At the second presidential debate on Oct. 9, 2016, a Muslim woman asked both candidates a question about Islamophobia.
"There are 3.3 million Muslims in the United States and I'm one of them," she began. "You've mentioned working with Muslim nations, but with Islamophobia on the rise, how will you help people like me deal with the consequences of being labeled as a threat to the country after the election is over?"
Trump went first, and his answer contained a rather ... unique suggestion for the Muslim community: that Muslims around the United States need to "report the problems when they see them."
Simple! Making the world a better place means everyone participating. We're all in this together, right? Right?
The Muslim community, excited about its new assignment, took to Twitter to begin reporting all the problems around them using the hashtag #MuslimsReportStuff.
Turns out, there were many problems to be reported.
From the concerning lack of personal space between candidates:
He's behind you! #MuslimsReportStuff #Debate https://t.co/b9ueYfqO5b— Shaista Aziz 💙 (@Shaista Aziz 💙) 1476066515
To the more mundane struggles of laundry day:
Comedian Kumail Nanjiani wanted to report an underappreciated gem from the annals of film history:
And author Reza Aslan reported that the world probably can't handle the truth about hummus:
You don't want to know what we actually put in hummus. #MuslimsReportStuff— Reza Aslan (@Reza Aslan) 1476077740
Actually ... there were a lot of food issues that needed to be reported:
#muslimsreportstuff My mother uses store-bought filo pastry for her samoosas every single year.— Yaseen (@Yaseen) 1476097394
Also my buffalo chicken sandwich did not have enough buffalo sauce. #MuslimsReportStuff— Deanna ديانا (@Deanna ديانا) 1476068291
More to The Donald's point, however, a couple of truly heinous confessions came to light:
#MuslimsReportStuff every year I steal the dark chocolate from my children's trick or treat loot #debate— Dr. Nazli Hardy (@Dr. Nazli Hardy) 1476073550
One time I accidentally ate pancetta bc I didn't know it was bacon. It was delicious 😳 #MuslimsReportStuff— Nuha Krad (@Nuha Krad) 1476069297
But no one, especially Muslims, could ignore reporting the biggest problem they saw that night:
I need to report I saw an orange haired man on my TV scaring children #Muslimsreportstuff— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@(((DeanObeidallah)))) 1476069275
While many were quick to make light of Trump's proposal, let's be clear: Islamophobia is on the rise and uninformed rhetoric like his is partially to blame.
Trump's now infamous "Muslim ban" was proposed to combat the supposed threat of terrorism committed by refugees, despite the fact that refugees go through a lengthy and detailed (one might even say "extreme") approval process to enter the country.
Asking Muslims to report and stop acts of terror in order to combat Islamophobia is not only a simplistic solution, it reinforces the idea that the Muslim community as a whole is responsible for the acts of extremists.
That idea has been shown to be harmful and dangerous, time and time again. If you want to stop Islamophobia, or hate for any group of people, it's usually good to start by not painting that group with a single brush.