Contrary to all the global uproar now creasing the world over President Donald Trump’s decision to ban Muslims from entering the United States, it must be said that the US is not alone.
Soon after the Sept 11 attacks in the United States, then US president George W Bush aghast on how students using study passes were obtaining easy entry into his country ordered all such privileges stopped indefinitely.
There was also overt and covert pressure on Asian nations to stop the entry of students from Muslim nations.
One South-East Asian nation which was assiduously trying to build its international profile as an education hub suffered huge losses as a result of the pressure to stop Muslims from stepping foot onto its shores. Today that nation is languishing behind other states in its ability to attract students from a vast majority of Muslim nations and its ambitions at becoming an education hub are left to lie in tatters.
The loss was tremendous because even students from African nations were targetted for exclusion for no apparent reason even as it dawned on many that most of the hijackers who raided New York and Washington came from Arab-speaking states.
Cut Your Nose And Spite Your Face
So that is how foolish nations can get or specifically the US can get? By tarring everybody with the same brush the collateral effect of it all, is the build-up of resentment and once apathetic observers of the end-game wind up becoming active protagonists in the very violent sport that a ban is specifically trying to ban.
In 1971 Uganda’s Idi Amin drove people of Indian origin out of his country for no apparent reason other than them being Indians! The Australia of the 1980s was filled with such anti-Asian venom that many in Asia were filled with
trepidation over whether to head to Down Under.
Yet in the midst of all these hand-wringing coupled with the anti-global forces now taking shape, the US seems to be standing alone in openly reproving people of certain racial and religious denominations.
As after all, it does have a long and ‘eventful’ history banning people from its shores based on ethnicity.
In the early part of the 19th Century the Jews were ostracized and even banned from entering the US simply for no other reason than that they looked different. The Irish too, suffered some withering experiences.
The Chinese were denigrated as locusts infesting America, in a post by Joshua Brown, CEO at Ritholtz Wealth Management United States Financial Services. Brown says in 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was signed by President Chester A. Arthur mandated a 10-year moratorium on all Chinese immigration into the United States. Amazingly, the US didn’t fully repeal the restrictions on Chinese immigration until 1943, as a check on Japanese attempts to weaken American-Chinese relations during the war: