Former President Bill Clinton called on Muslims to aid in counter terrorism in his speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, drawing mixed reaction from Muslims online.
“If you’re a Muslim and you love America and freedom and you hate terror, stay here and help us win and make a future together,” Clinton said. “We want you.”
Journalist Sara Yasin tweeted: “Aaaand Clinton reiterates this idea that Muslim-Americans are mostly valuable for the cause of fighting terror.”
“Just once I want, as a muslim, my value not to be tied to helping fight terror. We have more to offer,” tweeted Rabia Chaudry, a fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
Tweeted Al Jazeera presenter Mehdi Hasan: “Sorry @billclinton, my Muslim American daughters are part of the ‘us’. They’re not a separate category (or subgroup).”
“If you’re a Muslim and you hate terror, WTF? Imagine if he said, If you’re black and you hate crime,” tweeted Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
After that line in the address that filled most of the 10 p.m. hour, Clinton addressed Black Lives Matter supporters with a message about blue lives.
“If you’re a young African-American disillusioned and afraid, we saw in Dallas how great our police officers can be, help us build a future where nobody is afraid to walk outside, including the people that wear blue to protect our future,” the former president said.
Clinton spent much of his talk, though, describing how he met Hillary Rodham in the Yale law library — “in the spring of 1971, I met a girl” — and how they’ve “been walking and talking and laughing together ever since.” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow panned that opening as “not too feminist” for focusing on their courtship as well as “shocking and rude.”
The closest reference to the rocky points in their marriage? “We’ve done it in good times and bad, through joy and heartbreak.”
Clinton walked through points in their careers and parenthood, noting that he once watched all six “Police Academy” movies back-to-back with Chelsea.
After many Clinton anecdotes that led up to her time as secretary of State and beyond, the former president wrapped it up: “Now, how does this square? How did this square with the things that you heard at the Republican convention? What’s the difference in what I told you and what they said? How do you square it? You can’t. One is real, the other is made up.”
“You just have to decide. You just have to decide which is which, my fellow Americans,” he said. “The real one had done more positive change-making before she was 30 than many public officials do in a lifetime in office.”
“…If you win elections on the theory that government is always bad and will mess up a two-car parade a real change-maker represents a real threat. So your only option is to create a cartoon, a cartoon alternative, then run against the cartoon. Cartoons are two-dimensional, they’re easy to absorb. Life in the real world is complicated and real change is hard. And a lot of people even think it’s boring.”
Bill Clinton vowed “you could drop her into any trouble spot, pick one, come back in a month and somehow, some way she will have made it better — that is just who she is.”
“There are clear, achievable, affordable responses to our challenges. But we won’t get to them if America makes the wrong choice in this election. That’s why you should elect her,” he said. “And you should elect her because she’ll never quit when the going gets tough. She’ll never quit on you.”