At a rally on Friday, Donald Trump told a South Carolina crowd a typically Islamophobic–and very gruesome—story about something General John Pershing did to Muslim prisoners in the Philippines when that nation was an American colony.
"He took 50 bullets and he dipped them in pig’s blood." Trump said. "And he had his men load his rifles and he lined up the fifty people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said, 'You go back to your people and you tell them what happened.' And for 25 years there wasn’t a problem."
The pig's blood part is important, of course, because devout Muslims shun pork.
But, surprise! The story is total bunk. As trusty mythbusting site Snopes notes, the Pershing tale is an old anti-Muslim piece of nonsense, writing, "We haven't yet found any references to this alleged incident in Pershing biographies, however, nor does it match the way Pershing is generally recorded as having dealt with the [Filipinos under his control.]"
The site adds, helpfully:
Also implicit in this type of reasoning is the notion that "terrorist," "Muslim terrorist," "fanatical Muslim" and "devout Muslim" are all synonymous. They aren't: just as not all Muslims are terrorists, not all terrorists are Muslims; and just as the religiously devout are not all fanatical, not all religious fanatics are devout.
Should we be too shocked that Donald Trump is using a widely debunked story to peddle anti-Muslim sentiment? That question probably answers itself.