First They Came for the Muslims

December 8, 2015   |   Claire Bernish

Claire Bernish
December 8, 2015

“They came first for the Communists,
and I did not speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I did not speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I did not speak up, because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I did not speak up, because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time, no one was left to speak up for me.”
— Pastor Martin Niemöller

(ANTIMEDIA) United States —Myriad versions of Pastor Niemöller’s original quote began circulating in the late 1940s and early 1950s, yet his exhortative words on the perilous pitfalls of political and social apathy couldn’t be more germane than they are today. Niemöller originally intended to warn against passive detachment in believing dangerous power persecuting one group wouldn’t eventually seek to target all, as occurred during the Nazis’ rise to power.

First They Came for the Muslims . . .

“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” spouted the presidential candidate during a press conference about his latest ‘official’ policy proposal — referring to himself in the third person — “until our representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”

As Trump continues spewing such bigoted, anti-Muslim dogma in his quest for the ostensible highest position of power in the so-called Free World, Niemöller’s admonitory words must be revisited — without even the most negligible That Would Never Happen Here caveat. Because, should you think fascism won’t come to the U.S., you are already wrong.

In It Can’t Happen Here, Sinclair Lewis penned, in part, “[I]n America the struggle was befogged by the fact that the worst fascists were they who disowned the word ‘Fascism’ and preached enslavement to Capitalism . . .” — a quote most famously summarized: “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.”

How appropriate, given Trump’s astonishingly xenophobic ignorance of Islam and his blindly paranoid assumption — held in common with an unfortunate proportion of the U.S. populace — that somehow Muslim equals Terrorist.

Nevermind the outright condemnation of radical Islam by the world’s largest Muslim group as policy since its inception 90 years ago.

Nevermind a Christian terrorist who recently bombed a women’s health clinic in Colorado. Nevermind Buddhist terrorists and their campaign of torment against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Nevermind Jewish terrorists whose unending violence against Palestinians garners more than sufficient reason for the U.S. government to cut ties and impose sanctions, rather than reward atrocity with unending financial support.

And, certainly, nevermind U.S. proxy-terrorism worldwide — characterized, at least, in its purposeful targeting of a Médicins Sans Frontières hospital facility in Kunduz, Afghanistan; or tellingly in its tacit, complicit creation of the exact terrorists, Daesh, it now claims to do battle with in the Middle East.

Fascism not only totes a Bible and wraps itself in the flag, it also makes fools of those who fear the nearly impossible odds a Muslim refugee will perpetrate an act of terrorism here. It cloaks itself in a growing superhero cape of we need to clamp down on national security: Build that wall! Shut those borders! No Amurican could possibly commit an act of terror, so we’ll be safe in this cocoon!


Wait — maybe we should keep track of people inside the borders, too! I mean, what if the terrorists are already here?! What about national ID cards so we know who the Muslims are, just like Trump said we need?

Hopefully, you see not only the basic logical fallacies, but the fear-driven idiocy in such musings.

If you don’t immediately have chills hearkening back to Nazi-mandated arm bands classifying undesirables in the lead-up to World War II, you need to start paying more attention.

“There were no minutes or copy of what I said,” Niemöller recollected in 1976, “and it may be that I formulated it differently. But the idea was, anyhow: The communists, we still let that happen calmly; and the trade unions, we still let that happen; and we even let the Social Democrats happen. All of that was not our affair.”

. . . and then they came for me — but by that time,

no one was left to speak up for me.

Pastor Martin Niemöller is surely weeping in his grave.

This article (First They Came for the Muslims) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email

Author: Claire Bernish

Claire Bernish joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in May of 2015. Her topics of interest include thwarting war propaganda through education, the refugee crisis & related issues, 1st Amendment concerns, ending police brutality, and general government & corporate accountability. Born in North Carolina, she now lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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  1. The politics since Reagan fucked the hostages to keep Carter from winning have been a big mess. Now you want to talk down the guy who has offered a choice. They say you can't run with the wolves and sleep with the sheep. Washington has a bill to pay and trump knows it.

