By T Navin
President Donald Trump you have placed restrictions on entry of immigrants from seven Muslim countries in your executive order dated 27th January, 2017. You have placed restrictions in the name of security of American citizens and protecting them from the threat of terrorism. The concern for security of American citizens is welcome. So also is the case of being concerned with repetition of September 11th event. It truly was a human tragedy in which 2,600 Americans lost their lives.
However, while it is accepted that terrorism has claimed lives of Americans and needs to be condemned, it also needs to be acknowledged that far greater proportions have lost their lives due to American militarism in these countries. It is estimated that American militarism in Iraq has led to about 5 lakh deaths. This includes lots of children. Many children became orphans and families became homeless.
While it is true that lives need to be protected through checking terrorism emanating from some of these countries, but how about checking deaths that emanate due to, American militarism and imperialism? Isn’t it necessary to also place restrictions on that? Haven’t the interests of US corporations, oil interests led to loss of so many lives in these countries? Can restrictions be placed on entry of US military and corporations to these countries in a similar manner? Moreover, isn’t it a fact that American misadventure in these countries led to rise of growth of groups such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS?
In the process of targeting the immigrants from Muslim countries, you are only mainstreaming the Islamophobia. You are branding every person belonging to a particular religion as a ‘potential terrorist’. You are creating a divide between Muslims and Non-Muslims within your own country and creating distrust.
Moreover, the theory that you are trying to build goes against the available facts. An FBI report shows that only a small percentage of the terrorist attacks carried out on the US soil between 1980 and 2005 were perpetuated by Muslims. The data shows that among incidents of terrorism in US between the period included: 42% (Latinos), Extreme left wing groups (24%), Jewish extremists (7%), Islamic extremists (6%), Communists (5%) and others (16%). Among 2,700 terrorist incidents between 1970 t0 2015 as compiled by START database, only 60 involved Muslims.
You have described your measure as a way to “keep radical Islamic terrorists” out of America. Your act will only lead to mass alienation among Muslims and create a divide among people based on religious identity. Your actions may be supported by non-Muslim fanatic groups and will encourage fanatic elements within Islam. This is at the cost of the large majority who continue to be innocents.
Your attempts are only building a coalition of hatred against a religious community by uniting fanatics across religions in different religions. In India, you have admirers in Hindu Sena. Your order gets support by a fanatic named Yogi Adityanath, who justifies the need for such an act in India too.
Trump, through the Executive order, you are only building a coalition of propagators of Islamophobia. Your actions are only divisive and go against the entire liberal-democratic ethos. You are only on the way to build a much darker world. In this world, trust is based on ones religious identity. Safety and security is dependent on one’s religious background.
Trump, we oppose your actions.
Author: An Indian Citizen
3 February 2017