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Charles's avatar

Is there an element of the American public that would favor an internment of Muslim Americans similiar to what occurred to the Japanese Americans in WWII?

Asked by Charles (4815points) May 11th, 2012

Consider the time immediately (within one year) after 9/11. Comments from newspapers (yes, we know many are anonymous) were hate filled, racist, etc. Compare that to 1) the government’s position in WWII and 2) the American public’s attitudes in WWII.
What do you think would be the result if, say on the east coast where passions might have been high (as it was the location of the 9/11 targets), the government began steps (registrations, interviews, even some initial preparation to relocate people) to plan an internment?

Question inspired from the absolutely fascinating set of 26 photos from the LA Times on Japanese internment:

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16 Answers

syz's avatar

Good lord, I sincerely hope not. If we cannot learn from our past mistakes, then we are a waste of oxygen.

Blackberry's avatar

I’m sure there are some, but they’re most likely the most uneducated minority in a rural area.

syz's avatar

@Blackberry Don’t underestimate the uneducated and bigoted. I’m still bitter about Amendment One in North Carolina.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Did you see the movie The Siege?

I wouldn’t put it past certain elements in the US to WANT to do this, but it would seem like an extraordinarily obtuse and unconstitutional way to go. We may as well shred the constitution if we do that.

How do you know who is Muslim?

Charles's avatar

“We may as well shred the constitution if we do that.”

The Constitution was around in 1943.

Blackberry's avatar

@syz Not surprisingly, the people that voted against it were mostly educated people in dense city areas. The less populated rural areas did turn out in droves.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I hope you’re asking this just to get a discussion going. Otherwise it’s disgusting.

CWOTUS's avatar

Of course “that element” exists! You can’t read a newspaper or turn on a television or radio and not know that. The element that wants to keep women barefoot and pregnant, that wants to divide the races, that wants to dominate other races, that wants to dominate other religions, that wants to dominate other cultures and (obviously) that wants to ensure that everyone in every way is “just like them” still exists.

So what?

As the old Arab proverb says – and how particularly apropos it is to this discussion – “The dogs bark, but the caravan passes.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

Noooo. I often wonder why they didn’t inter German-Americans during WWII, too.

Blackberry's avatar

@elbanditoroso All muslims are arabs, so we just have to round up arab looking people. Double points for beards and hijabs.

augustlan's avatar

Sure, but there’s a much larger group of people who think those folks are insane.

ucme's avatar

I just bet there are, that’s okay though, because those folks are thick as pig shite & should be thrown into a bucket to fester.

Ron_C's avatar

I’ve been to Malaysia and Singapore. Muslims live in peace with Chinese Buddhists, Indian Hindus, and Christians.
Most of the people that I have met that would be willing to lock up Muslims have never been out of their home county and watch Fox for the news. Unfortunately, there are are and awful lot of those people.

GladysMensch's avatar

Are you serious? Hell yes, there are people who would do this. People are dumb as hell, and scared people are easily influenced. Look how eagerly we gave away our civil liberties after 9/11.
Wiretap our communications without a warrant? Sure.
Hold “potential terrorists or terrorist sympathizers” in indefinite detention without access to a lawyer? Sure.
Torture? No.
How about “advanced interrogation?” Sure.
I truly believe that in the months shortly after 9/11, many people would have had little to no issue with widespread muslim internment.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

Yes, there are probably people in this country who would be just fine with something like this happening again, just as there are people who would love Jim Crow to come back, who think women should be kept barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, who would love a return to the Gilded Age… oh, wait…

Yes, these things do happen over and over again, which is why it’s important to be aware, educated, and vigilant. After World War II, everyone agreed that the Holocaust “must never happen again,” that we needed to prevent another occurrence of genocide. Since then we’ve had Cambodia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rwanda… (and that’s not even counting Guatemala, Burundi, Equatorial Guinea…)

While the Japanese internment in the concentration camps are not quite the same thing as genocide, I’m using that extreme example and the fact that it’s happened over and over and over again to demonstrate that given man’s inhumanity to man, anything is possible, and that yes, internment of Muslims could potentially happen at some point.

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