The Imagined Enemy of the State

This post comes in the midst of the anti-Muslim and Islamophobic rhetoric being voiced by Donald Trump and growing Islamophobia in the U.S. in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino attacks. It breaks my heart to see this happening and the consequences this has for so many American Muslims who are against such horrible acts of violence that are carried out in the name of their faith. The true victims are not non-Muslim Americans but, are instead, Muslim Americans who are living in uncertainty and fear.

I thought about the Islamophobic hysteria while sitting in church last night before evening Mass. All I could think about was how politicians and presidential hopefuls are feeding the raging flames of Isamophobia and how it is effecting my Muslim friends. I also thought about the perceived “enemies” of the State, something I have been seeing lately on Facebook that includes both Muslims and Liberals like me. Being called an “enemy” of the State by a senior, disheveled, Liberal hating, right wing Conservative is so very dehumanizing and humiliating, I felt like I had been denied my Americaness and stripped of my right, given to me by my citizenship, to call myself an American. Then I thought about how Muslim friends must feel when politicians and presidential hopefuls spew anti-Muslim rhetoric. I wanted to lay in the pew and cry while clutching my rosary. Then I wondered how we, as a nation, came to such hateful talk. Well, I thought to myself, it has always been present in American society. Whether it is based off of skin color, religion, or political leanings, hate for the other has always been present and it culminated for Liberals in the terror of McCarthyism and for African Americans in the Jim Crow Laws and the decades of terror they lived through. As for Muslim Americans and for so many Muslims in the world, their time of living in terror is now.

As I have already said our society has always harbored a dislike or hatred towards a minority that has been seen as un-American, enemies of the state (Japanese Americans during WWII), or deemed to have poor morals. We, as a society, have never been accepting of all. This bothers me so very much. The only people that have viewed as “American” in the past have been Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Anglo-Saxon Protestants were once seen as the only true Americans. This has changed a little but public perception, at least on the far Right side, seems to be making a 360 by going back to the Anglo-Saxon Christian ideal of the true American. The only difference is that the ideal American is now a nationalistic Christian who merges nationalistic ideals with Christian morality. This, of course, creates a form of Christianity that is not truly Christianity but is, instead, something called “American Christianity”. This is a form of Christianity that is focused on a form Christianity that is rapped in a nationalistic flag, focused on being judgmental, focuses far too much on other’s sins, focuses on the hate of others, and is hell bent on creating a society that mixes politics and Christianity or, rather, encourages politicians to support one form of Christianity. This leaves very little room for those who are not Christian, don’t fall into the far Right’s interpretation of Christianity, those who are don’t affiliate with the Republican party or those who are not viewed as American. In the long this creates unnecessary enemies, those people that the far Right deems as being dangerous to the country and her ideals. Essentially, those who don’t fall into the Republican party are enemies of the State. Or that’s how I see it.

So where does Donald Trump fall into this post? He is contributing to the belief that Muslims are enemies of the States. This became evident this past week when Trump made statements while in South Carolina about not being afraid of preventing Muslims from entering the country. I don’t remember if this would be permanent or temporary but the fact remains that he has no problem with preventing American Muslims, who are citizens by the way, from reentering the country based off of their religion. What was even worse was that the crowd went wild. Trump would have been better off by saying that he was not afraid to screen those who had been or traveled to the Middle East and that this would apply to Americans, non-Americans, Muslims, and non-Muslims. But he didn’t because he thrives off of making offensive statements towards anyone who is not a white, anglo-saxon male. What made the comments even worse was that he lied about London having a “Muslim problem”, that London was trying trying to hid this “problem”, that there were no-go areas in London (apparently a few British officers claim this is true), and that the British were afraid of their fellow Muslim citizens. Trump’s comments have brought much criticism of the presidential want to be from both the UK and Israel. Israel backed out of a future meeting with Donald Trump while the UK is in the middle of their largest political petition in British history to bar Trump from the country.

While so many people in the world are speaking out against Trump and his outlandish comments on Muslims, there are many Americans who agree with his comments. I really do have the question the intelligence of his supporters. With numbers of Trump supporters growing after comments and other offensive comments, I am worried out fascism. After all nationalism has been showing it’s ugly head lately and if Trump wins the elections, then our country is going to hell but hopefully the other Republican presidential candidates will continue to put pressure on Trump to step down.

 

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