Donald Trump is nothing, if not consistent.
In just a few short days since being sworn in as President, Trump has already cashed in one of his campaign promises by issuing a ban on refugees and citizens from a number of Muslim countries. This move is sending shockwaves all across the world right now, and could possibly have far-reaching diplomatic implications all throughout the Muslim world and the world at large. Even though Trump softened his language a bit since being on the campaign trail, his provocative actions have nonetheless sent a clear message: America sees Islam as a threat that needs to be dealt with.
This is a frightening, and potentially deadly message. But it’s hardly the only ripple in the pond. In France for instance, law enforcement officials forcefully made a Muslim woman on a beach remove her clothing as part of a ban on burka-like swimsuits. Hate speech against Muslims increased heavily in Britain after the country voted to leave the EU this summer. Even here in the states, there have been numerous reports of harassment since Trump’s election. But this ban creates a state-sponsored act of discrimination that far more alarming than any isolated acts.
On the one, I understand it. These moves aren’t based on some imaginary or irrational paranoia. There truly is an object to the fear people are experiencing. Unfortunately for our Muslim brothers and sisters, a handful of extreme fanatics have created a widening association with of all Muslims (ironically though, the same people supporting Trump’s ban out of fear conveniently forget about all the non-Muslim terrorists we’ve fallen victim to lately. The Sandy Hook shooter wasn’t some brotha named Mohammed. But I digress). In a discriminatory world, all it takes is a lone fanatic to create an environment of fear and paranoia. The minute a handful of Samsung’s devices started blowing up on folk, millions of them were recalled. Even Trump Jr’s now-infamous Skittles analogy made sense, in a manner of speaking. Many people in that same scenario would reject and entire batch of something, even if are only a handful of those items were defective. So in that respect, I don’t fault the president’s decisions. In it’s truest sense, his actions are an embodiment of the ‘bad apple’ mentality.
On the opposite end, Trump’s executive decision could create much larger and unintended consequences. First, it’s VERY possible that this ban will compromise and ultimately destroy relationships we’ve had with other nations – many of whom are Muslim are partners in fighting terrorism. For years, we’ve been an exemplar of morality; creating a model for peace and inclusion for countries around the world to follow. But this ban jeopardizes our standing in the world in that respect. But even more frightening, this kind of action is exactly what the enemy wants. Generally speaking, the purpose of terrorism is to promote terror. But by-products of this pervertedly-religious terrorism are (1) justification of extremists’ contempt for the West and (2) “recruitaments” for others to join their cause (no, President Bush, I haven’t forgotten that you once used made up that word).
Kidding about Dubya aside, there are only two outcomes that can come of out Trump’s ban:
(1) There is an actual and quantifiable reduction of terrorist activities on US soil (as if that’s really an issue). For a man as narcissistic as Trump, this would be the only evidence he would need to prove that he was right, it’s proven that his actions were not directly correlated. Not only that, it will likely cause him to go a step further and be even more aggressive with his policymaking. Worse yet, as I mentioned earlier, even if terrorism is decreased, it could possibly come at the expense of destroying long-stading ties we’ve had with our friends.
(2) There is an increase of terrorist activity in our country as a direct result of this blatant and broad attack on Islam. Sure, we could collectively watch Trump’s policy fall on its head – doing nothing to truly keep us safe – but it would most likely be putting American lives at stake. The enemy is resilient, deadly, and determined. No ban on Earth can stop an enemy devoted enough to his cause for destruction.
Either way, this is a lose-lose situation for America.