I probably shouldn’t be giving “air time” to Trump’s ridiculous “celebration” claim, but it’s so outrageous I feel I must do what I can to counter it.
This article details an interview with philosophy professor Irfan Khawaja, who wrote a book in 2005 (“Rumor Mill: The Social Impact of Rumor and Legend”) in which he spells out the extensive research he did related to reports of Muslims celebrating the 9/11 attacks in New Jersey.
I mention the date of his book because it was likely his research was done within a year or two after the disaster — while people’s memories were still comparatively fresh. Further, he states: “At the time I did the research, I was absolutely open to the idea that celebrations had taken place and I looked high and low to discover whether or not they had taken place.”
I particularly found this interview question and Khawaja’s answer quite telling:
Why do people care so deeply about this? Trump’s comments have elicited passionate responses on both sides – people who swear this is true and people who are horrified that this rumor is so widespread.
This story has been driven by people who want it to be true.
To me, this pretty much sums up Trump’s popularity with his followers. Not only do they want the things he says to be true, but he is vocalizing their (IMO, very bigoted) perspective on the social and political environment of this nation.
“Wow! This guy really needs to be in the White House.”
I fully agree with one of the final comments of the interview: “The burden of proof is really on him [Trump] to produce evidence for the claims he is making.”
It will be interesting to see what (if anything) Trump comes up with.