Why Teju Cole’s response to Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from the U.S. is spot on
While declaring his intention to run for the President of the United States of America in 2016, Republican hopeful Donald Trump said “I am officially running for president of the United States, and we are going to make our country great again.” However, his derogatory xenophobic statements and mediocre foreign policies may do much to hinder his grand ambition.
Back in June, just on the heels of his announcement, Trump lashed out at the Mexicans and other immigrants implying that their presence makes America unsafe. According to news sources, he was quoted saying “But you have people coming in and I’m not just saying Mexicans, I’m talking about people from all over that are killers.” Although these silly and untrue statements have caused some business owners to sever ties with Trump, he doesn’t seem to mind as his numbers at the polls keep rising.
With his recent contemptuous remarks about banning Muslims in America, the Republican presidential candidate has also shown the world that apart from being a xenophobic joker, he is also Islamophobic. Reiterating his promise of making America great again, Trump declared yesterday that “without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine,” Trump said in a statement. “Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”
Trump’s statement has been widely criticized and while several people find them disturbing, others suggest he’s not saying anything that’s so stark from anti-Muslim sentiments gaining traction around the world. Teju Cole, an award-winning Nigerian-American writer recently published a note on Facebook that brings to fore America’s indifference towards Islamophobia.
The arrest of the 14-year old Ahmed Mohammed in September, is an example of America’s uncomfortable attitude towards the Muslim community. Mohammed, whose hobby is inventing, brought a homemade clock to school, only to be handcuffed and led out of school, because according to the authorities, it resembled a bomb.
In a statement by Beth Van Duyne, the Mayor of the Irving town in Texas, she reportedly sided with the school authorities’ decision to have Mohammed arrested. She wrote, “I do not fault the school or the police for looking into what they saw as a potential threat. We have all seen terrible and violent acts committed in schools, the workplace and in public venues. Perhaps some of those could have been prevented and lives could have been spared if people were more vigilant.”
Speaking on Mohamed’s arrest, a representative from the Council on American -Islamic Relations, he was a suspect because of his name “I think this wouldn’t even be a question if his name wasn’t Ahmed Mohamed.” Cole is right, although Trump might have been the one that openly declared Muslims should be banned from entering the US, Islamophobia in America is like a ticking bomb that is being ignored until it finally explodes.
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