By Osama Anas
As we cross the one year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration into the Oval Office, the amount of racist, bigoted, and Islamophobic rhetoric spewed from himself and his office has become too much to count. Through the controversial Twitter account, to official press releases, there is no platform safe from the ramblings of the US President. Although it can be argued the majority of Americans are embarrassed and condemn these dividing messages of the President, there is clear evidence that many Americans who share his views have become emboldened and reports of hate crime against Muslims are higher than they were post-9/11. With President Trump’s visit to the UK a real possibility, it is more imperative than ever to address his past comments.
Should Trump’s hate have been restricted to only the USA, then the unification of the British public against him may not have reached the levels it has today. However, the President seems unable to keep himself from getting involved in affairs he has no stake in, no knowledge about, and no jurisdiction over. He has repeatedly attacked London Mayor, Siddiq Khan, most notably after the London Bridge attack when he took the Mayor’s message to “not be alarmed” out of context and made it seem like he was underplaying the atrocious events that had unfolded. Trump’s son did something similar after the Westminster Bridge attack a few weeks prior when he took more of Khan’s statements out of context when the city was still reeling from the attack and emergency forces were working around the clock to secure the city. The Trump administration’s actions have shown their compulsive need to make political moves to further their own agenda in the wake of terror attacks, many of which haven’t happened on US soil.
More recently, Trump sparked controversy by retweeting three, inflammatory videos from far-right group, Britain first. This offshoot of the notorious BNP has been condemned far and wide from politicians on both sides of the spectrum and their deputy leader is currently being prosecuted for hate comments. One of the videos retweeted was quickly proven to be fake, and the other two were never sourced or confirmed. Even Prime Minister Theresa May, previously mocked for her inability to stand up to the President, made a stand and condemned his actions. Of course, Trump hit back telling May to “focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom”- while tagging the wrong Theresa. For someone with no experience living in the UK or being a part of our community, he always has something to say which almost always turns out to be incorrect and inflammatory.
Closer to his home territory, Trumps bombardment of Islamaphobic statements and actions is never ending. His notorious ‘Muslim travel ban’ caused outrage and resulted in a mess of professional actors and athletes being prevented from entering the country to attend their events as well as ordinary people unable to get to their families. The bans didn’t even have much backing considering the fact that no terrorist attacks came from nationals of the 7 listed countries.
Muslims are only one target of Trump’s bigotry with Mexicans bearing a significant brunt of the hatred. From the basic language used by Trump creating a “them” and “us” culture and a wall being needed to separate them, to telling Mexican President to crack down on “bad hombres” originating from Mexico. The President seems hell-bent on causing divisions in society, and is succeeding in doing so.
In January, the damning book “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff detailed the chaotic, unprofessional, and dangerous characteristics of the President exhibited during his 2016 campaign from a behind-the-scenes perspective. Although the contents of the book itself are evidence enough to show the unstable nature of the President, his reaction to the book further shows someone with a fragile ego. Most agree that if he had simply ignored the book, the book would likely not have anywhere near the attention it is enjoying today. However, his fragile ego pushed him to essentially run a free marketing campaign for the book pushing its sales through the roof. Trump even took to Twitter to assure the world he is “very smart” and a “stable genius.” I’m sure many Americans feel very reassured.
This only scratches the surface of President Trump’s abhorrent character and there are countless other instances documented long before he became President. If we believe in the key principles which bind us; anti-racism, equality, and basic human decency, then we must rally in our millions as Muslims, and as decent human beings against the visit of this dangerous man.