Trump Wants to Ignore Right-Wing Extremism to Focus on Muslims

According to the Donald Trump administration, it’s not an act of terrorism unless a Muslim perpetrates it. Trump, who is already feeling the heat from his executive order obstructing Muslim travel, wants to shift an intelligence program that looks at terrorism – domestic and foreign – to work exclusively on Islamic extremism rather than keeping tabs on radical white nationalists, too.

This news comes from Reuters, whose reporters spoke to five anonymous sources who were briefed on this matter by Trump’s team. Soon, a program currently known as Countering Violent Extremism will be changed to either Countering Islamic Extremism or Countering Radical Islamic Extremismr. The name change will also reflect the program’s focus moving forward.

While there are probably not a lot of American people who would object to keeping on top of violent groups with ties to Islam such as ISIS, there’s really not a compelling reason to focus exclusively on that at the expense of monitoring other dangerous groups like the KKK and neo-Nazis.

Here are some of the reasons this decision is so problematic:

Domestic Terrorism Is a Threat

This week, we learned of a white nationalist in Canada killing six people in a mosque, but those kinds of massacres are even more common in the U.S, like the Charleston church shooting and the Planned Parenthood shooting.

As ThinkProgress points out, Americans are seven times more likely to die from an act of right-wing extremism than they are to be killed by a Muslim. If the concern is really about saving lives and not fueled by racism, why not continue to examine acts of terrorism from a variety of sources?

It Takes Right-Wing Extremists Off Notice

By switching the focus of the Department of Homeland Security, the White House is essentially signaling to right-wing terror groups, “We won’t be watching you as closely.” It’s hard to imagine that violent, extremist groups won’t take advantage of this leniency and start plotting more attacks.

It Helps Cement the White House’s Nazi Ties

Time and time again, Trump’s right-hand man, Steve Bannon, has demonstrated some pretty anti-Semitic and pro-white supremacy views.

This week, the media dug up an old video wherein Bannon calls on Christians to come together to form a group of “Church militants.” He said, “We’re at the very beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict.” The enemies he named in this supposed war were Muslims, socialists, atheists and secular millennials.

It seems pretty clear from that message that Bannon is pro right-wing extremism. At a time like this, it’s more important than ever for the White House to make it clear that it vehemently opposes this kind of violence. Taking steps like this one just further solidifies the administration as being on the side of white supremacy.

Marginalized People Suffer the Most

It’s easier for America’s white majority to downplay right-wing extremism as terrorism when they aren’t as likely to be the victims of it. Shooters often choose synagogues, mosques and black churches as the sites for their attacks to terrorize minority communities.

Again, by deemphasizing these acts as terror, the Trump administration is implicitly announcing to the world that it cares more about brown people killing white people than it does white people killing brown Americans.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

153 comments

Siyus C
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Marie W
Marie W1 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill1 years ago

There are all kinds of crazies out there. You can't lump them all into the same pile. Most, I would not categorize as "right-wing".

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David Nuttle
David Nuttle2 years ago

This article seems to be one more "fake news" item.

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Philippa P
Philippa Powers2 years ago

What is Trump's problem?

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld2 years ago

David F.,
He was not a typical flag burner. He burned an American flag, because he was still fighting the civil war. He flew the Confederate flag. I have to disagree with you on this one. Read his own words.

https://abagond.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/the-last-rhodesian/

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David F
David F2 years ago

Dan, I need to disagree with Dylan Roof, the church shooter, as a right wing, sorry he was a Dem that liked to post photos of himself burning American flags. Cannot find me one Conservative who has burned the American flag because we all know who apologizes for America, who hates America, who burns American flags? Leftists.

Robert Lewis Dear was considered a fringe right wing, he did kill 3 people at a Planned Parenthood. A Heavy marijuana user calling himself "I'm a warrior for the babies". Upset at the selling of baby parts. Received evaluations at Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo, the state mental hospital.

So there are 3 casualties from a right wing terrorist against a monthly list of leftist terrorism, much of it focused on law enforcement. Where is the 7 to 1 list Think Regress propagates to their victims?

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Steve A
Steve A2 years ago

Debbi, Donny isn't fooling the people. They just don't care. At least he is different to the cookie cutter presidents before him. Just like Hitler was. Anyway those who supported Hitler thought he was right. Until they decided they were just following orders.

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Steve A
Steve A2 years ago

I'm glad to see that Donny is looking after American lives. The ban on Muslims could stop around six Americans a year being killed by terrorists. Americans have a 1 in 45,808 chance of being killed by domestic and foreign inspired terrorism, Compared to a 1 in 358 chance of being killed by gun. Admittedly, some of those guns could be fired by foreign inspired terrorists.
See:
http://www.businessinsider.com.au/death-risk-statistics-terrorism-disease-accidents-2017-1?r=US&IR=T

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld2 years ago

Julie W.,
Randomly killing cops is not considered extremist?

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