Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban: What Do Muslims Think?

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I spoke with some Muslims who support Trump and got some honest answers about what a ban on Muslim immigration means to them.

I am obliged to begin this article by stating: Not all Muslims are terrorists. There, I said it. Now, every single comment making some kind of reference to the fact that “not all Muslims” are terrorists will be rightfully ignored. Our time on this Earth is finite.

Here’s another obligatory statement I have to make: Islam is not a race. This is important.

Although many people are born into their religion, religion itself is not a race. This seems to be forgotten in a world where “racist” has become the salt and pepper of political discussion. The bread and butter.

Religion is a set of ideas, that requires a certain level of adherence. It is very different from race, because there are many places in the world (odds are  you sit in one of them reading this) where you are not compelled to practice any religion. It should therefore be totally fair to criticize all religions from  within these secular societies. Calling these criticisms “racist” shows a complete lack of understanding of what the discussion is even about, given that the discussion is not about race. It is about ideas.

On December 7th, 2015, Donald Trump made a statement on Muslim immigration. It’s very short, and it’s not a clear policy proposal (Trump has no official policy position on Muslim immigration, yet.) Here is the first and most controversial line:

“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

This was attacked like a low-hanging fruit when in reality it was a tree we had never seen before in the political discourse. Pundits immediately went:

  • That’s racist.
  • It’s impossible to screen someone to find out what god they believe in.
  • Trump is so stupid.
  • Only a racist would support that.

How did the Muslims I spoke with react?

“We are not dealing with a race here. We are dealing with an ideology. Muslims come from all colors and cultures. Therefore, it’s not a racist policy,” said Muhammad Amen, a vocal Muslim Trump supporter.

“Hernando Cortes, who conquered Mexico, brought civilization to a cannibalistic nation by bringing Christian Spanish culture. Now Aztec cannibalism and violence has returned to Mexico via the Cartels who chop people up and sell drugs,” said Khadra Abdirahman, a 23-year old Somali Muslim born in America.

“That’s how to win a war via ideology. Islamism is an ideology.”

Another common question posed: Won’t Muslims living in America feel singled out by Trump’s proposal to halt all Muslim immigration?

“If the majority of Muslim Americans are pro-American, patriotic and peaceful, they should agree because this is protecting their safety as well. If they’ll be violent the same way the illegals from Mexico act then they never came here with peaceful intentions,” she said.

“The intention isn’t bad. There is no choice but avoiding a group with a specific problem to contain that problem until it’s fixed. Not everyone in that group has the problem, but you have to thoroughly check everyone before you let them through,” said Maria Al-Masani, a Sufi Muslim and the co-founder of Yemen Rights Monitor.

Al-Masani has received death threats from Hezbollah, although not for her views on Trump’s Muslim ban. She believes that any measure that can increase U.S. security will lead to a reduction in the fear of Muslims, and in turn a reduction in discrimination. “Once Trump fixes security, Islamophobia will die down since people will have nothing to fear from Muslims once Trump shows radical Islamists their place.”

Abdirahman didn’t waste any time stipulating how one could possibly determine who is a Muslim and who is not. “Cut off visas. No flights coming in. Anyone from Muslim countries. Especially the terrorist infested ones like Syria, Iraq and Libya, no visas whatsoever.” She also pointed out how Persian Gulf Muslim states haven’t accepted any refugees.

Al-Masani wasn’t so restrictive. “My number one priority would be Muslims in Western Europe,” she said. “Look at what is happening there. We don’t want that here.” She could have been referring to Sweden, where rape has skyrocketed by 1500% since the country’s immigration policy changed to allow more Muslim migrants. Or, she could have been referring to the events in Germany on New Year’s Eve.

The bulk of Trump’s statement continued:

“According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population. Most recently, a poll from the Center for Security Policy released data showing “25% of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad” and 51% of those polled, “agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah.” Shariah authorizes such atrocities as murder against non-believers who won’t convert, beheadings and more unthinkable acts that pose great harm to Americans, especially women.”

Here are some more polls from Pew:


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