29 January 2017
Within minutes of Donald Trump signing his
executive order banning the entry of nationals from seven Muslim-majority
countries, the horror stories started coming through. Sudanese friends and
relatives, some of whom had lived their entire lives in the United States, some
who were in the air as the order was signed, found themselves prevented from
entering the country.
Some were turned back from boarding their
flights; others were handcuffed in airports, patted down and interrogated on
their political beliefs. Mothers, fathers, children, students, employees
suddenly found that the unthinkable had happened. They had been banned from
returning to their jobs and studies, to their families and homes because they
The thought was almost too evil, too
grotesque, to countenance. The hours after the ban felt like living through a
chapter of history that we’d left behind. Events unfolded the likes of which we
had only ever seen in documentaries, in fragments of newsreels from the
archives. Travellers in tears, stern officers “just following orders”, refugees
on the cusp of safe harbour wild with despair at the uncertain fate to which
they must return, confused children huddled behind their parents as they plead
with authorities, their faces speaking of fear, confusion and the sense that
something is about to change forever.
And something has. The Islamophobia that we
have witnessed rise over the past decade has finally burst its banks. The first
thought was that surely common sense would prevail, surely there would be some
grace period, surely there would eventually be a challenge from some sensible
authority that would stop the madness. None of these things came to pass.
And then there was the personal body blow.
I now cannot travel to the US, a country I visit frequently and in which I have
work interests, close family and dear friends. It is a curious feeling, a new
feeling. One that collapses space-time and connects you to all those before you
who have found themselves on the ugly end of a collective insanity. It is a
feeling that rocks the very ground on which you thought we all stood.
Suddenly, all certainties look shaky.
Residencies, passports, green cards, jobs, mortgages, friends, marriages – all
the things you thought fortified you against the mobilisation of state
machinery – dissolve. You are only a Muslim. And what does that mean? It is a
tag that defies definition, becoming more elusive the more you try to pin it
down. I was reminded of a scene from a dramatisation of Roots author Alex
Haley’s life, when he, dressed proudly in his US Coast Guard uniform and
sporting his medals, confidently asks for a hotel room for the night for him
and his wife. When he is refused one for being black, he returns to his car
enraged – not at those who denied him but at himself for thinking he was exempt.
“All they saw was a monkey.”
The arbitrariness of the ban is brazen. No
Sudanese citizen has ever perpetrated an attack in the US. But Sudan is poor
and has no strategic importance to Trump. It also has a majority-Muslim
population – one that has suffered for years under a dictatorial regime that
recklessly landed the country on a terror watch list some 20 years ago.
Incidentally, Sudan is also a country that Barack Obama lifted sanctions from
before he left office. This wasn’t even a proper Muslims ban. It was a
Muslims-we-can-afford-to-cross ban. A ban that throws Muslims to the baying
crowds that voted for Trump – but only the most vulnerable ones.
The entire premise of the executive order –
that it would facilitate more thorough checks on those entering the US – is a
lie. Applying for a US visa from any of the seven countries is already an
exercise in extreme vetting. Following a mandatory interview, applications
sometimes languish for months in “administrative processing”, a euphemism for
an exhaustive investigation of information that extends to your entire academic
and professional history. This is often followed up by “secondary processing”
at US ports where an unfortunate match on a name or a typo on an application
can condemn one to hours in a room that, it seemed to me, is overwhelmingly
populated by Muslims.
This did not start with Trump; it’s
something that is only reaching its climax. For years, as people warned against
the mainstreaming of Islamophobia, they were met with equivocation. “Islam is
not a race”, “we are criticising Islam, not Muslims”, “we condemn all religion,
not just Islam”. Mosques were attacked, women were spat on and had their Hijabs
snatched from their heads. Western media, led by the British tabloid press,
established an industry of hysteria against Muslims with fake news. The Niqab
and its banning commanded hours of debate in European parliaments.
All the while Muslims repeatedly hit the
panic button and were told that they needed to stop overreacting and being so
precious. Right-wingers exploited Islamophobia to channel anti-immigration
hatred, and liberalism took refuge in intellectual handwringing and posturing
over prophet cartoons and freedom of speech and women’s rights, unable to ally
itself with what it perceived to be a backward Muslim tradition, and failing to
understand that the danger to everything the west stands for is not from
Islamic extremism but from the response to it.
“We’re liberals!” boasted the renowned US
talk-show host Bill Maher about himself and his partner in muscular atheism,
the secularist philosopher Sam Harris. “We’re trying to stand up for the
principles of liberalism! And so, y’know, I think we’re just saying we need to
identify illiberalism wherever we find it in the world, and not forgive it because
it comes from [a group of] people perceive as a minority.” But he was merely
setting up the straw man to knock it down. No one was asking for forgiveness,
merely an understanding that collective condemnation of a people via attacking
their religion meant collective punishment.
And here we are. It unfolded before our
eyes and yet many still could not see it coming. It became apparent that people
would pay attention only if something terrible happened, and by then it might
be too late. Now something terrible has happened, but it can and will get
worse. If the past seven days have taught us anything, it is that events that
seem to happen overnight are actually the climax of years of complacency.
Yet still we see that complacency in the
form of Theresa May – whom we are told can be a restraining influence –
literally hand in hand with Trump just before he signed an order that condemned
millions to pariah status for nothing other than an accident of birth. Even as
it emerged that British passport holders were subject to the ban, May had
nothing to say other than that it was a matter for the US to determine. Only
when pressed in the face of mounting anger did she state that she did not
“agree” with the ban, as if it were a matter of opinion. This appeasement, this
stale, morally bankrupt logic of pragmatism is what continues to render the
It is heartening to see lawyers, protesters
and federal judges move to support and block the ban, but let us not only
scramble at the 11th hour to fight the results of bigotry, let us fight the
root causes. We now see, in the most graphic of ways, where failure to do that
Whether Donald Trump did the right thing or
not, this ban is undoubtedly a black mark on Islam. Who is to be blamed? I find
fault with the Ulemas, Mullahs, Alims, and Ayatollahs, who have not properly
guided the Muslim masses. They trained the masses to show anger when Islam is strongly
criticised as in the case of Salman Rushdie’s “Satanic Versus” or Danish
There were no mass protests when Islamic
Justice was dispensed unfairly. Especially when 14 year old student Malala was
shot on her head, for promoting education among girls; when suicide bombers
blast themselves inside Shia Mosques; when ISIS annihilating Yazidis, use them
as sex slaves, beheading innocent people; or when they destroy the temples,
churches and other places of worship.
Muslims have not learned anything from other
religionists. Japanese Buddhist have not jumped into American restaurants with
suicide bombs for the atomic bombing; nor did the Jews attack Germans for the Holocaust.
When a Muslim youth Mehmet Acai shot four times at the Pope, a spiritual leader
of 1200 million Catholics, there was no retaliation; nor When Uganda president
Idi Amin shot through the mouth of Archbishop of Uganda.
If the Jihadists attack European cities, what
will be the reaction of the Europeans? They will feel themselves as small and
foolish and praise the Americans for electing Donald Trump.
Allah says: “Where there is no vision people
Mr. Hats off asks, “how many muslim
refugees have been taken by saudi arabia, qatar, bahrain or the UAE?” Here are
some useful pieces of information from Google as you are very fond of it and
Saudi Arabia Receives 4 Million Syrian and Yemeni Refugees
Since the Syrian war began three years ago, Saudi Arabia
had provided about $700 million in humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees,
according to the foreign ministry.
Saudi Arabia was among the first nations to rush into
helping the Syrian people, whether inside their country or in their asylum states
like Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan.
You can read full article on the link below