Donald Trump, the Republican presumptive nominee is known to hold certain opinions that are viewed as controversial by some people. His views on terrorism and what he calls radical Islam is the most controversial. As a result of these strong views, Donald Trump has consistently advocated an embargo on Muslim immigration into the United States, particularly regions of proven history of terrorism against the United States. He mentioned a few which includes, Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf States as well as Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Donald Trump has come under attack from multiple quarters for his views. To his Democrats rivals, some Muslims and their sympathizers as well as certain personalities within his Republican party, Trump represents anarchy, racism and Islamophobia and therefore doesn’t qualify to lead America.
As a Muslim however, I choose to reflect deeply on Donald Trump’s and admit that there are some merits to his opinions. ISIS/ISIL, Al-Nusra, Boko Haram, Al-Shabab and Al-Qaeda are not Islamic but they are Muslims. There is however a thin line between what is Muslim and what is Islamic because all Muslims claim to be Islamic in their actions. Donald Trump, not being a Muslim himself, understandably cannot separate the two especially as the actions of radical Muslims have become too prevalent.
Before everyone else in the world agrees with Donald Trump, the Muslim community worldwide must take deliberate steps to reform and remove the violent theology that has found its way into mainstream Islam. As Muslims, we must look inward and admit the wide spread existence of highly radicalized Muslims who out of religious convictions and quest for salvation in the hereafter, pledge and commit to global Jihad and carry out terrorist acts. Over the years radical Islam has taken hold of mainstream Islam, through teaching of hatred and intolerance for people who do not share our beliefs contrary to the true teachings of Islam, which is a very peaceful religion.
Continuous denial of these facts by Muslims aggravates the problem. This self denial has made it impossible to take the right steps to reform and rid our religion of radical and violent doctrines. Donald Trump is saying the plain truth but maybe in a rash way but I choose to understand the man and his message in proper perspective. The Saudi Arabian authorities don’t allow immigration of non Muslims into its territory in other to maintain its puritan Islamic system, therefore, it will be hypocritical to criticize Donald Trump for attempting same in his predominantly non Muslim country, that is the United States.
Muslims should engage the world and create an atmosphere of peace, enlightenment and justice that Islam is known for. Less than forty-eight hours after the Orlando attacks by a Muslim claiming allegiance to ISIS, another Muslim also claiming allegiance to ISIS has killed a police officer and his wife in a French Suburb. The Image of our religion is suffering a great damage and good Muslims must rise up and save this beautiful religion from some misguided elements.
My condolences and prayers go to the American people on this tragedy. America is a country that was founded on the principles of freedom and pursuit of happiness as a fundamental human right. It is based on these principles that black American slaves were freed and civil rights extended to them and today Barack Obama an African American is the President of the United States. It is based on these principles that Muslims are allowed to live and worship freely without inhibitions in a country founded and populated by people of Judeo-Christian heritage. As equal beneficiaries of a free society, Muslims living in America must respect and uphold these principles, before the world repeats after Donald Trump.
Dahiru writes from Abuja.