DonaldTrump’s Views on Muslims
The ongoing nominations for 2017 presidential elections have beensome of the most highly charged and divisive in the history of the USpresidential elections. One of America’s richest business mogul andleading GOP candidate, Donald Trump, has drawn major global attentionfor his proposed ban on Muslim immigrants among a host of otherradical views. His view of Muslims was triggered by a series ofcoordinated terrorist attacks in Paris that claimed over 120 people.While Trump promises to temporarily ban Muslim immigration onceelected president, he has proposed that the current administrationshould do the same in order to safeguard the country from terrorists. While I agree with the general view that terrorism and Islamicextremism increasingly pose a greater threat to global peace, I donot agree with Donald Trump that barring Muslims immigrants willaddress the problem but might in fact exacerbate the threat ofterror. There are several reasons as to why I do not agree with D.Trump on the issue of Muslims immigrants as discussed in this essay.
To start with,Donald Trump is misinforming the public that terror as a global issueshould be squared blamed on Islam as a religion. Islam is a religionjust like any other and thus a few elements should not be used asbasis to condemn an entire religion that preaches peace. However, itis true that some Islamic extremists have hidden behind the cover ofreligion to wage jihad relentlessly killing thousands of innocentcivilians. They have taken to interpret and manipulate Islamicteachings to justify their actions. On the other hand, true Islamicleaders have been at the forefront on condemning jihad and terrorismand instead preaching peace and respect for all religions. Therefore,Islam as a religion cannot be punished for the wrongs of a fewelements. In fact, Muslims are the greatest casualties of terrorism.In Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Somalia, Muslims have bornethe brunt to religious extremism and terrorists. Thus, Donald Trumpis lying to the public and misinforming them all Muslims as potentialterrorists simply because of their religion.
To support this view that all Muslims are terrorists or supportterror, Trump claimed that all Muslims worldwide celebrated theSeptember 11 attacks on the world trade center that killed over 3000Americans. During a campaign rally in Sarasota, Florida on 28thNovember 2015, Trump said that “Worldwide, the Muslims wereabsolutely going wild” in celebrating the attacks (McPike). Hisclaims have been denied over and over again by Muslims in America andaround the world. Furthermore, his claims that entertaining Muslimsimmigrants will create havens for terror have been brandedinflammatory. Trump even made claims that Paris and London had somedangerous neighborhoods dominated by Muslim extremists. He said “Theyhave sections in Paris that are radicalized where the police refuseto go there. They’re petrified. The police refuse to go in there.We have places in London and other places that are so radicalizedthat the police are afraid for their own lives” (Haberman). Themayor of London has dismissed the claims and labeled them as blatantlies.
From a historical perspective, banning Muslim immigrants interfereswith the American identity as a cultural melting plot. In the modernage of globalization, the movement of labor and capital and otherfactors of production has increased tremendously and the idea thatthe US should bar ban a particular group of immigrants denies thevery essence of the US as a country made up of immigrants. The whitepopulation in America originated from Europe with the originalinhabitants of the lands being the natives of the Americas or the RedIndians. In fact, the indigenous population constitutes only a verysmall fraction of the population in the country. Therefore, denyingMuslims entry into the country would be basically interfering withthe evolution of the US as a nation. The country’s identity andhistory lies in immigration.
Furthermore, the proposed move goes against the American constitutionand the internationally recognize human rights. Various Americanconstitutional and statutory provisions prohibit discrimination basedon religion. In particular, the Equal Protection Clause of thefourteenth amendment calls for equal protection of all peoplesagainst systemic discrimination based on religion. This act protectsindividuals from selective enforcement of the law such as theproposed ban on Muslim immigrants. Title IV of the 1964 Civil RightsAct also protects American citizens from discrimination based onreligion. Banning of Muslims immigrants as proposed would not onlyaffect immigrants but also American Muslim citizens who may haverelatives outside the US seeking reunification. The fourth amendmentalso restricts security agencies from profiling suspects andindividuals based on religion, race and ethnicity (JusticeDepartment). The proposed ban would also shift the general opinion ofAmericans towards Muslims and roll back the gains attained sinceSeptember 11 attack.
The move would also put the American identity and history inpersevering democracy in jeopardy. Abdicating the constitution inlight of protecting the nation will encourage lawlessness anddivisions in the American society. The constitution was put in placefor a very valid reason to guide interactions among people.Therefore, when this constitution is selectively applied by the samegovernment that is supposed to uphold, then there is a possibilitythat individuals will develop apathy towards constitutionalism andthe identity of the US as the greatest democracy on earth will becompromised. In case of an amendment to the constitution being madeto accommodate the ban on Muslim immigrants, then it would amount toconstitutionalized and systemic discrimination. This would be incontravention of the natural law of justice and fairness which shouldbe respected by all constitutions (Finkelman 78).
