back to top

Muslim-Americans React To Clinton’s Call To Be On “Front Lines”

"That does not solve our internal challenges with ISIS and our need to stop radicalization, to work with American Muslim communities who are on the front lines to identify and prevent attacks," Hillary Clinton said during the final debate.

Posted on

During Wednesday's presidential debate, Hillary Clinton again brought up the importance of working with "American Muslim communities who are on the front lines to identify and prevent" terror attacks.

In October, Clinton also evoked Muslim Americans being on the "front line" of combating terror attacks, saying, "We need American Muslims to be part of our eyes and ears on our front lines."

Craig Ruttle / AP

Muslim Americans in a line at the Muslim Day Parade in September 2016, in New York.

And she wasn't alone. Donald Trump falsely said that "many people saw the bombs all over the apartment of the two people that killed 14" in the San Bernardino attacks, adding that "Muslims have to report the problems when they see them."

Advertisement

On that day, the hashtag #MuslimsReportStuff was born, resulting in Muslims reporting everything from long lines at Costco to quinoa being overrated.

I'm a Muslim, and I would like to report a crazy man threatening a woman on a stage in Missouri. #debate

However, Muslim-Americans have, and do, report suspicious activity within their communities. In fact, a comprehensive 2013 study by the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, found that Muslim-Americans have put more terror suspects on the radar of law enforcement than government operations, such as the FBI.

Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security / Via sites.duke.edu

"Since 9/11, 54 Muslim-American terrorism suspects and perpetrators were brought to the attention of law enforcement by members of the Muslim-American community," the study found, compared to 52 people who "were discovered through U.S. government investigations."

Regardless of this fact, many Muslim Americans are tired of being viewed solely through this paradigm in the political arena. Here is what some Muslim Americans and their fellow citizens had to say about being on the "front lines."

Here we go again -- Muslim Americans are the "front line" against domestic terrorism -- good to know that's my value to the country #debates

Brb I'm just on the front line waiting for some secret info to give Hillary and her administration #debatenight

Advertisement

One day, Muslim communities will not be on the "front line," and will be at IHOP or something instead

To say I am on the front line to fight terror means if an attack, God forbid happens, I could've done something. It justified blanket hate

Why are American Muslims on the front line in stopping terror?... OH. I get it, because they're surrounded by terrorist family members.

My least favorite HRC line: the idea that Muslim Americans are the “front line” of anti-terrorism. No. They are us: Americans.

Advertisement

Once again, Clinton references Muslim-Americans, but only in the context of them actively fighting terrorism "on th… https://t.co/cgwFFZk1Ei

YES I AM AN AMERICAN MUSLIM AND I AM ON THE FRONT LINE TO PREVENT allergy ATTACKS MILKWEED IS NO JOKE #debatenight

Being "on the front line against extremism" is not an excuse for getting out of emptying the dishwasher, according to my mom. #debate

Hey what happened in last night's #debate ?? I would've watched but I was busy on the front lines of the war on terror. What did I miss?

Talal Ansari is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. His secure PGP fingerprint is 4FEE 894C 8088 7E08 E170 A515 2801 7CC6 95D3 11C2

Contact Talal Ansari at talal.ansari@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.