Donald Trump doesn’t need to ban all Muslims — that’s happening already

Published: December 9, 2015
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If you want to protest him, if you want to stop him enacting his rules, don’t just wait till elections — go and investigate how his plans are being played out right now, and fight those. PHOTO: Scott Olson/Getty Images

People are calling Donald Trump’s call to ban all Muslims from entering the United States “ridiculous” and “contrary to our views as Americans”. Some have pointed out that this isn’t really surprising: the other Republican candidates have not-dissimilar platforms, and Trump is just playing off already existing Islamophobic sentiment.

What really shouldn’t be surprising is this: the plans he’s proposing are already policy — not just in the US, but worldwide, particularly in Western/Anglo sphere/Five-Eyes countries.

Post 9/11, visa and immigration policy to the US has been targeted directly against Muslims by targeting countries with a significant Muslim population. Muslim countries saw their requirements for getting US visas tightened, in some cases to impossible standards. If you were an 18 to 30-year-old Muslim male with a passport from a relatively “underdeveloped” country, God help you try and get to the US.

Palma Yanni claimed that the plan would be “doomed by practical factors”:

Beyond the legal problems, Trump’s plan would also likely be doomed by practical factors, such as the difficulty and intrusiveness of questioning potential immigrants based on factors such as their surname. And religion “is not on any passport that I’ve ever seen,’’ said Yanni, who labelled the plan “impossible”.

Impossible?

This is already the case.

There are plenty of reports of people being denied visas because of their Muslim (sounding) nameThe Pakistani passport does list your religionwhich already has made life difficult for some trying to get into the US. In some cases, like Malaysia, your passport is linked to your national ID, which has your religion listed. And this doesn’t just apply to passports and immigration — there is already evidence that Muslims or Muslim-seeming people are discriminated against in job-hunting and education.

Besides, they don’t need to know your name or official religion to decide if you’re Muslim or not. The country is a dead giveaway, for starters. But an extra subtle way is to see if your passport has this line:

THIS PASSPORT IS VALID FOR ALL COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD EXCEPT ISRAEL

Many countries in the Muslim world do not recognise Israel or have diplomatic ties with Israel. This is due partially in solidarity with Palestine and against Zionism, though it’s also likely due to anti-Semitism. (That said, this provision doesn’t necessarily stop people from trying — and succeeding.)

The US wasn’t the only one that tightened up immigration regulations for Muslims following 9/11. In 2003, Canada suddenly decided that Malaysians now need visas to enter the country (they didn’t previously), yet shut down their offices in Kuala Lumpur  — so any Malaysians hoping to head to Canada have to go to Singapore. Australia is tightening immigration and social services as a direct response to The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Visas for Europe, including the UK, have also become harder to acquire.

Nobody brought up “violation of international law” when Western countries across the world decided to make immigration and travel hellish for anyone with a Muslim passport, appearance, or name.

The hair-splitting about US citizens and lack of Constitutional protection outside US borders falls apart when you consider that there are people within the US borders that are not citizens. It’s not just undocumented folk — its permanent residents, visa holders, people in transition from one visa to another, asylum seekers, refugees. They would be the first to be affected by policies like these, because they are the most vulnerable.

And that “rationale” about blocking people from certain countries if their countries are having civil war? That’s exactly why you should let them in; they’re trying to escape to safety! The radical Islamists are no friends to civilians either; punishing them for suffering is inhumane. (Though very little, if anything, about immigration is particularly humane).

More and more I think Donald Trump is actually being upfront, honest, and explicit about policies that are already happening and affecting people right now. If you want to protest him, if you want to stop him enacting his rules, don’t just wait till elections — go and investigate how his plans are being played out right now, and fight those.

