The comedian revealed in a bonus clip that Bill Clinton’s speech during the 2016 Democratic National Convention, in support of then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, was a turning point for him.
In the speech, for which Minhaj was present as a “Daily Show” correspondent, Clinton called on Muslims to “stay here and help us win” the fight against terror.
“If you are a Muslim and you love America and freedom and you hate terror, stay here and help us win and make the future together,” the former president said during the convention. “We want you.”
The remarks didn’t sit well with Minhaj, who is Muslim. The comedian pointed out the irrationality of conflating Muslims with terrorists.
“I remember standing there and being like, ‘Bill, I hate to tell you this. … I don’t know any terrorists.’ I’m not Terrorist the Bounty Hunter,” Minhaj saids.
The comedian added: “He thought our only value was to help find terrorists, right?”
Minhaj concluded that “an angry internet post” about the remarks wasn’t the way to go, and he wasn’t “gonna get my humanity from Bill fucking Clinton. He’s just not gonna get it.”
But he did do something proactive about those comments.
“He will never understand where I’m coming from, my POV, the things my community has had to go through,” he said. “We have to claim that shit on our terms. So I just started working on the show.”
Clinton isn’t the only one who’s erroneously looked to the Muslim community for insight into terrorist groups.
The Obama administration had actually championed the Countering Violent Extremism program ― an initiative that provided grants to communities, religious leaders, law enforcement and other organizations to deter “at-risk” people from joining “violent extremist groups.”
But several civil liberties groups, including the Brennan Center for Justice, have pointed out that CVE turned into a program that singled out Muslims and painted the entire community as suspects.