2016 in Quotes: Anti-Muslim Hysteria and Religious Freedom

As continue our review of the outrageous and offensive things we heard from the right in 2016, let’s look at the some of the year’s rhetoric involving anti-Muslim hysteria and religious freedom. You can check out previous posts from the Year in Quotes here.

“(D)efender-in-chief of Islam.”

– Religious-right leader Robert Jeffress, pastor of a Dallas megachurch, describing what he sees as President Obama’s “favorite role”

“We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.”

– Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, calling during his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination for singling out Muslims in America for suspicion and special police action

“Yes, I hate Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood and all terrorist organizations. I will fight for your freedom to be ignorant and hateful to your fellow Americans because I love America and everything she stands for even when her own turn against her.”

– Texas state Rep. Molly White, R-Belton, making her religious prejudice clear in a Facebook comment

“What if this technology is transferred to Islamic jihadists and Islamic jihadists have an app that shows them where Christians are located geographically?”

– Right-wing talk show host Rick Wiles, fretting about the nefarious possibilities of the smartphone game, Pokémon Go

“We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported.”

– Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, reacting to a terrorist attack in France

“There are those folks who are mad that I’m a conservative Christian and make no bones about it. They say that people of strong faith don’t belong in public service. I’m a man of faith, I ran for office as a man of faith, and I will continue to serve you as a man of faith. I’m here to tell you that I’m not going anywhere.”

– Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, defending himself after being indicted on charges of securities fraud

“Well, the reality is that this idea of the separation of church and state is a myth.”

Pastor Mike Gonzalez, who was serving as the evangelical chair of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s South Carolina campaign for the Republican presidential nomination