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  • Clinton Says Trump Has Embraced the Racist Fringe of GOP Politics

    Democrats haven't been shy about pointing out the racial undertones in Donald Trump's campaign, but Hillary Clinton took that message to a new level Thursday, calling out the GOP nominee for purposefully whipping up racist bigotry and resentment. During a campaign speech in Reno, Nevada, Clinton presented something of a seminar explaining the extreme periphery of conservatism known as the alt-right and this extremist movement's ties to her Republican opponent. "From the start," Clinton said, "Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He's taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party. His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous." The speech came shortly after Trump presented an accusatory tirade against Clinton, claiming she was head of a worse-than-Watergate "vast criminal enterprise."

    The alt-right has recently blossomed from a little-known online community of activists—a group of white supremacists and anti-immigration advocates—into a major player in GOP politics, thanks to Trump's decision a week ago to overhaul his campaign leadership once more and hire Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen Bannon as his campaign CEO. As Mother Jones recently reported, Bannon has boasted that under his leadership, Breitbart was "the platform for the alt-right." And the Clinton campaign has spent the past week tying Trump to the most extreme elements of the Breitbart universe. Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook hosted a conference call for reporters right after the Bannon hiring and said, "This latest shake-up turns the campaign over to someone best known for running a so-called news site that peddles divisive, at times racist, anti-Muslim, and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories."

    Breitbart has a large and devoted fan base, but it is relatively new and not widely known. So Clinton ticked off a list of representative headlines from the publication in her speech Thursday:

    • "Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy"
    • "Would You Rather Your Child Had Feminism or Cancer?"
    • "Gabby Giffords: The Gun Control Movement's Human Shield"
    • "Hoist It High and Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims a Glorious Heritage"

    With Bannon in charge of the Trump campaign, Clinton said, the racist elements of the alt-right have "effectively taken over the Republican Party." But the Democratic candidate also noted that Bannon's hiring is a continuation of the Trump campaign's relationship to the right-wing fringe. On Thursday morning, ahead of Clinton's speech, the campaign released an unsubtle video featuring Ku Klux Klan members praising Trump and his policies. In her speech, Clinton cited a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department in 1973 against Trump's real estate company for not allowing African Americans and Latinos to move into his apartment buildings. She added, "He promoted the racist lie that President Obama isn't really an American citizen, part of a sustained effort to delegitimize America's first black President."

    Clinton's pitch seemed aimed at two separate audiences: people of color—who are perhaps most likely to be outraged by Trump's ties to white nationalists and his previous calls for mass deportations—and moderate Republicans who might support Trump but haven't ever waded into the Breitbart swamp. "This is a moment of reckoning for every Republican dismayed that the Party of Lincoln has become the Party of Trump," Clinton asserted. She hailed former Republican standard-bearers—Bob Dole, George W. Bush, and John McCain—who each disavowed racism in their party. The message to other Republicans was clear: It's not too late for you to do the same.

    Watch Clinton's full speech below:

  • The UN Is Calling for Investigations Into International Law Violations In Yemen

    Today, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called for independent investigations into alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws by all sides in the ongoing conflict in Yemen.

    Citing the civil war's devastating impact, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in a statement, "Civilians in Yemen have suffered unbearably over the years from the effects of a number of simultaneous and overlapping armed conflicts. And they continue to suffer, absent any form of accountability and justice, while those responsible for the violations and abuses against them enjoy impunity." A new report by the UN details many human rights abuses committed in the Yemen conflict, from targeted killings and the use of child soldiers to airstrikes on civilian neighborhoods.

    The war has pit Saudi Arabia-led Coalition Forces loyal to President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi against Houthi rebels and army units loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Since it started in March 2015, the conflict has resulted in nearly 4,000 civilian deaths and more than 6,700 civilian injuries. Nearly three million people have been forced to flee their homes, and at least 7.8 million people in the country of 24 million are suffering from malnutrition.

