Friday,18 August, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1331, (9 - 15 February 2017)
Friday,18 August, 2017
Issue 1331, (9 - 15 February 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Trump vs liberty

The cover of the German magazine, Der Spiegel, showing US President Donald Trump beheading the Statue of Liberty, was probably the best reflection on the world’s reaction to the shocking acts of the new US president, threatening not just the security of his own country, but that of the entire world.

The best gift for extremists who use Islam as a cover for their terrorist acts was the decision Trump took hours after he became US president, banning the nationals of six Arab countries and Iran from entering the United States, allegedly because their countries are known for exporting terrorism.

While Trump officials claim that this decision did not target followers of a particular religion, Islam, this cannot be but a very bad and cynical joke. Trump had already demanded, during his presidential campaign, a total ban on all Muslims entering the United States. However, he started putting his words into action by targeting nations in which he has no direct business interests, considering his background as a billionaire businessman before becoming a president.

Luckily, the United States is a huge country with many institutions that vehemently reject the slaughter of the US constitution and basic human rights as stated in international conventions. However, it seems that the new US president has no respect for such institutions, and lashed out at his own independent judiciary when a federal court decided to overturn his racist ban on the nationals of seven countries.

Massive popular protests have also been taking place daily to denounce Trump’s decision and his violation of one of the basic tenants of the new, strong land that introduced itself to the world more than 240 years ago as a welcoming nation that accepts immigrants from all over the world, regardless of their race, colour, religion or social background.

Diverse and open America that detests and rejects racism is what many people all over the world believe is the so-called “American dream”, and not racist decrees like the one signed by Trump recently.

Suspected terrorists who use Islam as a cover repeatedly claim that there is no alternative to confrontation and war against all those who disagree with their strict and fanatical interpretation of Islam, including among Muslims themselves. In reality, Muslim victims of those terrorist organisations exceed by far victims of terrorism in the United States and Europe.

Trump’s decree cannot but feed the fanatical propaganda used by groups like the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, who support that clash among religions and civilisations. Such an atmosphere of confrontation is the most fertile ground for such groups to grow and attract angry, young recruits who believe that governments of Western nations have stood careless and indifferent as Muslim and Arab countries disintegrated and fell into total chaos and bloodshed.

We still have hope that the “American dream” will go on and survive, and that Trump will come back to his senses, and protect true American values based on diversity, the rule of law and respect for human rights. Only this would prove that Der Spiegel’s cover is wrong, and that Trump will not be allowed to slaughter the Statue of Liberty.

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