This post originally appeared here

Creatrix Tiara

Creatrix Tiara

The author is highly interested in issues of liminality, inclusivity, and intersectionality, especially in arts, media, tech, education, and activism. She is currently open to opportunities in Malaysia, Australia, and elsewhere. She tweets as @creatrixtiara (twitter.com/creatrixtiara)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • rationalising argument.

    and west has every right to stop islamic extremists entering their nation.Recommend

  • Sane

    Muslims are being confined and special laws are being made for Muslims only. Should this be considered justified?Recommend

  • Hypocrite hunter

    I’m glad that you pointed out the real reason the Israel specific condition exists in passports of Islamic countries – antisemitism and bigotry! When your country discriminates against an entire country based on religion, can you honestly claim any kind of moral authority when another country does the same to you. It works both ways.Recommend

  • forextor

    …and why is that muslims being singled-out? Think hard… honestly… why?…Recommend

  • Hitesh Sachdev

    Interesting article. And i completely agree with the countries practicing these. They have to first protect their citizens from terrorism, radicalization etc.
    God bless America and Donald Trump.Recommend

  • Jayman

    Muslim students even from India have a tough time getting a visa to the US while other communities get it without hassles and mostly without interviews.Recommend

  • Brutus

    No Visa? No problem Ma’am, we Muslims have boats!Recommend

  • Allah hafiz

    Indian Muslims need not worry…Name India is enough for them to land in any country of the world and if u face problem our Ministry of External affairs is always there….But one thing….dont ever try to associate yourself to anything paki or arabic…that could be dangerous…Recommend

  • Kolsat

    Who told the author that Australia is tightening on Muslim immigration and social services? We have elected a left-winger as the Prime Minister and in every statement he has made since his election he has told us how much he loves and respects Muslims even in this year alone Muslims have killed three innocent people. Also six attempts by Muslims have bee foiled. All this inspite of strictly following a policy of multiculturalism. Wait for a while and Muslims of Australia will get sharia and permission to marry four wives.Recommend

  • Bairooni Haath

    Immigration is not a right. Countries have a right to control their borders against people who may not have good intentions. That people who are innocent may be affected is unfortunate. Why no one writes articles about the refusal of rich Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE to take Immigrants or Refugees, Muslim or otherwise? They also treat job migrants from third world countries rather poorly.Recommend

  • Joe Gargery

    Excellent article. Nailing the truth. And exposing the discrimination and bigotry,
    which is rampant in the West, when it comes to Muslims. Reader friendly blog.Recommend

  • JP

    Sorry. The Butcher of Gujrat’s visas were cancelled. To US, Canada, Aus.
    Mother country England and EU.[which means all the countries in Europe.
    And he is a Hindu. And, and New Zealand. He could not even attend a cricket match there.Recommend

  • Sadiq Ali Ansari

    Discrimination is not because of religion, its based on the illegal settlements and their oppression against the Palestinian People.Recommend

  • Brutus

    The point to ponder for you is, a single Hindu was refused Visa and we Indians made sure that, all those countries eat their words and lay red carpet for him!!Recommend

  • Time Is Up

    You are only seeing in via the Muslim angle and that is by default is biased. Not all Palestinians are suffering.
    All of them would have progressed, if they would have made peace with Israel, instead they chose Hamas who wants extinction of Israel.
    Palestinians living in Israel travel in Israeli Passport without any issues.

    Real Palestine is Jordan and not Israel.Recommend

  • Time Is Up

    I would not be surprised, we have seen what the Muslim Engineering students did from areas near Mumbai/Thane. Few went and joined ISIS, another well to do Hyderabadi, was in Texas, US studying for MS, and was trying to ditch his wife and kid to join ISIS and further wanted to marry ISIS recruiter (also from Hyderabad). Another one died in Kashmir while throwing stones at the armed forces.
    Any nation who wants to safeguard its citizens, will strongly scrutinize anyone who has slightest chance of bringing in trouble.Recommend

  • Rhea

    his visa was cancelled because of the campaign of some NRIs, all of them Hindus. And before you use such expletives as butcher, please look inwards and ask what happened to Hindus who were 20% of the population in Pakistan in 1947. And ask yourself how you treated even Muslims, just because they happened to be from Bengal. Irrational hatred leads to indigestion.Recommend

  • jay

    google ” Direct Action day ” the biggest butcher was that man !Recommend

  • Ahmed Najaf

    Indian muslims not worry? r u sure? Even indian muslim students getting tough time to get visa. Its not about paki or indian. Its about muslim.Recommend

