Protests erupted throughout the United States and the world following President Trump’s stunning order that suspended entry into the U.S. by refugees and other travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and Africa. Thousands demonstrated at airports and federal courthouses. Chants included: “No hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here!”
least 10,000 rallied against the Muslim ban in New York City’s
Battery Park on Jan. 29, while taxi drivers held a one-hour strike in
solidarity. On the same day, massive crowds jammed Boston’s Copley
Square—more than 15,000, according to the police. Over 15,000
marched in Minneapolis on Jan. 31. The protests have continued the
momentum and spirit of the massive Jan. 21 Women’s Marches in
Washington and hundreds of other cities.
Trump administration’s anti-Muslim policies represent a significant
escalation in the U.S. war on Islam. At the same time, these policies
are logical extensions of the bipartisan assaults on the civil rights
of Muslims in this country spanning nearly two decades, and always
justified as important tools for fighting the “War on Terror.”
a gunman opened fire inside the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre
on Jan. 29, killing six worshippers and wounding many more, the White
House and Fox News repeatedly characterized it as a terrorist attack
by a Muslim terrorist, audaciously exploiting this
massacre of Muslims
to justify their escalating attack on Muslims.
It was revealed quickly that the Muslim man from Morocco blamed for
the attack by reactionaries was actually a witness to the massacre
who had called the police.
perpetrator of the Quebec attack, Alexandre Bissonnette, is a white
nationalist who admires Trump, illustrating how individuals with
prejudices are encouraged into
action by powerful people using inflammatory rhetoric, magnified by
repetition in the sensationalist capitalist media.
the true story came out, the White House and Fox News continued to
maintain their “alt” interpretation of events. Meanwhile, in the
rest of the capitalist press, references to a “terrorist” attack
quickly stopped and were replaced with “lone gunman” stories more
consistent with the underlying narrative that recognizes violence as
terrorism only if the perpetrator is Muslim.
issued his edict against Muslims as an Executive Order on Jan. 27.
Rudolph Giuliani explained on Fox News the next day that Trump had
told him he wanted a “Muslim ban,” but he wanted to do it
legally. So the administration hatched a plan: “And what we did
was, we focused on, instead of religion, danger! The areas of the
world that create danger for us, which is a factual basis, not a
religious basis. Perfectly legal. Perfectly sensible. That’s what
the ban is based on.”
course “danger,” unlike religion, is a subjective notion. And
many see through this transparent rationale. Glenn Greenwald
explained in a recent Intercept article:
“The sole ostensible rationale for this ban—it is necessary
to keep out Muslim extremists—collapses upon the most minimal
countries that have produced and supported the greatest number
of anti-U.S. terrorists—Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, UAE—are
excluded from the ban list because the tyrannical regimes that run
those countries are close U.S. allies. Conversely, the countries that
are included—Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Iran, Sudan, and
Yemen—have produced virtually no such terrorists; as the Cato
Institute documented: ‘Foreigners from those seven nations have
killed zero Americans in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between 1975
and the end of 2015.’ Indeed, as of a 2015 study by the New America
research center, deaths caused by terrorism from right-wing
nationalists since 9/11 have significantly exceeded those from Muslim
Party politicians, and some Republicans, also criticized the
directive from the White House—often with surprising frankness.
Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) succinctly tweeted: “We bomb your
country, creating a humanitarian nightmare, then lock you inside.
That’s a horror movie, not a foreign policy.”
Trump administration’s ban is a continuation of the Orwellian logic
that has been a centerpiece of the War on Terror from the start. It
is the same logic that justified invading Iraq when none of the 9/11
perpetrators were Iraqi, and that reclassified every male in a
“combat zone” as an enemy combatant in order to artificially
reduce the number of civilian casualties from U.S. drone strikes.
is the same logic that creates programs like Countering Violent
Extremism (CVE), tying funding for essential social services to
cooperation with surveillance and entrapment of entire “suspect”
communities. Yes, the ban is reprehensible, but within the logic of
the War on Terror, it is also logical.
Action says we must stand together against Trump’s ban, and against
Trump’s registry, but we must also stand together against the
illogical logic of the entire War on Terror. We say no to
marginalizing and criminalizing Muslims. Solidarity with Muslims and
all oppressed people! Join us!
>> The article above was written by Karen Schraufnagel of Socialist Action newspaper.