By Mohammed Khaku
Yesterday (August 15), President Donald Trump at a press conference unequivocally chose to stand with White Supremacy, Confederates, KKK, Neo-Nazis, Alt-Right and bigoted protesters in Charlottesville. Mr. Trump has lost an opportunity to govern our diverse nation. All Americans including elected officials must hold the president accountable.
We now have a commander-in-chief who is aligned to White Supremacy. It is not the time to sit on the fence when racism and bigotry are taking over our nation. Speak Up! Silent No More!
The events in Charlottesville last weekend showed us the violence of white supremacy at its most visceral and extreme. The terrible incidents in Charlottesville have to do with racism and White Supremacy. These groups are thriving and supported by the President and his team of Alt-Right: Steve Bannon, Steve Miller and Sebastian Gorka. These men shouldn’t be in the White House.
Yet after this horrific event, the president merely blamed “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” Contrast this with his penchant for calling out Islamist violence while hesitant to call white supremacist violence by its name. Mr. Trump’s unwillingness to label white supremacists as such encourages those groups and their followers.
Such violence should come as little surprise. Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign was based on racist sentiment, pandering to white supremacists. He called Mexicans rapists and criminals and proposed a Muslim ban. The explosion of bigotry and racism are linked directly to the President and the Republican Party for providing space and accepting them.
White supremacy has existed in the United States since the slave trade. The blatant pronouncements of anti-Semitism, Nazism, and anti-Black racism at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville were an appalling display of the dangerous ideologies emboldened by the Trump presidency. The ideology of “White Supremacy” is gaining popularity and leading many of our youth to radicalization. This ideology won him the presidency and has sustained him in office — no amount of nepotism, conflicts, emolument clause, scandal or evidence of incompetence will diminish his followers’ belief that he, and he alone, could Make America White Again.
Law enforcement officers should use Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program which was Launched during the presidency of Barack Obama to prevent radicalization of Muslims based on the idea that radicalization is an exclusively Muslim phenomenon. CVE was ostensibly meant to prevent terrorist activity by encouraging the early detection of potential “radicalization” of individuals using FBI informants. It is time CVE is used for all hate groups in USA.
America is in crisis and engrossed with addiction of Racism and White Supremacy. Carol Anderson, Professor of African-American studies at Emory University and the author of White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, captured this beautifully when she said: “Like all forms of substance abuse, it has destroyed families and communities and put enormous stress on government institution.”
The professor further says, “This addiction of racism in the Republican Party might not be that explicit, but it all started with Donald Trump’s birther movement and Republican Party’s support of white supremacy for decades and now it is the Republican Party’s drug of choice.”
This addiction of white supremacy and protecting Donald Trump has denigrated the CIA, FBI, Congressman Devin Nunes sabotaging his own committee’s hearings, Senator Ted Cruz going after former the deputy attorney general Sally Yates and firing of FBI director James Comey and destruction of the ACA, one wonders what type of opium are the Republicans addicted too.
Muslims in the Lehigh Valley stand unequivocally against white supremacy, anti-Semitism and fascism that were on display in Charlottesville last weekend. We join in extending heartfelt sympathy to the family on the loss of Heather Heyer, while we pray for the quick and speedy recovery of all those injured and traumatized by Saturday’s events.
Muslims must stand shoulder to shoulder with our African and Jewish-American brethren in confronting and challenging the neo-Nazis, White Supremacists and any other hate group. Islam is unequivocally against racism and prejudice of any kind as demonstrated in the Qur’anic words” “O Mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honored in the sight of God is the one who is the most righteous” (Qur’an 49:13).
Islamic egalitarianism (the ideals of equality, brotherhood, and social justice) still gains converts from the untouchables of India to the likes of Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X. However, how should Muslims win the minds and hearts of their fellow human beings to fight the diseases of racism, nationalism, prejudice and stereotype? Muslims should initiate a personal Jihad for tolerance and pluralism with interfaith dialogue and assimilation with other culture and faiths.