Reading the Trump administration’s new rules on who will be permitted into the United States from the six countries on Trump’s Muslim ban conjured up South Africa’s apartheid laws and worse. This is a bone-chilling glimpse into what the future may hold for America and Muslims in America.
First off, we need to stop being PC about Trump’s so-called “travel ban.” It’s ironic that Trump and his supporters who hate political correctness when they want to demonize minorities now want us to be PC about Trump’s Muslim ban. The six-nation executive order by Trump is nothing less than the first step in Trump’s path to achieving the “total and complete shutdown on Muslims entering the United States” that he promised his cheering supporters on the campaign trail — and that 65 percent of Republican primary voters wanted him to implement.
These new guidelines spring from the misguided Supreme Court decision on Monday that allowed one part of Trump’s Muslim ban to stand until the Court hears the case in full in the fall. That portion, Section 2(c), empowers Trump to ban anyone from six Muslim nations as long the person has no “bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” The Court explained that a “bona fide relationship” for an individual means, amongst other things, that they have “a close familial relationship” with someone living in the United States.
Now comes Trump’s version of “Sophie’s Choice” where he is deciding who in your family can come to America. Under Trump’s new rules, grandma is not allowed in the United States because she is not viewed as a close enough relation. Nor are in-laws or grandchildren. (Parents and children will qualify.)
This lacks any rational basis. If this was about preventing terrorism, why would a grandmother be barred? And even taking a step back, no one from the six countries on Trump’s Muslim ban has been involved in a terrorist attack on U.S. soil that resulted in the death of even one person.
None of this is about keeping us safe. That would be accomplished by a robust vetting system that investigates each person – not a ban that targets six almost exclusively Muslim countries drafted by a man whose campaign demonized Muslims.
This is how hateful discrimination is legalized. If Trump’s six-nation Muslim ban is upheld in full by the Supreme Court this fall, is there any doubt Trump will try to expand it to more Muslim nations in the future? (Of course, those Muslims who can help Trump make money will always be welcomed.)
Is there any doubt that the president who’s started an office to single out the crimes of immigrants — who are less likely than American citizens to commit them — will do more to crack down on American Muslims as another supposedly disloyal group here?
Trump’s lie that “thousands” of Muslims cheered in New Jersey on 9/11 and that “Islam hates us” was truly vile anti-Muslim propaganda. His right-hand man Steve Bannon provided a platform for anti-Muslim propaganda when he headed Breitbart.com. For example, he welcomed people like Act for America’s Brigitte Gabriel, who just visited the White House a few months ago, and who has declared that a practicing Muslim “cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America.”
Polls show that there are virtually no limits to what Trump supporters would defend in regards to the persecution of Muslims. A 2016 Pew poll found that 64 percent of Trump supporters believe American Muslims should have less constitutional rights and be subject to more scrutiny simply because of our faith. A CBS News’ South Carolina primary exit poll found 75 percent of Trump voters supported a total ban on Muslims entering the country. And a December 2015 poll of Trump supporters in North Carolina found 51 percent want to see U.S. mosques closed. Forty-four percent think Islam should be illegal.
Trump has been consistent about one thing as President: Serving red meat to his base. And one of its favorite pieces of red meat is Muslims.
That’s why Trump’s Muslim ban and his new travel rules are so alarming. They are not designed to keep us safe – they are designed to feed his base more anti-Muslim hate. And given the views of Trump supporters on Muslims, it’s bone chilling to think where this may end up.