    The perpetuation of the conflict and its consequences on the population in Yemen are devastating," the report states. “The international community…has a legal and moral duty to take urgent steps to alleviate the appalling levels of human despair. - See more at:
    “The perpetuation of the conflict and its consequences on the population in Yemen are devastating," the report states. “The international community…has a legal and moral duty to take urgent steps to alleviate the appalling levels of human despair." - See more at:
    “The perpetuation of the conflict and its consequences on the population in Yemen are devastating," the report states. “The international community…has a legal and moral duty to take urgent steps to alleviate the appalling levels of human despair." - See more at:

    The rebels and their allies have allegedly killed hundreds of civilians in bombings and rocket, mortar, and sniper attacks. They have planted land mines and have prevented food and other aid from entering civilian areas. The Saudi-led coalition has been accused of causing the majority of civilian deaths and has targeted civilian buildings and infrastructure in its airstrikes. The UN report notes that in several documented coalition strikes, investigators were "unable to identify the presence of possible military objectives," and in multiple cases when military objectives were found, "serious concerns" remained about whether the civilian deaths and injuries "were not excessive in relation to the anticipated concrete and direct military advantage apparently sought," which is illegal under international humanitarian and human rights laws.

    The UN report comes the same week as the second annual Conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty in Geneva, where countries have gathered to discuss, among other issues, the continued arming of Saudi Arabia. Both the United States and Britain have inked arms deals worth billions of dollars with Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the war in Yemen. American and British-supplied weapons have been documented in Yemen following airstrikes that hit civilians, including internationally banned, US-manufactured cluster bombs.

    Last week, the New York Times editorial board opined that the United States is "implicit in this carnage" by enabling the coalition through weapons deals. Since Obama took office, the United States and Saudi Arabia have approved weapons sales worth more than $100 billion. The most recent, which the State Department approved earlier this month, is worth $1.15 billion. A week after the deal was announced, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) told CNN, "There's an American imprint on every civilian life lost in Yemen. Why? Well it's because though the Saudis are actually dropping the bombs from their planes, they couldn't do it without the United States."

  • Trump Attacks Hillary's "Criminal" Foundation, Forgets He Donated $110,000 to It

    In another harsh attack on his opponent, Donald Trump at a New Hampshire rally on Thursday accused Hillary Clinton of running a "vast criminal enterprise" that was worse than Watergate, alleging that the Clinton Foundation was part of some sort of pay-to-play scheme while Clinton was secretary of state. Trump did not cite any evidence as he repeated this hyperbolic charge and his supporters shouted "lock her up." Moreover, Trump did not mention that his own foundation donated at least $110,000 to the Clinton Foundation.

    As has been reported by the Washington Post's David Fahrenthold, who has closely investigated Trump's charitable donations, the Donald J. Trump Foundation gave two gifts to the Clinton Foundation in 2009 and 2010. The foundation donated $100,000 in 2009 and then reserved a table at a Clinton Foundation gala for $10,000 the next year. Fahrenthold pointed out that although almost none of the Trump Foundation's money came from Trump himself—the billionaire has donated less than 1 percent of the money received by the foundation since 2007, and he apparently hasn't given it any money since 2008—he still controls decisions regarding the Trump Foundation's disbursements.

    Trump has sharply attacked Clinton and her foundation all week after the Associated Press published a story on Monday night that reported that at at least 85 Clinton Foundation donors had met with Clinton when she was secretary of state. Right-wing Clinton critics have long charged that Clinton illegally gave special access and political favors to foundation donors, and Trump and his supporters seized on the AP story as evidence of corruption. "What is being uncovered now is one of the most shocking political scandals in American history," Trump said on Thursday. "A secretary of state sold her office to corporations and foreign governments, betraying the public trust."

    But the AP was criticized for stoking controversy but failing to provide any actual evidence that influence peddling took place while Clinton was in office. The Washington Post editorial board noted that the story "does not show or imply corruption stemming from the relationship between Ms. Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. In fact, emails to and from Clinton confidante Huma Abedin show that access-seekers associated with the foundation often were rebuffed." The Clinton campaign also responded angrily to the story, calling it "utterly flawed" for focusing only on 154 visits by nongovernmental figures and not mentioning that Clinton conducted hundreds of other meetings with government officials during her time in office.

    Yet Trump has continued to push the Clinton-is-a-criminal meme. Throughout his rant against Clinton, though, Trump did not answer this obvious question: If the Clinton Foundation was an illegal pay-to-play enterprise, what did he get for his donation?

  • Surprise! Fake Babies Actually Make Kids Think Teenage Motherhood is Awesome

    It's a common scare tactic in school systems that have the money to pull it off: Give teenage girls dolls that cry incessantly, need to be changed often, and basically acts like any newborn would. Make them take care of it for a grade. The exercise will, in theory, deter girls from pregnancy by having them deal with the consequences in advance, and it can earn them an easy A.

