Muslim congressman receives death threat

Muslim congressman receives death threat
© Greg Nash

One of the two Muslim members of Congress received a death threat this week that he is linking to “demagoguery" from billionaire Donald Trump.  

“I just received a death threat yesterday in my own office, and it’s largely in part to this toxic environment,” Rep. Andre CarsonAndré CarsonLive coverage: House holds first public impeachment hearing Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move House Democrats urge Trump to end deportations of Iraqis after diabetic man's death MORE (D-Ind.) said on CNN on Tuesday.

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“What concerns me is you have the demagoguery taking place from people who are seeking to become president of the United States,” the four-term congressman said. “You have other politicians who are joining the bandwagon and who are fanning the flames of bigotry.”

A Carson spokeswoman told USA Today that the office had referred the threat to the U.S. Capitol Police, and that the Monday threat was not the first one Carson has received.

It’s unclear whether Carson’s death threat was received after Trump on Monday proposing temporarily preventing Muslims from entering the United States. 

The comments from Trump, who has held a steady lead on the Republican presidential primary race, were swiftly condemned by civil rights leaders and many fellow Republicans, who called them beyond the pale.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R) on Tuesday said that Trump's proposal was “not conservativism.”

Carson has previously faced opposition over his religion, particularly after his selection this year to be the first Muslim on the House Intelligence Committee. The conservative Center for Security Policy think tank — which Trump cited in his proposal to keep Muslims out of the country on Monday — this year accused Carson of having “ties to the Muslim Brotherhood” that make him unfit to serve on the Intelligence Committee.  

Rep. Keith EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonProgressives ramp up fight against Facebook Judge threatens to put prison officials in same uncooled cells as inmates Minnesota students file federal lawsuit against school district alleging 'deliberate indifference' to racist incidents MORE (D-Minn.) — the first Muslim elected to Congress, in 2006 — said on MSNBC on Tuesday that Trump’s comments “turn us against each other.”

“This is a typical and historic game that is played,” Ellison said, citing divisive figures such as late Alabama Gov. George Wallace (D), “whipping up hate and hysteria to elevate his political position but not really offering anyone any real solutions other than himself.”