Just a few hours after hosting an “anti-Islamophobia” meeting, Speaker Paul Ryan endorses Donald Trump for president, who has been both widely acclaimed and criticized for his proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country.
Think Progress On Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) hosted a meeting with the nation’s oldest interfaith peace organization, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, who pleaded with him to publicly stand up to the Islamophobia in his party and promote tolerance of refugees. A few hours later, he announcedhe’d be voting for the person who has been the loudest voice stoking fear of Muslims and refugees: Donald Trump.
Following their meeting at his Janesville, Wisconsin office, Anthony Grimes, the Fellowship of Reconciliation’s Director of Campaigns and Strategy, said Paul promised the group that he would visit the new Muslim Community Center and Masjid in his hometown, and speak out publicly against inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Before learning of Ryan’s endorsement of Trump, Grimes praised him for making “a bold stand for freedom of religion,” referring to his speech last year condemning Trump’s proposal to ban Muslim immigrants from the U.S.
Ryan has moved in less than a month from staunch opposition to Trump, to a “cordial” meeting with him, to an endorsement on Thursday, all without extracting any changes in his rhetoric or policies regarding Muslims and refugees, or apologies for past offensive statements.
“Words matter, and this narrative of fear and hate has a visceral and dangerous impact,” said Grimes. “We are seeing a quantifiable increase in violent attacks on places of worship and people perceived to be Muslim.”