    But in a new study, Australian researchers found that the exercise is doing more harm than good—when they compared girls in Australia who participated in the program to girls who did not, eight percent of the girls who carried the doll gave birth at least once while they were still in high school, compared with four percent of girls in the control group who never worked with the doll. Rates of pregnancy overall were higher in girls who used the infant simulator—nine percent had at least one abortion, where the control group's rate was six percent.

    The researchers looked at Australia's Virtual Infant Parenting Programme in which a teacher, nurse, or doctor works with high school students over six consecutive days to drive home the consequences of teenage sex. Over this time, girls do workbook exercises, watch a documentary about teenage mothers, and take care of the simulator from the end of classes on Friday afternoon through Monday morning.

    The interactive "Baby Think It Over" simulators don't come cheap—in Australia, a pack of 10 simulators and the required equipment costs $18,245, nearly $950 USD.

    "Similar programmes are increasingly being offered in schools around the world, and evidence now suggests they do not have the desired long-term effect of reducing teenage pregnancy," said Dr. Sally Brinkman, lead author of the study, in a statement. "These interventions are likely to be an ineffective use of public resources for pregnancy prevention." How many of these simulators have been used in the United States? Current numbers are hard to track down. By one 1999 estimate, one million since the tool's creation in 1993. Today, Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania uses them in their teen education program.

    An analysis by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) also found use of the Baby Think It Over simulators problematic. Female students reported that their male classmates weren't taking the exercise seriously, because they expect the mother to take care of children in real life. Researchers reported similar findings to the Australian study—at a Midwestern middle school in a low-income Hispanic neighborhood, there was a 15 percent increase in the number of girls who wanted to have a baby as a teenager after using the simulator.

    The inequality between genders in classrooms where sex education is taught is widely criticized. Julie Quinlaven, an Australian researcher who has previously studied teen pregnancy, identified it as a problem for the VIP Programme in a commentary that accompanied the study published in The Lancet. "It takes two to tango," she writes.

  • This Woman's Reaction to Donald Trump Calling Hillary Clinton a "Bigot" Is Pure Gold

    Donald Trump turned the tables on critics who have branded him a racist by calling his presidential rival Hillary Clinton a "bigot."

    "Hillary Clinton is a bigot who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future," he told supporters at a rally in Jackson, Mississippi, on Wednesday. "She's going to do nothing for African Americans. She's going to do nothing for the Hispanics. She's only going to take care of herself, her consultants, her donors."

    The inflammatory remarks prompted the following priceless reaction:

    The next morning, Clinton's campaign released a new video featuring prominent members of the alt-right movement, including former KKK grand wizard David Duke, endorsing the real estate magnate for president.

  • How Donald Trump Won Over Europe's Right-Wing Xenophobes

    Last night, Donald Trump took his "America First" message global. Appearing at a rally in Mississippi alongside British parliamentarian Nigel Farage, the architect of the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union, the GOP nominee sought to re-energize his struggling campaign by hitching his star to Europe's resurgent right-wing populism. "On June 23, the people of Britain voted to declare their independence," Trump said, "which is what we are going to do also, folks."

    On a conservative Mississippi talk radio show earlier in the day, Farage compared himself to Trump, touting how he had won the Brexit vote against all predictions by the political establishment—despite being accused of xenophobia and "neo-nazism…There are huge similarities between what made Brexit happen and what can help Trump to win," said Farage, the former leader of the anti-immigration UK Independence Party. "The same thing can happen here." At the evening rally, Farage added, "If I was an American citizen, I wouldn't vote for Hillary Clinton if you paid me."

    Trump's appearance alongside Farage is the latest example of his campaign making common cause with ethno-nationalist political parties across the Atlantic. In June, Trump, while in Scotland to promote his golf resort there, proclaimed Brexit "a great thing," and his affinity with Europe's far-right runs deeper than their mutual dislike of the European Union. Farage shares Trump's penchant for racially charged rhetoric, such as when he told an interviewer he would feel "concerned" if a group of Romanian men moved next door but suggested that he would have no problem if they were Germans. Trump has received glowing endorsements from many of continental Europe's most controversial nativists and xenophobes—politicians championed by some of Trump's most prominent supporters.

