From the sand dunes of Morocco to the gleaming office towers in Malaysia, Muslims take note. There is a different kind of a America these days – not the America of Barack Hussein Obama but of someone not specially welcoming of those professing the faith of Obama’s forebears.
Just how did the Land of the Free get here? That jury may be out as long as it is necessary for it to be out.
In the 1940s an America under siege in World War II did what most human rights activists these days would loath: the large-scale internment of Japanese as they were suspected – without any evidential proof – of being fifth columnists; people sent over by an enemy state to wreck and destroy an adversary in all manner of forms. And that was despite many of them having had been born and working in the United States!
Then America was at war and actions during wartime can never be challenged in a court of law.
It however, is a different set of conditions now. America is still at war but with an enemy that is invisible at best and a non-state actor at worst. It is a war that is fought in cafes, drive-in movies, in airports and other places in and across the world where people gather. It certainly is an unconventional kind of war for which conventional methods are of little use.
So what should America do? Or what should the rest of world do?
Not since Ronald Reagan of the 1980s and the Gipper’s promise of burying the Soviet Union, has there been a nationalist quite like Donald John Trump. For an outlier with technically no party affiliation and a modern-day iconoclast by all means, Trump has indeed trumped over everyone else, even the Bushes, the Clintons and maybe soon to be, the Obamas’
Just what explains his magnetic pull? It has to do with his ability to resonate with public disillusionment.
His skillful management of public anger over the last 18 months since announcing his presidential bid, have rightly and fairly won him the occasional plaudits. Yet it has also won him the rancour of not just his countrymen but of peoples’ across the world with whom the United States just cannot turn its back on.
Yet that just may be what the most gregarious president since Grover Cleveland Jr declared of his antipathy to African Americans, is setting out to do.
Sometime this week Trump will announce his grand scheme to exclude Muslims from entering the United States, albeit temporarily. The temporary exclusions will include those from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, according to Reuters News Agency but leaves out those from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbhekistan where Osama Bin Laden inspired terrorism once radiated.
News reports now say that to block entry from his gazetted laundry list of nations, Trump is likely to tell the State Department to stop issuing visas to people from those nations, and also instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to stop any current visa holders from those countries from entering the United States.
Other measures may include directing all agencies to finish work on a bio-metric identification system for non-citizens entering and exiting the United States and a crackdown on immigrants fraudulently receiving government benefits, according to the congressional aides and immigration experts.
There however, may be one big problem. Passports of visitors into United States does not state their religion. How is Trump to handle that?
It may be an exercise in futility as people may be visiting the United States for a myriad of reasons apart from just settlement.