THE BLOG

Donald Trump's Muslim Ban Is An Opportunity For All Humane People To Reject Islamophobia

I’m tired of being associated with people who bastardise my religion. I should never feel sorry for being Muslim.

02/02/2017 04:58 SAST
SUPPLIED
Comedian Simmi Areff

To be honest: I'm scared.

I was shocked to hear about the "Muslim Ban" - an executive order signed by President Donald Trump that inherently has barred citizens from mostly Muslim countries from entering the United States of America for a certain amount of time.

I'm scared but I don't know if others are. I asked my dad if he was worried about it and he told me: "boy, I have lived through apartheid and I'm 67 now. I've taken you to Disney World twice and we have eaten at all the fast food franchises from the movie. There is really no reason why I want to go to America anytime soon".

He may not worry about this ban but I do because of the preconceived notions about Islam that the normal Muslim person faces.

I'm scared that the repercussions will be more severe than the perceptions and stereotypes that came from the 9/11 attacks. After those attacks non-Muslims made me feel that my religion was nasty, abhorrent and thrives on terror.

I remember going to ANN 7 for an interview and the make up artist had to take a call so she casually said "I will finish up on you after this call, Al-Queeda". This made me think that this is how Muslim people are portrayed after a trickle down effect via the media and their preconceived notions. This type of behaviour isn't a once-off. Throughout my life and comedy career I've heard jokes about Muslims being terrorists. Whether it is a colleague at a radio station i've worked at or whether it is another comedian on stage - I've lived the hate-inspired stereotype.

I'm scared of this Muslim ban and it doesn't even effect me directly, for now at least. This type of situation just adds to the content cannon of muslims being portrayed as the "Bad Guys". Muslims aren't bad people. Bad people are bad people.

The ban gets more ridiculous when you see a country like Saudi Arabia not on the list

The ban according to different Trump loyalists and his political figures is meant to stop terrorism from entering the USA. Which is almost farcical because if you look at the seven countries from the Middle East and Africa on the banned list, the majority of them have not had terrorists on US soil. For example Yemen, any legitimate fact checking organisation would not find one Yemenite act of terror being committed on US soil.

The ban gets more ridiculous when you see a country like Saudi Arabia not on the list. Fifteen of the nineteen terrorists involved in 9/11 came from Saudi Arabia. Yet Saudis aren't banned because Trump has business interests there.

This ban is meant to stop refugees from accessing the land of the free because they may take up arms and become terrorists. According to the Washington Post it can take a refugee three years to be vetted in the USA and gain admittance into the country. These people are rushing there, much like previous immigrants, to join their families. Not to join the lines at Disney World or to become a terrorist. According to the Cato institute there is a 1 in 3.64 billion chance per year of an American citizen being killed by a refugee-turned-terrorist.

This ban reeks of Trump trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist.

What confounds me more is all the people who will be disrupted by this ban because of guilt by association. No child from Aleppo grows up with the intention of becoming a terrorist. It is from actions of hate and fear mongering that make them forged into things they are not. Hating people who hate them. That's not a hate bred in the name of God but a hate bred in the name of hate. All this fear mongering and hate just makes ISIS win. Knowing that they can thrive on the hate produced by this hate.

If you expect Muslim people to apologise for terrorism then I expect white people to apologise for apartheid, colonialism and Danny K.

I'm tired of being associated with people who bastardise my religion. I should never feel sorry for being Muslim. Whenever someone claims that Muslim people should apologise for terrorism, I always get shocked. If you expect Muslim people to apologise for terrorism then I expect white people to apologise for apartheid, colonialism and Danny K.

But there is a silver lining. After experiencing years of hate and skepticism towards my religion it almost seems weird that there is support and protests against this ban. The 9/11 attack was a great way of linking terrorism of a few to a religion but there is now an opportunity for people to show that this is not the religion that the media and Trump want it to be.

For Trump supporters, it is just the liberals and the Democrats, his sworn enemies, complaining. But to the humane people of society it is the first global opportunity to show that all these preconceived misconceptions of a religious group are not valid. That this ban is incoherent with the values of the American people. That this ban is mean.

I feel happier seeing someone who isn't a Muslim, support Muslims. We don't get that backing often which illustrates that Muslims aren't bad people, bad people are bad people, that people that aren't Muslim don't believe in the fears of Trump and his administration and that at the end of the day we are humans first with just a different belief system.