Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, is showing all the signs of leading a fascist government. His latest action is to ban people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States. Not only that, but apparently also people from every nation who may happen to hold dual citizenship or was born in one of those seven countries could also be affected.
This is basic discrimination. It will do only one thing – create greater divisions between people. It will cause people to be more suspicious and intolerant of each other. It will lead to hate crimes becoming more common. It will result in more people being attacked or murdered on our streets. You can also be sure that if Trump is doing this a few days in to his presidency, then if left unchallenged, it is only going to get worse.
Everyone who is outraged by Trumps actions have a duty to stand up and say so. We cannot sit by the wayside and claim it’s nothing to do with you. It is. Every country is affected. Every person is affected. For the U, it’s not just because British citizens may now be banned from the US (the current status on whether Sir Mo Farah is allowed to return to his family and own home in the US is under debate). But because the same hate that Trump is fueling is also present in so many other countries around the world, including the UK.
Around the world
In Myanmar, so-called Buddhist terrorists are now routinely attacking and murdering Muslims, simply for being who they are.
Hindu extremists in India have lead a series of attacks on Christian and Muslim miorities. Intimidation, violence and murder are increasingly common.
Everyone is familiar with the terrorist activity carried out by supposedly Islamic groups, first by Al-Qaeda and now ISIS.
But the above examples didn’t start with extreme violence. Before it came to that, there was a growing trend of intolerance. Simple discrimination. Low level violence. Always backed up with a version of far-right nationalism which claims one group of people are better than another and are the only people who should live in that area. It soon escalated to murder and terror attacks.
[I will note, that while mentioning the different faiths above, I distance these terrorists from the actual religions.]
Closer to home
Let us look closer to home. Remember the 2011 attacks of Anders Breivik in Norway killing 77 people, mostly teenagers. In France, the Front National has been growing in popularity, pushing an anti-immigration, anti-Islam agenda. UKIP and especially Nigel Farage have done the same in the UK. Just remember that anti-immigration poster Farage stood beside the morning before MP Jo Cox was tragically murdered by a far-right terrorist. The whole Brexit debate during the referendum and since has been filled with an anti-immigration and hate filled rhetoric from many.
If you believe there is anything different between the Front National and UKIP compared to Islamic, Buddhist or Hindu terrorist, then you are wrong. Give enough time and space to implement their plans, to become more radical, or gain arms; we will see far-right nationalism in western countries descended in to the same hate-filled terrorist activities we see around the world.
The United States and Trump
So then it comes to the United States. Already, the US has progressed further down the path. Home grown, far-right terrorists, often claiming to be pursuing a pro-Christian or white-supremacist agenda have killed numerous people. Remember in 2015 we had the Charleston Church shootings killing 9 African Americans. It is said far-right extremism is a greater thread in the US than Islamic extremism.
Donald Trump’s election is just the next step in legitimising the views that lead to the above shootings. The more he proceeds to block immigration, discriminate against Muslims and spread hate through his words, the more violence we will see. Already since his Muslim-ban we have seen verbal abuse of airline staff simply for being Muslim and the burning down of a mosque in Texas (though the exact cause of the fire still remains unknown).
This is not OK and needs to be challenged. It requires everyone opposed to these actions, both in the US and around the world, to stand up and call these people out. We cannot let the US and Europe become ruled by far-right extremists intent on demonising those who they deem ‘different’. Europe has been ravaged by these same views before in the 1930s and 1940s. We cannot let it happen again.
But we are so far losing the battle. In the UK we see our own Prime Minister rushing to the US to be the first world leader to visit Trump. She has followed this up with a refusal to condemn his ban on Muslims, despite some of her own MPs being banned from entering the US as a result.
The EU referendum campaign was fueled on hate and anti-immigration sentiment. Yet we see many of our politicians who campaigned to remain now willing to appease the far-right and their desires to make the UK an isolationist, anti-immigration country. And for what? Not because it’s the right course of action. Immigration in the UK may need some changes. But it is not cause of all the problems we face, like the far-right claim. It brings us more good than harm. Instead they appease simply through fear of losing their own positions. It’s an unwillingness in times of difficulty to stand up for what is right.
But that is exactly what we must do. Stand up for freedom. Stand up for equality. Stand up for what is right, whatever the consequences. If you don’t see the problems yet, then you need to wake up. We are walking blindly in to a less tolerant, more dangerous world. The fight against it must start now. We all have a responsibility to be a part of it. For if you don’t stand against it, you are responsible for allowing it to happen.