Monday, December 14, 2015

Making Enemies Of Americans

In "calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," Donald Trump's media release on Pearl Harbor Day added that even

Without looking at the various poll data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad,and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.

Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks. Afterward, presumably, Trump will welcome horrendous attacks. Nonetheless, "we are going to Make America Great Again" (as the release concluded) is a clever slogan for a candidate who believes America is great and whose followers agree. (Imagine a Democratic candidate proclaiming "we are going to make America great again." Good luck with that, Commie traitor.)

It is a policy of dubious (though probable) constitutionality, one which relies on the honesty of its subjects, and strategically foolish because it targets individuals by religion rather than nation of origin. Though preposterous, it probably would not carry with it the dangerous implications of registering Muslims, as Trump proposed, or other measures targeting Muslims who are citizens of the USA and/or legally residing in the nation.

While warning of the Islamist roots of Islamist terrorism, Jeffrey Tayler argues

We must regain confidence in, and appreciation for, our Enlightenment and Western values — reason, equal rights for all (regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or faith), and consensus-based decisions and the rule of law established not by ancient texts, but by elected legislatures operating under the aegis of a secular constitution.

We cannot do that with the restrictions upon Muslims favored by the large numbers of GOP voters who believe the practice of Islam should be prohibited, that none may serve as President, that they be required to register, or that their mosques shold be closed.  Instead, our mission- should we choose to accept it- ought to be to treat Muslim citizens as American citizens. As CNN's Fareed Zakaria has observed

The tragedy is that, unlike in Europe, Muslims in the United States are by and large well-assimilated. I remember talking to a Moroccan immigrant in Norway last year who had a brother in New York. I asked him how their experiences differed. He said, “Over here, I’ll always be a Muslim, or a Moroccan, but my brother is already an American.” [...]

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