    Among Trump's fans across the pond are National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, whom has been fined in France for "inciting racial hatred;" Dutch Party for Freedom founder Geert Wilders, who has likened the Koran to Mein Kampf; and far-right Belgian politician Filip Dewinter, who spoke on the "Islamization of Europe" at the May conference of American Renaissance, a white nationalist group. Far-right leaders in Russia, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, Italy, and Greece have also endorsed or praised Trump. Golden Dawn, the ultra-right-wing Greek nationalist party, made a pro-Trump video starring neo-Nazis. The Trump campaign has not publicly disavowed any of these endorsements.

    Trump has at times rubbed shoulders with some of his controversial European supporters. In April, leading Italian right-wing politician Matteo Salvini, who has praised the "good work" of fascist Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, tweeted a photo of himself posing with the candidate at a Trump campaign rally. Farage and Wilders, the Dutch nationalist, traveled to Cleveland in July to attend the Republican National Convention's Trumpalooza.

    Wilders, who has called for outlawing the Koran and taxing Hijab-wearing Muslims, was called "a friend to freedom" by Breitbart News editor and self-described "Trump surrogate" Milo Yiannopoulos at a party he hosted during the RNC. "He is the hope for Western civilization."

    "I'm not American, but don't blame me if I say I hope that Donald J. Trump will win the election in November!" Wilders responded. He went on to decry the influence of Islam in the Western world, before concluding, "for everyone that might have some doubts, we shall win, we must win, and we will win this war."

    Stephen Bannon, Trump's new campaign director, has been a champion of European ethno-nationalists. In 2014, Bannon, then the publisher of Breitbart News, announced the launch of Breitbart London, a vertical dedicated to supporting a European version of the tea party. It quickly emerged as one of the most vocal champions of Brexit; Farage has written dozens of op-eds for the site. Last month, after Farage resigned as the leader of the UK Independence Party, Breitbart London editor-in-chief Raheem Kassam (and Farage's former chief of staff) told the BBC he was considering a bid for the party's leadership.

    Under Bannon's direction, Breitbart News has written hundreds of fawning stories about ethno-nationalist leaders. "I have a political crush, but one I couldn't vote for today, because she ran for office in France," Trump surrogate Sarah Palin wrote on Breitbart News in December. "Marion Marechal-Le Pen is the new deserved 'It Girl' of French politics." Marechal-Le Pen is the granddaughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen and a member of his right-wing National Front. Since early last year, Breitbart News has published 75 stories about the Le Pens.

    The flirtation with European ethno-nationalists by Trump and his preferred media outlet may help to legitimize their nationalism in the eyes of voters by casting it as part of a global revolt against elites. And by reinforcing the similarities between his campaign and Brexit, Trump gives his supporters hope that, as Brexit proponents did in the United Kingdom, he can overcome a seemingly insurmountable disadvantage in the polls.

    Farage drove home that very point during his morning radio interview on SuperTalk Mississippi, contending that voters in the United Kingdom are secretly appalled at how their country has been overrun with foreigners. He spoke of his own shock at riding trains where none of the passengers spoke English. "There was an unease about this that had been building up," he told host JT Williamson. "For years, people said to me, 'Nigel, I listened to what you've got to say. I think you're right, but I dare not tell anybody because they might think I am some awful, dreadful person.' And what the Brexit vote did was give people an opportunity to express that."

    Williamson shot back appreciatively: "The similarities between that and Donald Trump are just amazing."

    This article was reported in partnership with The Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute. Additional reporting was done by Sarah Posner, Kalen Goodluck, and Jaime Longoria.

  • Clinton Ties Trump to KKK Supporters in New Video

    Ahead of a Thursday speech in which Hillary Clinton is expected to attack Donald Trump's ties to the "alt-right" movement, her campaign dropped a video tying Trump to his most vocally racist supporters, including members of the Ku Klux Klan.

    The video opens with a white-hooded KKK member saying in an interview that "the reason a lot of Klan members like Donald Trump is because a lot of what he believes, we believe in." The video then cycles through clips of white supremacists explaining their fandom for Trump, and pivots to footage of Trump unable to answer a question on whether he'd disavow the support of former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke.

  • White Man Calls In to C-SPAN to Ask How He Can Stop Being Prejudiced. Here's the Moving Response.

    On Sunday, an ordinary C-SPAN segment quickly transformed into a rare and moving conversation about racial attitudes in America, when a white man called in to admit he is prejudiced and wanted to change to "be a better American."

