At least six people were killed at the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre during evening prayers. Scores of worshippers were fired upon allegedly by two barbaric gunmen. As usual, some authorities were slow to label this a ‘terrorist attack’ but the sincere Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau aptly called it so. It is disheartening that just moments after Mr Trudeau issued a statement welcoming Muslim refugees who were barred from entering the neighbouring country — President Donald Trump’s United States — Canadian citizens have been gripped with such fear. The timing of the attack is almost as if it is a retaliatory crime committed in exchange for Mr Trudeau’s magnanimity.
There are several factors at play in the current world scenario. Most citizens of the world have been polarised as either supporting President Trump’s critical stance on Muslims worldwide or vehemently opposing him. Protests and public sentiments have been in viewing for the past couple of weeks worldwide. While there may be some who are still on the fence about the issue, indecisive as to who or what is correct, the unleashing of anti-Muslim paranoia predicts ominous times ahead. President Trump and his supporters are alienating not just members from one major world religion, but members from innumerable races who may have grown up in Islamic cultures even if not practising themselves. Mr Trump has been selective about which countries’ refugees and citizens have been banned from and many allege this has to do with the economics of his trade, which his sons supposedly now oversee. Pakistan is not yet on Trump’s immigration ban list of seven Muslim countries, but according to the reasoning provided by White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, the ban is applicable to countries that have active terrorism which could pose a threat to the United States. This means that Pakistan is under scrutiny as it, too, has been unable to ward off terrorism. Mr Trump has upset the majority of Muslim countries, though, suspiciously, some have not vocalised their opposition as much as others. If Muslim countries band together, politics and business aside, we could be risking war. As a reminder, it must responsibly be remembered that some countries possess nuclear weapons, which could wreak havoc on innocent victims on both sides of the border. The profligacy of spreading anti-Muslim sentiment will have ramifications. The ramifications could especially come from extremist elements who call themselves Muslim but act only in barbaric manners.
President Trump’s ban is being recognised as unconstitutional and organisations such as the American Civil Liberties Union is pushing for converting its temporary overturning of the immigration ban into a more permanent one. Indeed, Mr Trump has not acted within proper democratic means. He has failed to consult with various entities that constitute the US government and acted as he pleases. It is a relief, however, that better sense and humanity are prevailing across America with peaceful nationwide airport protests and judges, lawyers and various politicians at local, state, and federal levels are working day and night to overturn President Trump’s hateful and divisive actions thus far.
It is a tragedy that Canada, a country lauded for its peaceful dealings with immigrants and Muslims, despite some recent opposition in the recent past, has had to bear the Quebec mosque incident. President Trump needs to be stopped as his actions continue to incite hate globally. He is acting irresponsibly, ignoring the fact that his country is the top world power and is ‘followed’ by the rest of the world. The anti-Muslim paranoia could lead to another war and we have hardly recovered from the ones in the last century and this one. President Trump must think along humanitarian lines, just as the leadership of the United States of America and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, formerly Immigration Naturalisation Services, did when his ancestors and his wife, Melania Trump, immigrated to the United States.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 31st, 2017.
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