Essentially, the proposed ban on Muslims immigrants is geared towardsprotecting the US from Islamic extremists. What this approach ignoresis that the approach not only goes against the constitution but isalso fundamentally flawed. The main reason is that the US is alreadyhome to terrorists and terrorist sympathizers and fundraisers whopose a threat to security inside and outside the US. The 2013 Bostonmarathon terror attacks were perpetrated by some American citizens.Further afield, some American born Muslims have been participating interror attacks most notably in the rag-tag militia Al-Shabaab basedin Somalia. Other Americans have been fighting for the terror outfitISIS in several countries around the world. What this means is thatif the Muslim population is the threat, then barring more Muslimsfrom entering the US will not solve the problem as there is asignificant number of Muslims in the US. Some American entities alsostand accused of funding terror activities either directly orindirectly. Several years ago, American charity firms operating inSomalia were accused of indirectly funding terror groups around theworld through aid (Zuckerman, Bucci and Carafano).
Banning Muslimimmigrants and other migrants especially from Mexico will secludeAmerica from the rest of the world. The US enjoys its place as aworld superpower by way of economic, military and cultural power. Theproposed ban on Muslim immigrants coupled with the construction ofthe wall between America and the US as Trump has suggested wouldsignificantly alienate the US from Latino and Islamic countries.Clearly, these Islamic and Latin American countries have significantlinks with the US and are key players in enforcing American globaland cultural power. Therefore, severing these ties will definitelylower American cultural power and influence over these countries andthe rest of the world. This cultural power has been critical inmarketing American brands such as American films, video games,automobiles, music and even apparel. Thus, the move might be thedownfall of the US as a superpower.
The economic,social and security challenges that the US is facing cannot be simplyattributed immigration. Donald Trump believes that all the challengesthat the US is facing begin and end with the issue of immigrants. Hehas been cited for blaming Kenyans in US specifically the incumbentpresident, who he believes was born in Kenya, for being a majorsource of problems facing the US. The economic dip and increasingunemployment levels currently facing the country are serious issuesthat need to be addressed through a sober approach. Trump, as acontender for the GOP candidate, is thus seeking to gain politicalsignificance stroking passions to score political mileage (Epsteinand Nicholas). I thus do not agree with his view which I believe isjust meant to seek popularity with the electorate and if carried outwould be disastrous on the American legacy and constitutionalism.
Through the ban, the government would be informing the public thatthe Islam as a religion is the problem. This way, there are likely toemerge religious and even ethnic hostilities that will greatlydisrupt social order. This would set a precedent for other seriousproblems similar to those witnessed by during the Holocaust inGermany. In fact several political commentators and opinion columnsin several newspapers globally have drawn comparisons between Trumpsrhetoric and those of Adolf Hitler (Lobianco). During this event, theNazi regime popularized the idea that the Jews residing in Germanyand other European countries were the source of the problems that theChallenges and problems that the country faced. While the US hasfaced numerous challenges such as employment, economic crisis,immigrant and social inequality, identifying Muslims and Islam asreligion as the enemy of the US and Americans will erode all thesocial good gained over the years that has seen many ethnic groupsand religions in the US coexist.
The alternativeargument that banning Muslims will keep America safe is wrong. The USstands accused of directly funding terrorist in foreign countries.These terrorists with time turn against their financiers and attack.The current case of IS or ISIL captures this view very well. Some fewyears ago, the US is claimed to have secretly funded the Arab Springuprising starting in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt to dispose leaders whowere assumed as uncooperative. The same approach was applied in Syriaand thus militants opposed to the government were funded before theyturned hostile against the US forces. The same approach has beenapplied by the US in Afghanistan prior to the September 11 attackswhere the US government funded the Taliban fighters to createstability in the region (Chengu). Then the question arises, who isthe real terrorist, is the US government the actual terrorist? Ifthis is the case, the move by Trump will not achieve anything infighting terrorism but will be a blot on the American history andlegacy in constitutionalism.
From the discussionabove, it is clear that Donald Trump is wrong on his proposed banMuslim immigrants. The proposed not only violates the constitutionbut also affects the American identify and history as a global nationmade up of different cultures, races and ethnic groups. Again, theproposal might in fact exacerbate some of the problems the country isfacing by losing its cultural superpower which has been instrumentalin marketing American brands and supporting the economy. The notionthat Islam as a religion is to blame for terrorism is also wronggiven that Muslims are the biggest victims of terrorism. Again, somehave supported Trump’s that locking Muslims away from the US willkeep the treat of terror away are not realistic. The man is preachinghate and in so doing may create a situation similar to the Holocaust.Based on these few elements, then this paper categorically opposesDonald Trump’s stand that the Paris terror attacks some time lastyear are a clear indicator that the US should ban Muslim immigrants.Blaming Islam and its followers on the threat of terror is simplisticand can create more problems than it seeks to solve.
Chengu, Garikai,America Created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS Terror Group, 2016. Web.
Epstein, Reid andPeter Nicholas, Donald Trump Calls for Ban on Muslim Entry IntoU.S. 2015.
Finkelman, Paul,Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties, New York: Sage,2013. Print.
Haberman, Maggie,Donald Trump Deflects Withering Fire on Muslim Plan. 2015. Web.
Justice department,Combating Religious Discrimination And Protecting Religious Freedom,
Lobianco, Tom,Christine Todd Whitman: Donald Trump Muslim comments like Hitler`s,2015.
McPike, Erin, TrumpReframes Claim that Muslims Cheered 9/11. 2015. Web.
Zuckerman, Jessica,Steven Bucci and James Carafano. 60 Terrorist Plots Since 9/11:
ContinuedLessons in Domestic Counterterrorism. 2016. Web.