Tweets Expose an Unsettling Truth About Trump's Muslim Registry Plans

November 17th 2016

Lucy Tiven

President-elect Donald Trump's campaign proposal to start a Muslim registry has resurfaced since the election, igniting a fury of controversy and condemnation among people online.

In a Wednesday Fox News appearance on "The Kelly File," pro-Trump PAC Great America spokesman Carl Higbie addressed plans for the registry.

"We've done it based on race, we've done it based on religion, we've done it based on region," Higbie told host Megyn Kelly. "And the fact is he also brings it back as like, a constitutionality issue, the problem is is people outside this country are not protected under the same constitutional rights as we are in America."

Some critics responded by advising non-Muslims to sign up for it in protest.

Muslim writer and activist Arnesa Buljusmic-Kustura tweeted about the proposal and the criticism it has ignited among opponents.

Buljusmic-Kustura came to the U.S. as a Bosnian refugee in 2002, Yahoo News reports.

She argued that Americans needed to fight Islamophobia actively and before a registry is put into place — not just sign up or speak up in solidarity with Muslim communities.

Buljusmic-Kustura explained that volunteering to sign up isn't an effective way to protest.

She went on to add that opponents of the registry should speak out, contact elected officials, and advocate at the grassroots level.

Buljusmic-Kustura encouraged others to voice opposition to the ways Muslim people are already being systemically monitored in America.

There were approximately 3.3 million Muslims living in the U.S. in 2015, according to Pew Research Center. Pew projects that this number will double by 2050, so these proposals would have a massive impact.

Learn more about the fight against anti-Muslim discrimination, profiling, surveillance and monitoring — and what you can do to help — on the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Update 4:35 p.m. PST: The Trump transition team released a statement claiming the President-Elect never advocated for a registry, CNN Senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta tweeted.

The New York Times reported in November 2015 that Trump called for a database of Muslims numerous times, prompting condemnation from Democrats, Republicans, and religious leaders. From the Times:

"Mr. Trump’s talk of a national database of Muslims, first in an interview published on Thursday by Yahoo News and later in an exchange with an NBC News reporter, seemed the culmination of months of heated debate about illegal immigration as an urgent danger to Americans’ personal safety."

This story, first published at 10/17/2016 at 12:21 p.m. PT, was updated at 4:33 p.m. PT to include a statement from the Trump transition team and a November 2015 New York Times report.