    Gary, an independent voter from North Carolina, told Heather McGhee, the segment's African American guest and president of Demos, an organization working to promote equal opportunities, that his views were the result of certain fears about drugs and the country's crime rate.

    "I understand that they live in an environment with a lot of drugs, you have to get money for drugs," he told McGhee. "It is a deep issue that goes beyond that. But when—I have these different fears, and I don't want my fears to come true. So I try to avoid that and I come off as being prejudiced, but I just have fears. I don't like to be forced to like people. I like to be led to like people through example."

    "What can I do to change? You know, to be a better American?"

    McGhee paused, visibly touched by the powerful display of honesty. She thanked Gary for having the courage to share his concerns, which could spark a much-needed dialogue for all Americans of every race and ethnicity to challenge deeply rooted biases. McGhee then outlined several ways that he and all Americans could try to overcome prejudice, such as considering to get to know black families, attending a diverse church, and turning off the news, which creates an image of African Americans at odds with reality.

    "Thank you so much for being honest and for opening up this conversation because it is simply one of the most important ones we have to have in this country," McGhee said.

    For more on the science of racism, head to our investigation here.

  • Why Is Everyone Flipping Out Over EpiPens?

    Update, August 25: On Thursday, Mylan announced that it would discount the cost of the EpiPen for some patients with a coupon for $300 off. The company blamed insurance companies for the high price of EpiPens in its statement: "We recognize the significant burden on patients from continued, rising insurance premiums and being forced increasingly to pay the full list price for medicines at the pharmacy counter."

    Like millions of Americans, I'm allergic to nuts—in my case, specifically peanuts, cashews, and pistachios. Although I try very hard to avoid those nuts, a few times a year I eat them by accident. Nuts can lurk tucked inside innocent-looking muffins or ground up in sauces. Within minutes (sometimes seconds) of eating a hidden nut, blisters bloom in my mouth. If it's cashews, my throat and chest tighten. As soon as I feel the first tinglings of an allergy, I take a Benadryl, which I carry in my purse.

    As nut allergy sufferers go, I'm really lucky: The Benadryl has worked every time. Within about 20 minutes of taking it, I'm mostly recovered, and all that's left of my allergy is a weird case of the hiccups. But anaphylactic reactions—the suite of symptoms that my immune system causes when I eat a nut—can be really unpredictable. Next time I have a nut accident, my reaction could be much more serious. And that's why, in addition to Benadryl, I carry an EpiPen, a lifesaving device that's been in the news lately because of its newly outrageous price tag.

    Here's a quick rundown of what you should know about EpiPens, and why people are so up in arms over their cost:

    What are EpiPens, exactly? About the size of a small bottle of sunscreen, EpiPens are syringes preloaded with epinephrine, a drug that can quickly halt a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction. They're easy to use: You basically jam the device's needle into the allergy sufferer's thigh. You don't need any training; there are simple, clear instructions on the EpiPen packaging.

    Who needs them? Doctors wrote 3.6 million prescriptions for EpiPens last year, according to the Wall Street Journal. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recommends [PDF] that the 1-2 percent of Americans who have experienced an anaphylactic reaction to anything—from food to bee stings to medications—carry two epinephrine injections at all times, replacing them yearly as they expire. (Epinephrine degrades quickly, so keeping EpiPens current is essential.) The number of people with allergies is growing: Food allergy incidence in children younger than 18 increased 18 percent between 1997 and 2007. Teenagers are more likely than adults or young children to have an anaphylactic reaction.  

    What happens if someone has an anaphylactic reaction without access to an EpiPen? They can die. Luckily that's relatively rare: The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology says between 63 and 99 people die from anaphylaxis yearly. But life-threatening anaphylactic reactions are common: They send more than 200,000 people to the emergency room every year.

    How much do EpiPens cost? The price of a set of two EpiPens is now hovering around $600. That's more than a 400 percent increase since 2009, when the price was closer to $100. Mylan, the maker of EpiPen, offers a $100-off deal, but not all insurance plans accept the coupon. The New York Times reports that people with high-deductible insurance plans pay around $640, and even those with "good insurance" are paying four times as much for the devices than they have in the past. EpiPens brought in $1 billion for Mylan last year. 

    Why did the price of an EpiPen go up so much? Because it can. If there were similar devices on the market, Mylan would have to keep its prices low. But there's practically no competition because it costs so much to get devices like this approved. They have to withstand unusually rigorous testing because a failure could be fatal.

