For anyone ‘in two minds’ about Trump’s Muslim Ban. (Although how you can be is something I’m trying very hard not to think about. But it is a thing, apparently).
No. I know it’s not being called the Muslim Ban officially. The Holocaust wasn’t called the Holocaust officially either. It doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. (If you are a Holocaust denier, fuck the fuck off. You are unspeakable).
The details of the detainees support the fact that it is a Muslim ban. The statement by Rudy Giuliani that he was asked by Trump to find the way to enact a Muslim ban supports it (which you can actually watch, by the way). The fact that other travellers from the seven countries on the ban list are being let in and there are reports from other faith groups in those countries that when they have visited US embassies to check if they can travel, they are being told that they will not have to worry, supports it.
So apart from the overwhelming evidence you’re right. It might not be a Muslim ban.
Oh wait. It is.
Then, if you’re still in two minds because for some reason you think that Muslims are terrible people and should be banned, think about this.
No terrorist attacks perpetrated on US soil have been committed by any person from one of those seven countries on the ban.
So this means that all the citizens of the countries from which terrorist attacks that have been by Daesh members or sympathisers in the USA are still free to travel.
I would particularly draw your attention to Saudi Arabia, where the majority of the 9/11 bombers came from, and which has the most appalling human rights record. They are completely free to travel. (I know the UK doesn’t have a good track record here. Two wrongs don’t make a right).
It might interest you to know that Trump has many business ties with Saudi Arabia, and indeed other countries which have perpetrated terrorist attacks and which are not on the ban list. I wonder if there might be a connection. To my knowledge he doesn’t have any in the countries that are listed in the ban, although I may be wrong.
All the people who have been either sent back home, denied the right to fly at all, or held on arrival in the USA have valid visas and/or green cards which mean that they will already have been vetted by security forces etc. Furthermore, many of them have lived in the USA for decades.
These people have had more vetting by US agencies than the president himself. The irony is not lost on me.
The holding of these people is against the Geneva Convention. It is also constitutionally illegal. This makes Trump and all who have colluded with him criminals for breaking their own laws.
Regardless of all that, the sheer inhumanity of what is going on is staggering.
People who were in mid flight when the ban was put in place have been arrested as criminals. It’s not like they could have removed themselves from the plane.
Mothers have been separated from their children, in at least one case, a newborn baby, for hours.
Children as young as five have been handcuffed. When questioned about this Sean Spicer at the White House said it was entirely possible to believe that these children were terrorists. These children, who have green cards, who have been vetted, who may have been born in the US, because this ban also affects those with dual nationality. And even so, children. Tiny, frightened children.
This is unacceptable and indefensible. And I don’t care what Obama did, or what Clinton might have done. That’s not the point. It’s smoke and mirrors. We’re talking about what is happening now. Right now.
My friend posted a photograph of her sleeping son on Twitter yesterday. She made a point which shouldn’t even need making. Those children are no different than our children. That we are letting this happen means it could happen to us. It should not be happening at all. She’s right. I watch that footage and my heart breaks for every child because it could be mine, every frightened parent, brother, sister, mother.
You might think it couldn’t happen here, except that it does. Not only is it affecting our own citizens, despite the assurances from Boris, and Theresa that it will be ok. It is happening in our country to people in our detention centres. It happens when we turn people back at airports and borders and ferry ports who came here seeking safety. It happens all the time when we turn our back on those who are not ‘us’. As if we have the right to decide that. As if we know. And for those who classify those people as monsters. I think we’re more monstrous.
So write. Write to Theresa May. Write to your MP. Join Amnesty. They do the writing for you and you just have to click send. You can write about Trump’s ban and our absolute lick spittle behaviour to Saudi. It is possible to do both, or several things at once.
I shall end with something else I keep seeing on social media and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. Now is your time to choose what side of history you want to be on. I know what I’ve chosen. I know how I want to be remembered. How about you? Have you made your mind up yet?