A University of Nebraska professor condemns Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims entering the country and says it undermines efforts to combat radical Islam.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln history professor James Le Sueur, an expert on radical Islam and terrorism, says he never knows what Donald Trump might say on any given day.
“Like most people in America, one is scared with what Donald Trump says. We never know what he is going to say from day-to-day,” Le Sueur tells Nebraska Radio Network. “But, what he has been saying has escalated each day and so the idea of banning Muslims is unthinkable. It’s not a civilized approach to the problem.”
Le Sueur has interviewed a number of Muslims with death threats on their head, because they have opposed radical Islam. His documentary telling their stories is a work in progress and he has shared portions of it during a lecture on the Lincoln campus attended by more than a hundred people.
The university put Le Sueur’s presentation together due to the debate on bringing Syrian refugees into the country. Some members of Congress are pushing the Obama Administration to subject refugees to a more stringent vetting process in wake of revelations that at least one of the terrorists involved in the Paris bombings snuck into Europe among Syrian refugees.
Le Sueur’s lecture, “Clashing with the ‘Clash of Civilizations’ Thesis: A Documentarian’s View of the Debate over ‘Radical Islam’ and the War on Terror,” took on new meaning in wake of a statement by Trump.
Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on, according to the candidate’s website.
The Trump campaign cited polling data purported to display an anti-American bias among Muslims.
“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life. If I win the election for President, we are going to Make America Great Again,” Trump said in a statement on his website.
Le Sueur calls Trump a celebrity making political claims without any idea about what Muslim communities are about. Le Sueur says most of those he has interview want to recapture Islam from the radicals and reclaim it for peaceful means.
Le Sueur says they need the freedoms America provides to continue their dissent.
“So we need that space of critical discourse here, which is why we need to stand up against people like Donald Trump, because if he allows us to shut it down, where are these people going to go?” Le Sueur asks. “How are you going to defeat radicalism if we don’t even have a safe haven for people within Islam who are trying to debate these issues?”
For more on professor Le Sueur’s work, click here.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:55]