A man shops for traditional sweets for Iftar, or breaking of fast, during the Muslim month of Ramadan in Paris, July 2013.
Youssef Boudlal / Reuters

In the wake of the San Bernardino attack last December, U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called for a ban on all Muslims entering the country. In an interview with Fox Business shortly after the attack, Trump explicitly connected the failed assimilation of Muslim immigrants to terrorism: “Go to Brussels. Go to Paris. Go to different places. There is something going on and it’s not good, where they want Shariah law, where they want this, where they want things that—you know, there has to be some assimilation. There is no assimilation.” Although most politicians, in both the U.S. Democratic and Republican parties and abroad, condemned Trump’s proposal for a ban on Muslim immigration, more than one-third of Americans and over half of Republicans support it.

Trump is tapping into a deep-rooted fear. It is the same fear that sustains the popularity of many extreme right-wing

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  • CLAIRE L. ADIDA is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California San Diego. DAVID D. LAITIN is James T. Watkins IV and Elise V. Watkins Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. MARIE-ANNE VALFORT is Associate Professor of Economics at the Paris School of Economics–Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne University.
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