Trump Co-Chair Actually Still Thinks Obama Is A Muslim

Are we really still doing this?

If you aren’t anti-Muslim, you must be a Muslim.

That’s the tone Donald Trump’s co-chair in New York, Carl Paladino, took on Thursday when he joined a tired chorus of conspiracy theorists who think President Barack Obama, a practicing Christian, is actually a Muslim.

The failed 2010 gubernatorial candidate went off the rails during an unrelated interview with the Observer, saying:

“In the mind of the average American, there is no doubt he is a Muslim. He is not a Christian.”

As evidence, Paladino pointed to Obama’s international policy and apparent pro-Muslim bias overseas: “Look at what he’s done with Iran, what he’s done with the Sunni-Shia thing over in Iraq and Iran, and with ISIS.”

Seems legit.

People have been making the argument ― with no proof beyond the president’s traditionally Muslim middle name, Hussein ― since 2008. By 2010, at least 18 percent of Americans thought Obama was Muslim, though the conversation fizzled out as the president proved over and over that he is a practicing Christian.

Until this election cycle.

Actor Antonio Sabato Jr. jumped on the Obama-Muslim train at the GOP convention last month, as those close to Trump breathed new life into the old conspiracies about the president’s birth certificate.

“And the question was: Did he get in as a U.S. citizen, or was he brought into Harvard University as a citizen who wasn’t from this country?” said Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager, on CNN this week.

The argument about Obama’s religion should be moot, and would be if those lashing out against the president didn’t see Islam as an overwhelmingly bad thing. When Sabato Jr. spoke at the RNC, he said Obama was “absolutely” a Muslim, and drew a connection between that alleged faith and the “bad guys.”

“I believe that he’s on the other side — the Middle East. He’s with the bad guys,” Sabàto said. “He’s with them. He’s not with us. He’s not with this country.”

But it’s not just about Obama. The quotes signal a general acceptance of Islamophobia in the GOP, and Trump’s rivals on the campaign trail weren’t really any better.

Obama has showed his long-form birth certificate before, and he appears to be taking all the conspiracy theories in stride. Hey, at least people don’t believe he hosted a satanic ceremony at a state house. Oh, wait.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims ― 1.6 billion members of an entire religion ― from entering the U.S.

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