I know Jeff is trying to put the best possible spin on Donald Trump’s claim that he saw on TV “thousands and thousands of Muslims” in New Jersey celebrating the attacks of September 11, 2001. But his boy stepped in it and he’s going to have a hard time cleaning his shoe.
I mean if Trump has as great a memory as he claims to have then surely he can more precise than “thousands and thousands”. Would that be 5,000? 10,000? Would it be enough to fill Yankee Stadium or the Meadowlands?
Now I certainly remember the Palestinians on the West Bank who cheered 9/11. Perhaps Trump is confusing Ramallah with Paterson.
It’s one thing to say there were pockets of Muslims in this country celebrating 9/11, but it’s quite another to claim it was “thousands and thousands.” Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani threw cold water on Trump’s claims during an appearance on CNN earlier today:
“We did have some celebrating, that is true,” Giuliani told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on CNN’s “New Day.” “We had pockets of celebration some in Queens, some in Brooklyn — 10, 12, 30, 40” people.
Giuliani recounted hearing about a Muslim-owned candy store where some Muslims were cheering the attacks and were beaten up by children from a neighboring housing development.
So, yes, there were some Muslims celebrating 9/11 and they ended up paying the price for it. Think about the raw emotion and anger which we felt in the days following 9/11. Nowhere would it have been more acute than in New York and New Jersey. If there were any large numbers of Muslims who publicly expressed delight with 9/11 do you think people in NY and NJ would have stood up for it for a New York minute? Hell no!!! There would have been a fight, a very big fight. And if there were “thousands and thousands of Muslims” publicly cheering 9/11 there would have thousands and thousands of very angry New Yorkers and New Jerseyans who would have confronted them. New Yorkers and New Jerseyans aren’t known for being shy and retiring.
I harbor no illusions. There are Muslims in this country when Islamists attacks American soil and there are also Muslims in this country (whether by birth or by conversion) who would like to kill their fellow Americans whether through ISIS or other Islamic terrorist organizations. Since 9/11, we’ve seen the attacks in Fort Hood, Boston and Chattanooga not to mention the near attacks in Times Square and aboard Northwest Flight 253. Sooner or later, we will see more.
All of that notwithstanding, it is simply unhelpful when Donald Trump grossly misrepresents what actually happened in this country in the days following the attacks of September 11, 2001.