Donald Trump has been basing his presidential campaign on stirring up provocative ideas, keeping his name and face at the top of the news, day in and day out. His latest sound bite, banning Muslims from entering the US, has landed him massive condemnations, not only from Democrats, but also from many in his own party, from independents, from international leaders, and from many non-politicians.
His supporters and those who either fear Islamic Terror, or suspect every Muslim to be a potential radical, have found his latest position agreeable and justifiable. Some politicians, those who portray the majority of Muslims as decent folks when there is a microphone next to them, refrain from condemning Trump, but express disagreement on that specific issue. Most of them prefer political correctness while harboring a secret appreciation for Trump’s thinking. They believe that as long as Muslims are a small minority, they pose little threat, but once they reach a critical mass they try to transform the culture of their habitat into an Islamic one, rather than assimilating into western culture.
This latest group of folks includes, without exception, all of the Republican presidential candidates, notwithstanding their vocal condemnation of Trump’s latest stance. Every one of the GOP presidential candidates has been vocal about their refusal to admit Muslim Syrian refugees to the US. Bush and Cruz were in favor of admitting Christian refugees, (Ted Cruz: “Muslims should be resettled in Muslim countries”), while all others—Carson, Christie, Fiorina, Graham, Huckabee, Jindal, Kasich, Pataki, Paul, Rubio, Santorum and of course, Trump—express a complete ban on admitting (Muslim) Syrian refugees. Carson calls the idea of accepting Syrian refugees “a suspension of intellect”, Christie, Rubio and Fiorina worry about an inadequate vetting process, Graham and Paul point to the Paris attack as their reason, Huckabee portrays them as terrorists, Jindal wanted to pause and figure it out first, Kasich does not want to take the risk, Santorum refers to them as Jihadists, and Trump will send them back as soon as he becomes president.
But we know that Syrian refugees are not what we need to worry about. We know that most, if not all, Islamic terrorists are either home-grown, or immigrants who settled in their terror-target countries and were living there for some time. The risk to the US does not emanate as much from those Syrian refugees, as it does from European Islamists who may enter the US any time they wish. Not only these European Islamists are not vetted, but they need no visa upon their arrival.
Accordingly, These GOP presidential candidates who called for denying entry to Syrian refugees have done so only because it served as a politically correct cover for their true intent, an intent expressed by Donald Trump, because the actual risk of letting Islamic terrorists import their sickening and dangerous ideology to the American continent rests not with the refugees; it clearly lies with those who gain trouble-free entry to the US.
Trump has tried to answer the question of how you stop Islamic terrorists from entering the US when vetting is not part of the process, when visas are not required, and when fake passports are as easy to get a hold of as marijuana in Colorado. He may have been a bit too expansive. But this is Trump. This is a man who looks for non-stop attention. He strives to be the talk of the town and he succeeds.
Still, Trump’s position could have been much more acceptable had he framed his opinion by denying entry to people from specific (Muslim) countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Morocco, Algeria, Somali, etc. And imposing visa and vetting requirements on people travelling from the European Union, rather than using faith as his publicized criterion.
Apparently, exploiting religion as a benchmark when judging people’s character is an unacceptable course of action, but denying entry to people from particular countries or changing visa requirements for other countries is tolerable.
The GOP presidential candidates have shown us that this approach is popular. They have all taken it and applied it when they addressed the Syrian refugees’ issue.