Travel Ban: The Un-American, America

Jarin Islam, with the Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council, during a news conference amid a solidarity rally with the Muslim community of Los Angeles in response to President Donald Trump's executive orders on immigration, on February 3, 2017. (Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

As a Middle Eastern American and as a person who advocates for all human rights, I am ashamed to admit that I feel an insurmountable relief to not be considered a Muslim American.

Syrian-Lebanese Christians, as myself, are considered a minority within a minority. In fact, many of our ancestors were persecuted because of the beliefs within our own countries. We were lucky enough to find refuge in other countries where we could live away from the war’s destruction. Now, America is no longer an option to Middle easterners when it comes to seeking refuge from the bloodshed that occurs in their country.

Last week, Trump signed an executive order banning refugees from seven majority Muslim countries from entering the U.S. His intensions were to keep out “radical, Islamic terrorists.” As a result, less refugees will be entering the U.S. and will remain in the face of immediate danger within their homeland.

The larger impact of the ban sends a much more penetrating and obscene message: Muslims are the source behind all of America’s problems.

Muslims have been the target of America’s terrorist scapegoat prior to 9/11 and have been treated with anxiety and slandered against due to stereotypes that were born from media exaggeration.

Mainstream media has labeled them as a crazed, power obsessed, religiously radical, violent group of people, but this ‘truth’ that has been fed to us is a complete lie. They are continuously misunderstood, misrepresented, and mislabeled in American media as terrorists, Jihadists and radicals.

On the contrary, Muslim people are incredibly peaceful, kind and giving people that don’t deserve the scrutiny that has been thrust towards them. They are violent in the same sense that every white Christian is violent, think of Aurora, Colorado, or Columbine.

The media is and has been defining an entire group of people for the actions of a few, rather than the reality of many.

Trump is not helping alleviate the negative portrayal of Muslim faith any further with his ban.

Trump’s singularization of the Muslim people through this ban tells us as Americans that Muslims are the reason for the declining welfare of our nation, and further implies that they are not welcome in this country. The ban dismisses the fact that this nation was founded by immigrants from all walks of the world. Moreover, it shows that Americans no longer have religious freedom, and that this land is no longer a place for all. Instead, it is a place that persecutes all for disagreeing with certain political, social or religious belief. Most of all, this ban shows how unwittingly and dismissively Trump is ready to deny citizens and refugees alike. American ideology of liberty for all, for which this country was founded upon, and that anyone is welcome to the land of liberty and freedom, is gone.

Trump is singlehandedly destabilizing the foundation of this country that was built by immigrants by allowing America to become more fundamentally un-American through this Muslim ban.

As children, we were taught the words “This land is your land, this land is my land.” We believed these words, and we meant it from the bottom of our hearts.

I miss that America, and I believe in that America. I believed we welcomed all people of different shapes, sizes, colors, religions, and backgrounds with open arms. I thought we could call them our brothers and sisters.

I believed in equality for all, and I believed that everyone, no matter who they are, is allowed the same fundamental rights in this country, in which one could find salvation.

When we turn on each other, we become un-American. We become divided as a nation and therefore stray from the best version of ourselves, and in turn we stray from the best version this country can be, one that is for the people and by the people.

I want to believe in that again, I want to believe in the ideal, celestial, golden version of America that was presented to me at a young age. I want it for myself, and I want it for everyone alike that needs something to believe in. Everyone deserves an equal and fighting chance to live the life they want to live without adversity and prejudice.

  • Derek Snek
  • Arafat

    “The Game:

    Bringing other religions down to the level of Islam is a favorite tactic of apologists confronted with the spectacle of Islamic violence. Remember Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber? How about Anders Breivik, the Norwegian killer? Why pick on Islam if other religions have the same problems?

    The Truth:

    Because they don’t.

    Regardless of what his birth certificate may or may not have said, Timothy McVeigh was not a religious man (in fact, he stated explicitly that he was agnostic and that “science” was his religion). At no time did he credit his deeds to religion, quote Bible verses, or claim that he killed for Jesus. His motives are very well documented through interviews and research. God is never mentioned.

    The so-called “members of other faiths” alluded to by Muslims are nearly always just nominal members who have no active involvement. They are neither inspired by, nor do they credit religion as Muslim terrorists do – and this is what makes it a very different matter.

    Islam is associated with Islamic terrorism because that is the association that the terrorists themselves choose to make.

    Muslims who compare crime committed by people who happen to be nominal members of other religions to religious terror committed explicitly in the name of Islam are comparing apples to oranges.

    Yes, some of the abortion clinic bombers were religious, but consider the scope of the problem. There have been six deadly attacks over a 36 year period in the U.S. Eight people died. This is an average of one death every 4.5 years.

    By contrast, Islamic terrorists staged nearly ten thousand deadly attacks in just the six years following September 11th, 2001. If one goes back to 1971, when Muslim armies in Bangladesh began the mass slaughter of Hindus, through the years of Jihad in the Sudan, Kashmir and Algeria, and the present-day Sunni-Shia violence in Iraq, the number of innocents killed in the name of Islam probably exceeds five million over this same period.

    Anders Breivik, who murdered 77 innocents in a lone rampage on July 22nd, 2011, was originally misidentified as a “Christian fundamentalist” by the police. In fact, the killings were later determined to be politically motivated. He also left behind a detailed 1500 page manifesto in which he stated that he is not religious, does not know if God exists, and prefers a secular state to a theocracy. Needless to say, he does not quote any Bible verses in support of his killing spree, nor did he shout “praise the Lord” as he picked people off.

    In the last ten years, there have been perhaps a few dozen attacks in which death occurred by people motivated by a religion other than Islam (see GTD). Such a small handful of loners acting in isolation can legitimately be chalked up to mental illness or (at best) genuine misunderstanding.

    By contrast, Islamic terror is organized and methodical. Islamist groups span the globe with tens of thousands of dedicated members, despite intensely targeted counter-measures, and supporters numbering in the tens of millions. They are open about their religious goals and they kill in the name of god each and every day of the year. Verses in their holy texts arguably support them. There are none who will even debate them.

    No other religion is doing this. So while some Muslims may pretend that other religions are just as prone to “misinterpretation” as is their “perfect” one, reality says otherwise.”

    • Derek Snek

      So… what’s your point?

      • Arafat

        My point? To respond to the illogic and deceit in Mimi’s article. Specifically to her tiresome comparison of Christianity being just as bad as Islam.
        She mentions Columbine and Aurora as if these attacks were done by Christian fanatics when the perpetrators of those crimes were not practicing Christians.
        Meanwhile in the week ending 2/24 there were 38 Muslim terrorist attacks leaving 263 people killed and 281 injured. These attacks took place in 11 different countries and seven of them were suicide attacks. This information and further information on these 38 Muslim terrorist attacks can be found on The Religion of Peace’s website.
        Mimi’s insinuation that Christianity is as bad as Islam is misleading, untrue and only serves to confuse the issue. Islam is unique. Islam’s prophet was unique – uniquely cruel, uniquely greedy, uniquely power hungry. The Qur’an is also unique in its calls for cruelty against infidels and its insistence on world domination by Muslims.
        Christ and Christianity and the New Testament are the opposite. This is NOT to suggest Christians have not committed grave horrors in the name of their religion, but is only to suggest that when Christians do so they are sinning, but when Muslims do so they are considered heroes.