The climate of hatred fostered by Donald Trump in his first month in the White House is disturbing; the political course for his administration has been set and a foreboding sense there is a fanatic intent to further divide the country by pitting communities, races, and religious groups against one another permeates the land. Demonizing the media and labeling them “the enemy of the American people” as they shed light on his false narrative, marginalizing the Judiciary as it stand against his hateful and prejudiced persecution, purging his cabinet of staff who voice opposing and often rational perspectives that are faithful to the spirit of the US constitution, are all small steps designed to erode Americas’ faith in the checks and balances system designed by Thomas Jefferson and John Adams to prevent an authoritarian consolidation of power. Trump and his acolytes see an indubitable Executive as necessary to protect the country from the “bad hombres” and the “hateful Muslims,” and restore the sovereignty the Obama administration is believed to have diminished in favor of a corporatist, globalist strategy.
History tells us the most atrocious acts of oppression and violence against target groups spawned from an insignificant, small scale political action and evolved gradually into genocide. In the 15th century, Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II and Isabella I’s enforced conversions of Jews and Muslims and their subsequent expulsion from the Iberian Peninsula resulted in part from their perception that there was an urgent need for unity of faith; they considered Jewish and Muslim practices a threat to that unity and their sovereignty. They requested a papal bull – akin to an Executive Order – that they were granted by Pope Sixtus IV in 1478. For 350 years, thousands of Jews and Muslims were forced to convert to Christianity while others were burnt at the stake; thousands more were dispossessed of their lands, businesses, and properties. To American scholars, the Spanish Inquisition serves as a perfect inversion of American values.
Similarly, when on January 30, 1933, Hitler, as the leader of the right-wing National Socialist German Workers Party, was sworn in as Chancellor, he promptly named some of his top aides to key cabinet positions; with a willing cabinet in place, Hitler invoked emergency clauses of the constitution and set about eroding Germany’s democracy. The Nazis swiftly launched a fear and hate campaign against the Jews. Progressively, laws were enacted and a political morality was constructed to justify forcing them out of their government jobs, boycotting their businesses, and demonizing and marginalizing their communities. The tracks were greased for the Holocaust.
One needs not be an anti-terrorism expert to come to the conclusion that the ban exacerbates US ‘security posture. The White House has been briefed on this multiple times. If the ban is not a successful measure to keep terrorist out, why is the Trump administration so actively implementing it? Donald J. Trump’s Executive directives, restricting immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries and aggressively deporting undocumented immigrants, are the first steps in the gradual execution of his and his alt-right cabinet’s long term strategy towards the final solution to America’s obstacles to the fulfillment of a Julius Evola vision of unification of faith and purity of race. This is done with the complicity of a morally bankrupt, hypocritical, and mendacious Republican Party and all in the name of “protecting Americans.” The current composition of his cabinet and the GOP – the power structure of American politics – are a microcosm of the end-state of this agenda.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement task forces are conducting aggressive raids rounding up thousands of immigrants. There are unsubstantiated reports that a Department of Homeland Security draft memo proposes the use of National Guard troops to support ICE in cracking down on undocumented immigrants. This is not surprising; a military general in at the helm of a civilian administration will naturally lean towards military solutions to civilian problems. The allegation of using National Guard troops is further fueled by Trump’s own comment to the news that ICE raids are “a military operation.” He most likely called them so because he is a nescient buffoon oblivious to the lexical and legal meanings of his utterances. Using the military in support of ICE would be a grave infringement of the Posse Comitatus Act and another step further away from democracy and closer to authoritarianism.
In addition to terrorizing the Latino and Muslim communities, this insidious campaign against them aims to establish a new “identitarian” moral foundation through which anyone who is deemed not American is perceived as being uncaring, perfidious, subversive, and degrading. During his inauguration speech, Trump outlined his domestic policy in a four words mantra, repeated many times before and afterwards: “buy American; hire American;” The mantra evolved from an older one that called for “America for Americans.” In 1924, the Ku Klux Klan chapter in Kansas published a seven-page pamphlet in opposition to the gubernatorial bid of William Allen White, the publisher of Emporia newspaper, whose campaign called for the curtailment of the Klan’s influence in state politics. The pamphlet contains the Ku Klux Kreed which defines what a true American is; it states:
“No people should be as proud of their heritage, their traditions and forbears as America’s Native Sons; Why? Because in their veins run the Courage of the Pilgrims, the Bravery of Boone, the Wisdom of Washington, Sagacity of Franklin, the Nobility of Lincoln and Lee. Surely the blood of kings and potantes could be no more royal – no lineage more noble. The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan desire that this blood be not polluted, but kept pure as a sacred heritage and thereby forge on to the front and take its place at the pinnacle of all nations of the world, where purity, Christianity, peace, and prosperity reign supreme.”