  • Ahmed Najaf

    Oh yeah…?? How many anti muslim riots happened in india after partition? more than 40 thousands. And what about the condition of indian muslims who still live there. They are discriminated all over india on daily basis. They are even worse then low caste hindus read your own man mohan singh’s report. Do not pretend that your india is great and leading in minority’s rights. Minorities in india are suffering. I hope india will disintegrated soon. India was never a country. British made it a country. Its a set-up. Then all region would have peace.Recommend

  • Guy

    Your rant speaks your mind. Canada was the only country that did not refuse him the visa. For others look at those nations now how frantically they are tying up with him. Your PM’s didn’t have any such issues. How are they regarded comparison to a butcher. Perhaps that may open up your eyes …. hopefully.Recommend

  • sParthiv

    Not exactly, I’m from hyderabad, India. Everyone of us got a f1 student visa to US. I know a lot of Muslims from my place. Not a single one was rejected. Reason we are Indians and Muslims later and we are educated enough to differentiate btw good and bad for humanity Recommend

  • Vigilant Australia

    Australia couple of weeks passed legislation in parliament which gives powers to dance citizenship of anyone involved in acts of terrorism against state directly as a radical step to stem anyone who wants to go and fight sick ideology overseas…Just take one way ticket..Muslims don’t need anyone else to isolate them…they do it best for themselves and then play the victim card…For Example: The day after Paris attack, a new political party in Australia was announced…you guessed the name right ” Australian Muslim Party”…while anyone can contest election in a democracy, but this is just an Example of how Muslim leaders lead their communities in a way to isolate their communities and then play victim card!!! Time for introspection, perhaps rather than rhetoric???? This is what Jinnah did with India, remember??Recommend

  • HZR

    I have a friend whose last name is Hassan,actually a name of city and a district in Karnataka.The immigration people are unaware of this and always mistake him for Muslim and take him aside for extra clarification.it is not his fault but then authorities are not aware that his name could have different origin!Recommend

  • HZR

    How many anti Muslim riots happened in India…maybe,the fact is they have multiplied and many prospered.what about Hindus and other minorities..they are a vanishing species and will soon be extinct.India may not have been a country ubt was always an idea,spiritual,intellectual,cultural and now a reality. and force to reckon with.instead of criticising see how you can help and build Pakistan which need all the support that you can give.Recommend

  • HZR

    Time to think how this good will has been earned and why it is so? Why are other communities not singled out?Recommend

  • pakhtun

    All hindus would have progressed or at least have a toilet to eliminate open defecation problem if you had peace with Sikh, Muslims, low caste hindus and all the minorities of India.

    Not all Hindus are suffering, you see it from your Hindu prospective, which is by default baisedRecommend

  • siesmann

    Then how is it,that the Silicon valley in California(computer industry) is practically Indian.It is about Muslim because Muslims have a false sense of superiority,and nothing to show for it.Indian Muslim suffers because of the actions of Muslims elsewhere.It doesn’t make sense,ut it remains so,Recommend

  • siesmann

    The persecution and slaughters jews have gone through the ages,have made them so cautious.If Arabs would have accepted the 1948 UN decision,it would have been better.But Muslim declaration to drive them into the sea(and repeatedly tried) doesn’t leave them a choice.Jews won’t accept Islam in place of Hitler.Recommend

  • siesmann

    would surely have been better if they were capable of thinking hard!!!!!!Recommend

  • siesmann

    Well look close at home,and you will notice your blindness.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Hope it stays that way.Muslims have a habit of doing things that makes it difficult for them.Recommend

  • Time Is Up

    Keep on dreaming.Recommend

  • http://thoughtsandotherthing.blogspot.fr/2015/11/bleeding.html Supriya Arcot

    Sorry don’t mean to butt-in but if he has nothing to hide then why oppose ‘extra’ clarification ?Recommend

  • RM

    Never understand why most of the media seems to make such a big fuss of things like tightening immigration. People seem to treat immigration as a god given right when its not. Every nation has the right to dictate their own immigration laws and regulations. Just as many other countries allow next to no immigrants at all why should we be condemned for tightening our already relatively relaxed standards compared to the rest of the world. A nations government’s first responsibility is to its own citizens first not the rest of the world.Recommend