President Trump is attempting to lead the nation into the most violent stage it’s been in since 9/11 with regards to the eradication of what he insists on calling, “Islamic extremism.” He is a politician like no other before him. He follows no system, viewpoint or policy.
Unlike former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama’s debatable strategies to eliminate terrorism from the Middle East, Trump is targeting Islam in particular and attempting a modern day crusade involving the West vs. Islam.
Compared to Bush and Obama’s past attempts to differentiate terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS from Islam itself, Trump has repeatedly targeted Muslims since the beginning of his campaign without any appropriate reasoning, calling for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
After 9/11, President Bush explained the difference between Muslims and terrorism. “The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself,” Bush said in a statement to Congress just nine days after the attacks.
A week later, when meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan, Bush stated that “There are thousands of Muslims who proudly call themselves Americans, and they know what I know, that the Muslim faith is based upon peace and love and compassion.”
However, the Bush administration made initiatives in the interest of national security that didn’t reflect these sentiments.
The National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), established in 2002, required men who were 16-years-old or older carrying impermanent visas from 25 specific predominantly Muslim countries to list for fingerprinting, photos and interrogations.
Although many people debate the success of the program, the facts show that it didn’t result in any terrorism convictions.
The United States has taken this road before, and it has caused more harm than good.
Just 73 years ago, during World War II, our country disregarded human rights when we sent more than 66 percent of Japanese-Americans into internment camps.
After the Pearl Harbor attack, the Supreme Court ruled that the internment of Japanese-Americans was constitutional and still stands as so, since the ruling hasn’t been revisited.
Just days after the attack, the FBI and other government agencies grouped together thousands of Japanese-Americans that they identified as “enemy aliens.” At the time, the U.S. was home to approximately 80,000 Japanese-Americans, who were lumped together as enemies who would lead to harm or terrorism.
Just like Trump’s executive order banning immigration from the seven Muslim majority countries (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya) last month, in February 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt authorized his disreputable executive order 9066, which certified the military to separate certain areas in the West Coast as “military areas” in which “any or all persons may be excluded.” At the time, the West Coast was home to a majority of the country’s Japanese community who were quickly excluded by the order.
Similar to today’s narrative of irrational fear spewed by our president, which lumps together Muslims with terrorism, other Americans couldn’t tell the difference between their fellow Japanese Americans and the actual threat.
Unlike the disturbing ruling of Japanese Internment Camps as constitutional in 1941, many people, including a federal judge in Brooklyn, were quick to call out Trump’s immigration ban as unconstitutional in Darweesh v. Trump Order.
The international conflict of terrorism can’t be easily won because it’s not understood by those in charge of national security plans.
According to a New York Times report, President Trump plans to restore former President Bush’s extraordinary rendition of his 2007 executive order 13440, reinstating foreign CIA “black site” penitentiaries, in an attempt to justify U.S. law legalizing torture. This plan also aims to lift the bans on CIA prisons, which will also call for the Pentagon to bring newly captured detainees to the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay.
According to the report, Trump also plans to annul Obama’s initiative with the International Red Cross, which offers humanitarian relief for prisoners who are apprehended in U.S. detention.
These attempts to eliminate Obama’s terrorism reforms will back track to Bush’s infractions of human rights and universal law.
Trump’s immigration ban is a Muslim ban and will continue to be challenged by Americans.