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  2. We cannot afford to pit non-Muslims against Muslims when we must all stand united and firm against the police. In a police state, the police are the enemy. Parents need to teach their children to hate all cops equally.

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  3. Trump's message resonates with typical, average voters: A bunch of fat, stupid, ugly old ladies that watch soap operas, play bingo, read tabloids and don't know the metric system. Their votes count.

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  4. Your odds of being killed in a motor vehicle wreck are far greater than your odds of getting killed by a terrorist. And what is being done? They keep plowing snow onto sidewalks to make people walk in the street, paving roads without sidewalks, erecting traffic lights without crosswalk lights out of depraved indifference to the lives of pedestrians, and the typical driver is going over the speed limit, unbuckled, yacking on a cell phone.

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    Christ said that, "I died because of your sins (ego)"
    This means if you eliminate your ego, you can experience the Christ within you.
    All religions are equal & single philosophy.
    Understand the difference between LORD & GOD

    The death of the self (God) of Jesus and the birth of the selfless Christ pbuh ⏩ CHRISTMAS / XMAS

    The death of the self (God/Allah) of Ahamed Musthafa and the birth of the selfless prophet Muhammad pbuh ⏩ MILADUN NABIY.

    The death of the self (God/Bodisatva) of Siddhartha and the birth of the selfless Gauthama pbuh ⏩ WESAK

    These are spiritualities (Reality) not physical entities.

    G O D ▶ Avaricious, evolving in delusion.
    Worship ▶ Wore-ship ▶ Yaa ▶ Remove one.
    LORD (Rabb)▶Consciousness
    Within your consciousness, all prophets and saints are alive (Oneness)
    Activate your selfless bliss by talking to them.

    Understand your religions,

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  6. Actually this is America. In our house "America" we do let them in along with every religious faith. Read the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Get a grip.
    By the way thank you for your service and upholding what this country was founded on until now. I hope you find your way.
    God bless.

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  7. His choice was to unravel what this country stands for and was founded on. Even to give our enemies ammunition to keep hating us.
    Check out his statement in People magazine 1998. Here is states his "truth". Remember he was the one calling you dumb and would lie to you.
    Shame on you.

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  10. Very well written. Thanks. We live in scary times. The hateful FAUX NEWS crowd could actually put this jackass in office. The fact he was ever in the race is a HUGE HUGE embarassment for the US. If it were not for the bullshit war Bush lied us into, mostly to make a profit by the way, there wouldn't be refugees in need of help. We need to welcome these poor people with open arms so they are not stuck in awful situations, fertile ground for ISIL recruiting. It is lunacy to do anything but help them. We just have to make a point of fostering and even forcing assimilation; things like playing in sports should be funded for the kids, and so on. We want the next generation to be grateful not bitter. Our bet bet is to absorb as many of them as we can and do them right. The US is still incredibly wealthy, wealthier than ever actually, but the money has moved out of the hands of the people, and their government, which still happens to be one of the best in the world, and into the hands of the richest 400 or so families. And somehow, the most arrogan ant idiotic billionaire of them all is trying to buy his way into power. We need BERNIE to win in a lndslide with a wave of hard left voting that is like the anti-tea party, forcing real conversations about real problems and real solutions. It's time for a whole lot of truth!

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  11. Oh Really, I am a Top Model In New York With stunning Looks and a multi millionaire income you stupid Fool! Talk about Ugly I just saw your picture and you are pathetic.

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  12. Dave Thomas I don't understand where that came from, we aren't impressed by your income

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  13. I'm more worried about being shot by Ted Nugent during hunting season than I am being bombed by a terrorist.

