Anthony Moll: 21/02/2017
Trump’s executive orders, effectively barring immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries, harks back to an era when holy wars were commonly called for by rulers. In the eleventh century, for example, Pope Urban II called on his people to defend the Byzantine Empire from encroaching Muslim armies. What became known as the First Crusade in European History books solidified the image of Muslims as fanatical followers of a false religion and a threat to Christendom. This extreme prejudice could be what leaders like Trump are threatening to bring back into our society, with a divide so great between religious beliefs, that there is a fear created so strong that people feel the need to restrict the movement of a colossal number of innocent people. The order would ban all people entering the U.S. from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen, and yet no terrorist from these places has carried out a lethal attack in the U.S. Indeed, no Libyans or Syrians have even been convicted of planning such an attack. Moreover, the likelihood of being killed by any refugee from any country is just 1 in 3.64 billion a year.
The common vision of Muslims having outdated beliefs and being a threat to American culture is also misplaced. American Muslims are 81% first or second generation Americans who came from among the most socially unliberal countries in the world. Yet they comprise the most socially liberal and tolerant group of Muslims in the world. In fact, during the most recent seven years when Muslim immigration was at its highest level, America’s Muslims grew increasingly acceptant of other religions and homosexuality, ironic considering the apparent homophobia expressed by a decent percentage of the American population, given the opposition to gay marriage before the 2015 supreme court ruling making it national law.
Therefore not only are Trump’s policies ignorant and cruel to the huge number of innocent people wishing to visit America, but it is also abhorrently prejudiced, and there is no wonder there has been such a backlash from extremely popular figures such as Mo Farah, who said “‘It’s deeply troubling that I will have to tell my children that Daddy might not be able to come home”” – to explain why the President has introduced a policy that comes from a place of ignorance and prejudice.