The Trump Hurricane
U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration ban against seven Muslim-majority countries has shaken up the whole world. Yet his anti-immigrant and Islamophobic policy has only exposed the already existing and deep-rooted polarity in the world.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans have rushed to airports and squares upon Trump’s executive order. U.S.’s biggest technology giants such as Twitter, Apple, Microsoft, Google and Facebook have drafted a letter against the ban. Trump’s sympathizer, right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos was not let into one of U.S.’s most established universities, Berkeley, last Wednesday. The campus witnessed its biggest demonstrations since the Vietnam War.
Moreover, not only Middle Eastern countries, but also the European Union and its members have raised their voice. More than 1 million Britons signed an online petition initiated by Britain’s main opposition party, the Labour Party, calling for Trump’s U.K. state visit to be put on hold.
Trump has underlined the interregnum period we are going through. On the one hand we are living in a globalized world where trade and information flow are integrated, yet on the other hand far-right, ultra-nationalist, xenophobic and Islamophobic masses are flourishing. And this very moment what we are going through only reveals the clash of these two different structures, movements.
Trump’s policy has also exposed another factor: The more he elbows the Muslims aside, the more Muslims and Islam come to the forefront. Banners saying “We are all Muslims” have filled the streets around the world. Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright even stated on her Twitter account that she “stands ready to register as Muslim.”
Therefore Muslims, who have been perceived as “guilty” since September 11, have come to the fore for the first time as “victims.” The very same world which has been turning a blind eye to Muslim refugees has started empathizing with their sufferings. As an irony of fate, this has emerged thanks to Donald Trump.
Besides, Muslims are one of the most peaceful elements in American society, which has also been proven with statistics. According to the survey conducted by CATO Institute in September 2016, no person accepted to the U.S. as a refugee from these seven countries has been involved in a fatal terrorist attack and nor killed any American since 1975.
The education level of Muslims in the U.S. is also quite high. According to the survey conducted by Pew in 2011, more than a quarter of Muslims have college or higher education degrees, which is much greater than the one of the natives. Similarly, Gallup has found that the number of Muslim students is more than three-fold of the U.S. general population.
Muslims are also ahead in terms of entrepreneurship. According to the same Pew survey, 20 percent of Muslims are self-employed, which is higher compared to the average of the American society. Gallup also says that 70 percent of Muslims have a job, the highest of any religious group in the U.S. Also this one is higher than the general population.
Last but not least, Muslims are aloof from crimes to the extent that they are not reflected in statistics.
Yet Trump-wise policies sabotage these facts. Far right politics do backlash, filling the “other” with hatred which in turn breeds terror. They also deepen the fault lines in the West. The fact that a mosque in Texas and one in Quebec City of Canada were attacked right after Trump’s immigration ban only strengthens this fact. FBI publicized November 2015 that hate crimes against Muslims in the U.S. surged by 67 percent last year, to their highest levels since the September 11 attacks.
This is exactly why far right policies cannot continue in the long-term. Yet there is also another reason why such politics cannot be sustainable: It is the global challenges. The new problems of this age such as terror, climate change, cyber security and nuclear threat; are all threatening the whole world. This is why their responses also need to be global. In case they are not addressed globally or are responded Trump-wise, they only become gigantic.
Thus nations can handle these problems only by coming together. Yuval Noah Harari, the author of the world-famous book “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,” says that “the only solution is being a global society.” Yet it is more than clear that this is not possible by building up walls and pushing and excluding each other.
In short, anti-global and exclusionist policies clearly expose that we need to destroy the artificial walls we have built and instead unite. What is most interesting is that we are facing this reality thanks to Trump and that this very moment, when anti-globalization has peaked, reveals itself in the U.S., the homeland of globalization.