Trump's Trump Card

By Naveed Qazi | Editor, Globe Upfront

Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump has taken religious bigotry and xenophobia to a new level. He wants to close down mosques and monitor the Muslim population. His speeches are uncalled for political actions intended to further disintegrate the minority American Muslim population.

The American perceptions of justice are not universally accepted everywhere. His speeches for Presidential mileage have resulted in a gloating war against Muslims. It also means that American ideas of liberty are mere empty talks. World's second largest religion cannot be practised freely in America. He also wants a database where all Muslims are ought to register their identities. Donald Trump is making shallow assumptions that America is only suffering politically and socially because of Muslims.

His message had come in the wake of a deadly shooting by ISIS-inspired extremists who were involved in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. These events do roil the conscience, but as a minority population in America, not all Muslims adhere to the belief system of Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.

One cannot make an entire community responsible for these dauntless murders. Many Muslims are upstanding citizens and highly skilled immigrants contributing to the various sectors of the American economy. Does this mean that post 9/11, far right Americans and the media fascination with it have made Muslims open villains in their new public policy? There is a vilification of Muslim culture going on in America.

Several candidates condemned his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the US, with candidate Jeb Bush referring to Trump’s ideas as “unhinged”. Trump's ideas are further giving a rift between Islam and the west. It is also flaring the undertaking of extremists by reinforcing their narratives.

In fact, Marco Rubio, a Republican nomination believes that West is in a 'clash of civilisation' with Islam. This has made minorities in America, especially the Muslims not equal to others. The US can become an exemplar of unity and justice provided it chooses to do so.

America has had a history of slavery, despite attempts for emancipation. There are still racial tensions between blacks and the whites and structural injustices. American history has had a shameful period of discrimination against minorities, a rogue foreign policy, anti-catholic prejudices, internment of Japanese- Americans and turning away to Jewish refugees who flew the Nazis.

America has a civilian population of 270 million who hold guns. It means it has 50% more firearms per capita.  To add more facts, it is not the Muslim population that generally own the guns, but the white men do. Only 32 percent of the American population are white men, but 61 percent of them own guns. Cities like Chester, Pennsylvania, Detroit, Michigan and Camden, New Jersey have highest homicides, which necessarily don't involve Muslims. In fact, gun crime is prevalent in America than any other country.

People need to make a choice to reject fear mongering. Throughout America, attitudes towards Muslims are mixed. Islamophobia is not widespread, but it is prevalent among certain groups and in certain locations. Shortly after the shootings in San Bernadino, California, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found that “51 percent of Americans view Muslims living in the United States the same as any other community, while 14.6 percent are generally fearful”. 

Rather than instilling fears, leaders need to construct constructive spaces for discussions. A leader needs to inspire all sections of the society.  A modern society is grounded in the insignia of enlightenment, values and retrospection. Donald Trump has shown no political correctness. On the contrary, his statements are immature. Rather than measuring the equity of the plural character of his State, he is trying to distance the minorities and is making them alien. To be clear, he is trying to make Muslims in America less American than the rest.


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