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  14. "When the most authentic representative of the big capital is attacking on the Mexican immigrants, saying that they are drug dealers and rapists, you should be at least suspicious. Recently, Donald Trump expanded his far-Right rhetoric on Muslims, by saying that they should be banned from entering the US. What Mr. Trump didn't tell us, and will never do, is that the US imperialism is heavily responsible for the massive immigration of Latin Americans to the United States in the past decades. This is something that is often hidden from the American public, and anyone who uses the extreme far-Right rhetoric, without telling the whole story, simply plants the seeds of hate."

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  15. So seeing as you clearly know how to handle this issue, you should run for president. Or do you not know?like everyone else? Youre contradicting yourself…what is posting an article on a page most people discredit because of the stupid name gunna do? Its todays equivalent to not speaking up.
    Dont bitch unless you actually intend to do something. At least donald trump has a plan(albeit not a good one) but its more than youre doing to better the situation you whiney little prick

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  16. Mitchell Xav btw its not a real profile, just a propoganda page, no pictures no info, no profile, just status about trump and muslim

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  17. Its not the odds of being killed in motor cehicle or gettting killed by a terrorist. Its the constant fear of living of being attacked by a psychopath terrorist. We all losing our liberty. We are no longer living in a free country because of these people.

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  18. Shane Salim Have you seen whats happening in Europe. These people aren't like Muslims I am friends with. They are sick maniacs and want to rape then kill everyone that doesn't live by Shariah law. Wait until they are housed next door to you. God bless you.

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  19. If I knew any Muslims, and I enjoyed their company, I'd invite them to my house. Just like if I knew any genuine Christians.

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  20. Shane Salim, I see what's happening in the news with these"refugees"! Since Obama has been in office and refuses to say "radical islam ", we have had many attacks on American soil from his muslim buddies! I can't trust that any of them have good intentions,and I don't think that any of us should! I doubt that I will vote for Trump,but I agree that we should block muslims from coming here until we can do real background checks on them! If one muslim woman can get clearance to get here and help her new husband kill 14 people,how in hell can Obama think that he can clear 10,000 or more? I'm armed and ready to take out more of them than they get of me,and I challenge the whole country to do the same. You do what you feel is right,but when you're surrounded by a bunch of ragheads screaming "allah Akbar" don't call me!

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  22. They are making trump the new puppet because soon is the presidental elections
    More psychologicaly sick heads on the way with an ambitious to take over the presidental seat
    Congratulations America those puppets will ruin the whole world

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  23. “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.”
    Fascism is in America for some time now, it is just wrapped in flag of "freedom and democracy"

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  24. "Parents need to teach children hate". And this year's Nobel prize goes to…

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  26. Your odds off being killed by a police officer is 12 times more likely than being killed by terrorist. Yet all we hear is. Terrorist terrorist terrorist from the media

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  27. Dave Thomas, do you know what humility is or character? Your comment lacks both. Certainly you have heard the saying Less is more. Perhaps you should practice that. Tom Alciere, yes, the elderly votes do count, regardless of how you categorize them. Why are you so angry? Did someone hurt you so badly that you feel the need to denigrate elderly women? Oh, perhaps you don't know what denigrate means. Look it up. It will help you along your path to humility.

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  28. Is America Going to Lead the Way?

    Or… Are we the Great Satan as some have charged?
    America needs to be seen as the good guy once again, because we really are the good guys; we have just been living too much in our heads, and we have gotten lost.
    Have it all:
    America now is the most materialistic and least spiritual country in the world. When Americans learn the ultimate truth, they will become the most spiritual country almost over night. We will have it all, material and spiritual, and we will be in a position to give it all to the rest of the world, and we will.
    Once we start being who we really are, we will not have any problems, only solutions.

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  29. The moslems are coming for us… It's time to stop islam now, before they can't be stopped – if you don't understand islam, then you'd better read up on it!

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  30. Mike Kramer that will change in just a matter of a few years – but if you're black your chance to be killed by another black is over 100 times as likely to be killed by a cop – look it up!

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