Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Dear Donald, I’m your biggest fan but your call to ban all Muslims is dangerously wrong & bigoted' Piers Morgan writes


US presidential candidate and billionaire business Donald Trump has been branded a 'hate preacher' by the international community and now faces ban in some countries after 'a total and complete shutdown' of Muslim immigration into America. His longtime friend and supporter, Piers Morgan wrote him an open letter expressing his disappointment over his comments. Read that after the cut...

 
Dear Donald,
This is not an easy letter to write.
We’ve been friends for nearly a decade, since I competed in, and won, the first season of your Celebrity Apprentice show.
I hugely admire your talent, energy, chutzpah, determination and sheer force of personality.
In an increasingly politically correct world where the slightest slip of the tongue becomes an offence worthy of public social media execution, your straight-talking and refusal to apologise for anything is a breath of much needed fresh air, especially in the putrid atmosphere of Washington politics.
I also know you to be an incredibly loyal man, to family and friends.
Whenever I’ve been in the news for good or bad reasons, the one thing I can virtually guarantee is that you’ll either send me a note or give me a call to congratulate or commiserate.
Like many in the public eye, I have lots of fair-weather celebrity acquaintances who run a mile when the going gets rough. You’ve never been one of them. In fact, quite the opposite.
I’ve lost count of the number of people, some in very high places, who’ve said to me over the years, ‘I saw Donald Trump last night and he was singing your praises.’
I can even think of one specific occasion during my time at CNN when you may well have saved my job.
So like I said, this is not an easy letter for me to write, but I’m going to do it anyway because I think it’s the right thing to do.
The best friends, I’ve always believed, are not the ones who agree with everything you say, laugh at all your jokes, or suck up to you with unctuous sycophancy. Though there’s always room for a few of those in one’s life, obviously!
No, the best friends are the ones unafraid to look you in the eye and say: ‘You’re wrong.’
I wasn’t afraid to do that on Celebrity Apprentice and I’m not afraid to do it again now.
(Though even this is not quite as outrageous as the fact that people who ARE on the terror watch-list, and can’t fly on planes, are still able to buy guns and ammo legally in America.)
In light of this, it’s perfectly OK to call for tighter background checks on VISAs for people entering the United States. Every country should be looking at this area now as ISIS spreads its global jihad.
But what’s not OK is banning an entire people, a religion, from America.
For starters, it violates international law.
Second, it evokes hideous memories of the Nazi purge of Jews in World War II based solely on their religious ethnicity.
But perhaps most pertinently for you Donald is that when applied to U.S. citizens who happen to also be Muslim, your rule would be a clear, flagrant breach of the U.S. Constitution. A document you bow at the altar to during every debate about guns.
There’s also a wider point to be made here, again gun-related.
More than 32,000 people die in America from gun violence every year. There have been more mass shootings than days in 2015 alone.
Yet not once, after any of these incidents, have I heard you call for all those who share the same race, colour or creed of the killers to be banned from America.
Hardly surprising, perhaps, given that many of them are white Christians like you.
That’s why your call for all Muslims to be banned from America is so wrong: it’s not even logical.
The fact is that Muslims kill a tiny proportion of Americans a year in America. Each time they do, though, it is given disproportionate treatment in the media and by Republican politicians.
As I wrote last week, if America treated every mass shooting as a Muslim terror attack, there would be new gun control laws in days.
Donald, you’re no fool.
Nobody builds a multi-billionaire dollar empire by being anything less than a very smart guy.
Nor do I think you’re a racist.
I never once in all the time I worked with you on Celebrity Apprentice (I returned each year as your ‘eyes-and-ears’ on various challenges) ever heard you be even remotely racist, nor discriminate against people for their religion, either on camera or off it.
I simply don’t recognise the Donald Trump I know in this call for all Muslims to be banned.
I don’t think it’s who you really are, however gratifying it may be to hear the cheers of your fans when you said it.
When you entered this presidential race, many predicted your instant ignominious demise.
But here you are, six months later, as the Republican front-runner.
I wrote back in June that nobody should under-estimate you, and I was right.
I’ve also persistently supported your candidacy because I think American politics needs a man like you to shake it out of its tired, intransigent, cliché-d state.
There’s now, according to the polls, a very real chance you could be the Republican nominee, and who knows, perhaps even President of the United States.
But you don’t need to be a bigot to get there and that, respectfully, is how you’re now sounding.
America has millions of Muslim citizens who live very peacefully and happily side by side with their fellow Americans.
Your ugly choice of rhetoric will make them vulnerable to attack and stigmatisation, as we have already witnessed since last week’s massacre.
It will only serve to make Americans turn on Americans.
And that, in itself, makes your plan un-American.
It would also play right into ISIS hands, creating the very divide between Muslims and the West that they seek to create and exploit.
Donald, I hope you read this letter in the spirit of friendship in which I write it.
A great man knows when he’s wrong, even if it pains him to admit it.
In many ways, I think you’re a great man.
But on this, you’re badly wrong.
Kind regards
Piers

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