On the other hand, they define those who lack that “pure lineage” as
“the poor, oppressed and discontented of other lands, and to America they come and suck from her bosom her riches and at the same time maintain allegiance to their own nation.”
It goes on to say:
“The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan stand for “America First.”
See! Trump’s brand of nationalism dismisses the all inclusive sense that all Americans, as diverse as they are, have interests that coincide with one another and with the Constitution. Trump’s brand of nationalism is a white supremacist doctrine that preaches that the only people worthy of being called Americans, worthy of governing, worthy of enjoying the riches of the land and the opportunities that sprout from it, are white people.
Despite subsequently denying that his sweeping Executive Order specifically targets Muslims while giving preference to persecuted Christians in the immigration admission process, Trump and many of his so called advisors have a track record of harboring a deep conviction that Islam and Muslims are a threat that needs to be countered. Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Michael Anton, Sebastian Gorka, Jeff Session, and others, all top Trump advisors who oversaw the drafting of the Executive Order banning Muslims, share a deep animus towards, not radical Islamic terrorism, but Islam proper. For Trump’s entourage and their supporters, radicalism is an inherently pervasive characteristic in Islam. All Muslims are radicals, they believe; some Muslims have realized it and acted upon it – and those are the terrorists, while in others, this proclivity for bloody mayhem is a latent talent. During an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Trump conveyed his belief that “Islam has tremendous hatred of us.” When he was asked to clarify whether he was talking about radical Islam or mainstream Islam he replied that “it is very hard to separate.” It is safe to conclude that when he pledged to destroy radical Islamic terrorism, he was pledging to destroy Islam. This, of course, is delusional.
Trump makes no attempt to mask his administration’s Islamophobic aims. They simply stated that they want to bar Muslims from entering the US, as Rudy Guiliani acknowledged matter-of-factly on Fox News. It is only when they realized, through the widespread condemnation of the civil society and media institutions, that they refrained on calling it a “Muslim ban,” opting instead for a less vitriolic appellation, i.e., the “immigration ban.”
A mid-term goal this administration wishes to reach is to degrade the American Muslim community, which they deem a security threat because of its alleged inability to assimilate to the American/Western culture. LA Times reported:
“Trump’s top advisers on immigration, including chief strategist Steve Bannon and senior adviser Stephen Miller, see themselves as launching a radical experiment to fundamentally transform how the US decides who is allowed into the country and to block a generation of people who, in their view, won’t assimilate into American society.”
As Trump has no compunction painting all Muslims – except those billionaires with whom he has a business affinity – a security threat, he has demonstrated exceeding disinclination to empathize with them when they are victims of Islamophobic and terrorist attacks. It has been demonstrated that the large majority of those targeted by Daech are Muslims; Trump conveniently ignores that fact and gave Christian asylum seekers from the Middle East preference. To his supporters and the American public at large, he is conveying the idea that Christian minorities and the West are the only victims of Daesh’s terrorism and that the Muslims support their violent activities. This is a blatant falsehood.
When Trump finally got around to showing empathy, albeit in a stilted way, for American Jews, whose synagogues and communities have been victim of bomb threats and violent anti-Semitism by groups who are emboldened by his presidency, Trump remains indifferent to the American Muslim community although it is experiencing similar threats and violence. When six Muslim worshipers were killed by a far-right fanatic in Quebec, Canada, when Muslim houses of worship are being burnt down in Florida, Texas, California, and many other states, when Muslim women are been brutalized for wearing a hijab, when a New York imam and his assistant were gunned down, when Muslim students are killed, Trump, known for his impulsive and fanatic tweeter rants about trivial matters, kept mum.
The silver lining in this dark Trumpian cloud is that communities are binding together and supporting one another. The Muslim ban sparked massive demonstrations across the country; if the Trump administration institutes a Muslim registry, non-Muslim Americans states they will register in opposition to it and in solidarity for Muslims. Millions of Americans across the country stand up against the Trump administration’s message of fear and hatred and say: “I Am A Muslim Too.” When Islamic Centers, in Victoria and Lake Travis, both in Texas were destroyed in a massive criminal fire, the neighboring churches and synagogues opened their doors to Muslim worshipers; non-Muslims contributed funds to rebuild new mosques. Similarly, when a Jewish cemetery, outside of St. Louis, was desecrated in a spate of anti-Semitic attacks, Muslims raised funds and volunteered to clean and rebuild it. That is America ‘saving grace; the people will always come together, regardless of their differing faiths, their races, and cultural backgrounds, and protect the diversity and inclusive quality that make the United States of America a shining example coexistence and tolerance.
© 2017 AB