Contextualising Trump’s blanket ban on Muslims

Donald J Trump is considered by his critiques quite the obnoxious, malevolent, atrocious megalomaniac of the 21st century. A distasteful monster masquerading and navigating the path of hatred institutionalised by humans. People run out of adjectives each time they try to sum up just how much they detest what he stands for. They have no qualms with him being who he is but  have a huge challenge accepting ideals that seeks to perpetuate white supremacy and anti-everybody who is not bringing business to the table.

What’s worse? he hardly notices his critiques. He is on a mission and is not stopping any time soon to address some of the issues that concerns the diverse group of people he is supposed to be leading. Simply put, he doesn’t care and he is not going to listen to anyone about why his policies/ideals are bad and detrimental to the  fundamental values of the American people.


Donald Trump showing the signed copy of the executive order on refugees. Photo Credit :CTV News

Thursday 26th January 2017 would have been an ordinary day in the lives of American citizens, residents and the likes save for an executive order that bars people from 7 predominant Muslim countries from entering the United States of America for a period of 90 days.Nobody knows what comes next after this.

The countries are Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq. Dual citizens were not left out. It however gives preference to Christian refugees from those banned countries. A policy decision that shocked many but not as much as dual citizens and residents who had been denied entry at the various ports of entry in the American land.

The ban has received widespread condemnation and has sparked protest at various airports across America .Some people described the ban as cruel and shameful and huge blow to the much cherished fundamental human rights espoused by American ideals. The ban premised on prejudice and deep-seated intolerance of the worlds social system. The question is; even if these people were a threat to America , there was no way to make a determination of that . No scientific basis For that assumption . Some people I have discussed this situation with have pointed out that it may be due to fear .

Trump may be acting out of fear . Although there had been previous terrorists attacks on American soil and depending on where you stand ; Timothy McVeigh may be considered a mentally disturbed young man or a lone wolf which committed acts of violence on his fellow Americans . However  the September 11th twin towers and the Boston Marathon bombing are destined as terrorist attacks because they were supposedly committed by people of Arab/Muslim decent or radicalized same . These two situations put the discussions in a complex dichotomy that cannot exhausted any time soon .

The roaring  immigration debate culminating in the banning of these 7 Muslim majority countries, one must know that it didn’t just spring up in Trump’s administration . The ban was passed by congress and mildly managed by the Obama administration. Trump only assumed a new scale as the Hitler of the 21st century firmly on his resolve to reform the American immigration system.

Conflicts that has affected largely the Middle East has led to refugee crisis. People from these banned countries fled from their home countries in search of a more secured place to live and to protect their lives. Through no fault of theirs they are forced to abandon their homes and jobs to find security and protection under the domain of a different country which is humanly accepted by United Nation convention on human rights which states that:

“A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it..”

Unfortunately as callous as the human institution is , many countries or should I say humans have turned their backs on fellow humans ignoring humanity and diplomacy . They cite laws which in any case is an opinion of select few to back their inability to host their fellow brothers and sisters in distress .

It’s worth noting that conditions that made it possible for people to flee their country is once again flourishing . Most notable country blocks that happened in the past included but not limited  to the Anarchist Exclusion Act , the Communists ban, the Jewish refugees that were turned away during World War II, the Exclusion of the Chinese and the Iranian ban among others.

Now let’s contextualise and localise some of the bans that happened between Ghana and its Nigerian neighbours . Two west African countries that adopted the same route which majority of its citizens have decided to take the Trump administration to the cleaners. In 2014 there was agitation by a section of Ghanaian traders who felt they were being cheated out of their source of livelihood and the blame fell right on their neighbours , Nigerians .

At the time , the Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA) mounted pressure on authorities to eject non-Ghanaians, mostly Nigerians from the markets . To placate the Ghanaian traders government raised the minimum capital requirement for businesses for foreigners from 300,000 U.S. dollars to 1 million U.S. dollars in cash or goods.This resulted in the President of the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS),Mr Ken Ukoha describing the move as a sabotage of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) economic and trade agreements.

Preceding that was the Aliens Compliance Order implemented in 1969 under President Abrefa Busia which deported large number of undocumented population mostly Nigerians. The official reason for the deportation was that foreigners failed to comply with the immigration laws of the country. This led to strained relationship between the two west African neighbours with Nigeria retaliating by deporting close to a million Ghanaians and other nationals living in their country.

What is the difference now I ask? Trump claims even during his campaign that the reason for the ban is to counter terrorism from Muslim majority countries that pose a security threat to the United States . But facts contradict this assertion. This is because  majority of people fleeing from these war torn countries are rather in danger instead of being a danger themselves.

They are being pursued by evil forces that cannot be immediately controlled.  These people represent no threat to the American system or its people except to even help it flourish with the many skills and expertise they bring along. It’s sad and unfortunate they could all be lumped together as threats although a few bad nuts as the case of what happened in some parts of Europe.

This pure discrimination by humans on other humans in the name of law and protection is deeply regrettable. This is not a Trump problem . It’s a human problem and we have allowed it to fester by our veiled hatred for each other . Smiling widely in the name of courtesy but heart darker than coal . Until humans learn to behave like humans and be there for each other , people like Trump will always take advantage of our hypocrisy and find a way to make things worse .


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