    Is Mylan overhyping EpiPens? Are they overprescribed? Probably not. While it's reassuring that anaphylaxis kills so few people, the condition is also unpredictable: People who have only mild reactions all their lives can (and do) all of a sudden have a severe one. "There are no predictable patterns," notes Robert A. Wood, a director of pediatric allergy and immunology at Johns Hopkins [PDF]. The whole idea of EpiPens is that they're easy to use, extremely effective, and small enough to carry around just in case.

    Tell me some outrageous things about people who have profited from this price hike. Okay. NBC reports that in 2015, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch—the daughter of West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin—took home nearly $19 million, up from about $2.5 million in 2007. Mylan has also increased prices more than 20 percent on 24 other drugs, including 542 percent on one gall stone medication, according to NBC.

    Does this mean that all shot-makers are cashing in on our problems and therefore we can't trust vaccines? No.

    Is this the first time something like this has happened? Hardly. Price hikes on drugs are pretty common. It's happened with serum for scorpion bites and lots of drugs for rare conditions. And last year, Turing Pharmaceuticals famously increased the prices of an AIDS treatment and a malaria medication by 5,000 percent. Former Turing CEO Martin Shkreli is now under indictment for securities fraud. Shkreli, by the by, defended Mylan's EpiPen price increase, telling CBS, "Mylan is the good guy. They had one product, and they finally started making a little bit of money and everyone is going crazy over it." Thanks for the commentary, "Pharma Bro."

  • Beyond Burkini Bans, 4 More Ways France Is Cracking Down on Muslims

    On Tuesday, an image of French authorities forcing a Muslim woman to disrobe on the beach sparked outrage on social media. It was the second such incident in France that day—earlier, a beachgoer in a head scarf and tunic was fined because her attire was not "an outfit respecting good morals and secularism."

    The response was swift on Twitter, where people noted the double irony that such actions are only helpful to ISIS...

    ... a group that might be apt to do the same thing:

    Fifteen French cities have banned Muslim beachgoers from wearing "burkinis" in recent weeks, but these are hardly the efforts by French officials to crack down on Muslim customs in the name of fighting terrorism. Since the country's state of emergency went into effect last November, police have conducted thousands of raids on Muslim homes and establishments and placed hundreds of Muslims on house arrest. The country banned certain head scarves more than a decade ago. (Disturbingly, Muslims comprise more than half of France's prison population, despite being just 10 percent of the population. Our long-read on why French prisons are churning out terrorists, here.) Here are four others ways France is cracking down on Muslims:

    Bans on Muslim attire: In 2004, in the wake of two bombings the previous year and other attacks abroad, France banned public school staff from wearing head scarves that prominently displayed religious insignia. The ban also covered Jewish yarmulkes and Christian coverings that display the cross—the French house speaker said at the time that the ban was a "clear affirmation that schools are a place for learning, not for militant activity or proselytism." In 2007, the law was expanded to include anyone working in a public service job. Then in 2011, France banned full-face veils—which included the Muslim burqa and niqab—in all public places. It was the first European country to do so.

    Expelling imams: At least 40 imams—all of them immigrants—were expelled from France between 2012 and 2015 for "preaching hatred." About a quarter were sent packing in 2015 alone. In announcing the numbers, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve declared that any "foreign preacher of hate will be deported."

    Raiding Muslim establishments: Under France's state of emergency, police were granted new authority to raid private property without a search warrant and place people on house arrest without a court order. Human Rights Watch reported this February that French officials had ordered nearly 3,300 searches and placed more than 350 people on house arrest in less than four months—Muslim residents, homes, mosques, restaurants, and establishments were the primary targets, a human rights violation, the group said.

    Shuttering mosques: French officials shut down three mosques with suspected terror ties in the weeks following the Bataclan attack, marking the first time the country had taken such action, according to Al Jazeera. Many of the mosques' attendees were placed on house arrest or banned from leaving the country. Officials considered closing up to 160 additional mosques, according to one of France's leading imams.

    Back in June, Georgetown University professor Daniel Byman wrote in Slate that anti-Muslim pushback in the wake of terror attacks "makes it harder for European security services to gain the cooperation of local communities and easier for ISIS to gain recruits." France may indeed, as French prime minister Manuel Valls declared in June, be due for a "revolution in our security culture." But burkini bans probably aren't the best place to start.