This isn’t a place where I intend to get political. However, the current leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination did a really tragic and harmful thing on Monday: calling to ban all Muslim immigrants into the United States.
While his remarks were met with widespread condemnation, and such a ban is unlikely in a country that prides itself on religious freedom—his anti-Muslim rhetoric can be used as a recruitment tool for extremist ideology.
The cheers following Trump’s announcement at a South Carolina rally were also quite telling.
“I think that we should definitely disallow any Muslims from coming in. Any of them,” supporter Charlie Marzka, 75, told CNN. “The reason is simple: we can’t identify what their attitude is.”
It reminded me of the Rush song Witch Hunt, and the last couple of lines:
The righteous rise
With burning eyes
Of hatred and ill-will
Madmen fed on fear and lies
To beat and burn and kill
They say there are strangers who threaten us
In our immigrants and infidels
They say there is strangeness too dangerous
In our theaters and bookstore shelves
That those who know what’s best for us
Must rise and save us from ourselves
Quick to judge
Quick to anger
Slow to understand
Ignorance and prejudice
And fear walk hand in hand…
There is a clear connection between being scared, lacking knowledge and having prejudice.
Education, on the other hand, promotes compassion.
The beauty of the Internet is access to information. You can literally read about anything you want.
It’s free learning.
If we should be scared of anything in our society, it’s willful ignorance.