CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, as have other media personalities and some politicians, likened the rise of Donald Trump among Americans disaffected with the major political parties to the rise of extremism. Offering his view that compared Trump to Islamic extremism, Zakaria said “A main cause of the rise of extremism in the world of Islam has been the cowardice of Muslim moderates who, for decades, chose not to condemn bad ideas and ugly rhetoric.”
Among American conservatives, said Zakaria, there is a similar paradigm at work. Conservatives, like moderate Muslims, are making the mistake of missing the “cancer in plain sight” in the form of Donald Trump. He argued that the same people who condemn Trump now had once approved of him and help his career while allegedly embracing “the rhetoric and tactic of the extremes.” Those who approve of Republicans aiding “the forces of anti-intellectualism, obstructionism, and population” led to Trump’s success thus far. A candidate who Zakaria described has “unashamedly” embraced all of it.
Zakaria has been a fixture in British and American media. He is the scion of a Muslim family of India that has long been involved in politics and publishing in his native country. Zakaria is a naturalized U.S. citizen who publicly endorsed Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential candidacy. In 2012, he was suspended for a week by CNN on charges of plagiarism that were later dismissed. He apologized for his mistakes.