It is heartening to see some American people standing with Muslims and against Donald Trump and his policies. Hopefully something productive will come of the protests and civil actions. However, Muslims around the world should be under no illusions about the direction American society has taken and will continue go in.
The reality is that Donald Trump has both a mandate and support from a large segment of American society for his anti -Muslim/Islām policies. He made it very clear what he would do in power, and yet, millions of people supported him.
The real question we should be focusing on is not Donald Trump and his policies but why people supported him and how they reached such a stage. Large sections of American society have become xenophobic, extremist and filled with hate towards Muslims and other minorities. They have effectively been “radicalised” and have elected an “extremist” preacher of hate as their President.
But no one calls him an extremist, primarily because he is white and Christian and these labels appear to be reserved for Muslims. He is still called a leader of the “free world” and treated with respect. Imagine if his name was Ahmadinijad or Mugabe, who put their lands and people first, how would he have been referred to, and how would he have been dealt with? Muslims in the UK and US who make relatively harmless comments are labelled as dangerous extremists and banned.
For all their good intentions, many of those protesting in the streets with Muslims are relatively powerless groups and people in American society. On the other hand, the right wing, white racist and extremist Christian movements are well funded in the United States. They have influential organisations and the media that promote their narrative. Over the last four decades these movements have worked hard to preach their message of hate and intolerance and their backers have also developed a support base and think tanks in the UK and Europe.
The result has been that, with each US president, anti-Muslim hate and policies have progressively gotten worse. Although other Presidents have targeted Muslims with their policies, Donald Trump, with his anti-Muslim rhetoric and Muslim travel ban, has gone a step further. He has assisted US society to cross a psychological barrier. He has now created a climate where it has become openly acceptable to speak about and target Muslims and their beliefs. No matter if the courts decide these executive orders are unconstitutional, the genie of anti-Muslim hatred has been unleashed and we are already seeing the consequences. Once the fires of hatred are lit they are difficult to put out. Trump has started something that cannot be reversed easily. America will never be the same again for Muslims in the US, or elsewhere.
We should not allow ourselves to be deluded into thinking that getting rid of Donald Trump will solve the current predicament Muslims face. The United States has been involved in murderous and destructive policies in the Muslim world for decades, it was only a matter of time before its leaders and people turned against the Muslims on their own shores.
America needs to be “de-radicalised” from the narrative of hate, “extremism”, white supremacy, and their hate preachers. How this is achieved is the real question; and elections are no solution. Trump is the product of the wishes of a huge segment of American society and people. Trump is not the real problem but America, in the direction it has taken, is.
Protests and civil action may form part of the solution but the issues are much deeper than that, and Muslims around the world need to be engaged in the solution. Trump has targeted those countries with (the exception of Iran) which are broken or weak for his Muslim ban.
Muslim weakness, lack of unity and apathy in the face of the powerful has emboldened politicians and interests in the United States. They know they can get away with anything when dealing with Muslims. This amplifies the importance of the ḥadīth that “the strong believer is better and more beloved to Allāh than the weak believer.”
The United States and Trump are products of the Muslim world’s failure to recognise the nature of the US political system and to deal with its reality in the right manner.
If you continue to have normal and cordial relations with nations that are killing your people and stealing your wealth, and the behaviour of your own people and governments do not change, then the problem is not just with the United States, it is with Muslims too.
Above all, if you abandon the divine guidance that Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) has given you then do not be surprised if you end up humiliated and persecuted. If you continue to deal with and trade with the United States as if it does not matter whether or not they kill your people, do not be surprised if they lack respect for you and for what you believe. If you want respect in this world you have to first respect yourself, the life and the property of your own people. It is high time Muslims reconsidered and adopted a different approach to dealing with the United States and European powers.
“Allāh does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.”
“Allāh only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion – [forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers.”
 Al-Qur’ān, 60:8-9
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