Donald Trump signed an executive order that will thwart and preclude deserving refugees and immigrants, primarily Muslims, from entering the US.
The “Muslim ban” has euphemistically now morphed into “extreme vetting”.
Even though a Court of law has declared many clauses unconstitutional, a watered down and still dangerous version of the “extreme vetting” measures will be applied.
The US president legitimized this illegitimate “extreme vetting” as a way to “keep the terrorists out”. It is Trump`s political Trojan horse to avoid shouldering responsibility for integrating refugees, the bulk of which are being hosted by Turkey and European countries.
Pakistan is admirably home to 3 million refugees. America should shoulder refugee responsibility as they and coalition partners are the ones who bomb Muslim-majority countries back to the bronze ages. The “extreme vetting” allows Christians immigrants entry so this is a clear case of religious profiling and bigotry.
Trump officially decided to ban all citizens from Syria, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Somalia and Sudan. Yet none of these nations nor their citizens have perpetrated any attack on US soil. The September 11th attackers, by far the most despicable and gruesome attack on US land, hailed from Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Trump`s banned list of countries does not cover Belgium, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and other Western nations who harbor more “home-grown lone wolf” terrorists than all the aforementioned Muslim majority countries put together.
Trump grasps a hammer to crash a nut. He is missing the nut. Reality is too bitter for neocons to digest. Western societies through decades of flawed foreign policy, stigmatizing education policies like UK`s `Prevent`, a failure of social integration, targeted killings, drones, the rise of the extreme far-right, illegal detention and torture at black sites and cells have been substantially responsible for breeding a disproportionate number of terrorists.
Trump`s blatantly naïve and misguided attempt at sealing borders and shutting down immigration wholesale likely implies that terrorists will recruit homegrown lone-wolf terrorists from within the US itself like Dzhokhar Anzorovich Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the perpetrators of the 2013 Boston marathon attacks, who were American citizens so too was Yussef Abdulazeez the Chatanooga terrorist.
Extreme vetting is based on religious and even racial profiling by “demonizing and otherizing” entire cultures, which is inherently primitive and self-defeating. Such selective targeting and profiling only leads to more alienation, hate and insularity.
How does extreme vetting preclude the Muhammed Emwazis (Jihadi John) or Richard Reids who were born and bred in Britain? London`s 7/7 attackers were British born and raised with profuse Yorkshire accents.
Western countries, paradoxically, pose a far greater menace to the US than the refugees who risk life and limb, kith and kin seeking safe sanctuary at Europe`s now unwelcoming footsteps.
Sycophants like Boko Haram, Isis and al-Qaeda use Western prejudices against the West for many years, which is exactly why Osama Bin Laden recruited a “white army of terror” from the enormous converts brain-washed by him. 62 percent of French fighters who joined Isis are white converts.
Religious, racial and even gender profiling is deeply flawed. If Western authorities only profile men, extremists will hire women, just as the Paris Bataclan attackers did, as the Chechens did with their Black Widows, as the Red Mosque terrorists did with Tashfeen Malik who ended up in San Bernardino. The unsavoury Abdul Aziz from the Red Mosque cross-dressed as a woman in a niqab to evade seizure.
Will all American Muslims in headscarves and beards be imperiled to heightened levels of inspection by hate-mongers, their professional co-workers and neighbourhood? If so, this will irreparably split communities asunder, achieving exactly what terrorists desire. The ramifications for American community relations, already on a knife`s edge, are detrimental.
Religious profiling of suspects never deters terrorism. If anything, it exacerbates it. By publicizing and broadcasting what authorities are looking for in advance, namely anyone with dark skin, a beard or a head scarf, we gift terrorists a head`s up in knowing exactly what not to look like.
Islam is not a race. It is a global faith, espoused by over a billion followers. Faiths attract citizens of all races, hues, stripes and skin colors. If US authorities commence profiling people of “Arab” or “brown” skin color, fundamentalists will recruit white Muslims from the Caucasus, like the aforementioned Tsarnaev brothers of the Boston Marathon infamy.
If, like Trump, we selectively screen all those who come from Muslim-majority countries, terrorists will hire Uyghur Muslims from China, India or Russia, all non Muslim majority nations that host more Muslims than plenty of Middle Eastern states put together.
By telling terrorists what we are looking for, they will know what to avoid. We make their job easier.
Screening external signs of “faithful devotion” or “religious piety” can be unbelievably deceptive. The Paris Charlie Hebdo killers, the Kouachi brothers were aspiring rappers with girlfriends, the September 11 terrorists went to strip clubs and casinos, the Paris Bataclan attackers frequented gay bars and consumed copious amounts of alcohol.
Terrorists have no racial, religious or ethnic stereotype.
It is misleading to look for stereotypes as in doing so Trump and his Regressive Right-wingers will invariably miss the terrorist. Psychological and behavioral patterns are always a more trustworthy pointer that something is stirring, instead of faith or ethnic indications. It is wiser to report strange behavior, which is neither racist nor anti-Muslim.
Explicit signs of anxiety, regular transfers or provisions of obscure items at odd hours, or internalizing a fanatically dogmatic attitude, are more questionable than appearance.
If the above was more widely accepted, people would be less hesitant to report suspicious action for the right reasons. Similarly, the broader public—and our fellow Muslims—will better comprehend that what is being reported is suspicious behavior, and not a racial or religious stereotype.
A combination of refining what we are looking for, whilst lowering the stigma about looking for it, would literally save lives and bring communities closer.