred and bigotry" or risk it becoming part of the GOP legacy. Awad asked for protection for Muslim owned shops and mosques "especially here in New Jersey where Muslims" are a target for "disparaging remarks."
Jersey CIty Mayor Steven Fulop, who said there was "nothing to substantiate" Trump's claims, offered praise to Muslims in the days following 9/11 "Jersey City was used as a trauma center," Fulop said. "The Muslim community was volunteering side-by-side with the Jewish community and the Christian community and the Coptic community, helping people come over."
Several people have told New Jersey 101.5 they saw Muslims celebrating in New Jersey after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. However, Trump's claim that thousands of Muslims were celebrating in the streets of Jersey City has been widely debunked, and no one who has contacted New Jersey 101.5 described seeing celebrations of that scale firsthand.
His claims that such large celebrations were televised have also been debunked. No such news footage has emerged, and extensive searches by multiple media organizations of news transcripts at the time haven't turned up any — though footage was shown on several news networks of Palestinians celebrating. Media reports at the time mentioned allegations of smaller celebrations, though none were ever reported to have been confirmed.
New Jersey’s governor at the time has said he doesn’t remember any such celebrations, as has Gov. Chris Christie doesn’t remember any. The police director of nearby Paterson, where rumors of celebrations have persisted for years, has told New Jersey 101.5 police don't have any records of celebrations and denies any took place.