America: The Triumph of Unilateralism

“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.” This was said by Thomas Jefferson, one of the most important American presidents in history. Jefferson was a politician and president whose genius was reflected in his possessing a philosopher’s ability to think in tandem with the intelligence of a politician, and his ability to use these two skills brilliantly. This is the art of power. Is there any comparison between Jefferson and the current resident of the White House?

Before Donald Trump entered the White House, his opponents described him as a man who would hurt others and not explain why, who would divide and not unify. During his electoral campaign there was chatter about preventing Muslims from entering the country. Barely 10 days into his presidency, Trump threw the doors open to a wide debate about preventing citizens from Islamic countries from entering the United States under the pretext of American national security and protection against terrorism. In light of President Trump’s decisions, Americans have become divided to an almost unprecedented degree. Trump’s order to separate children of illegal immigrants from their families at the Mexican border deepened the societal rift in America. This decision also widened the gap between conservatives and those who still see a glimmer of light in America and its freedoms.

Last September, Trump issued the third copy of his order to deny entry to citizens of seven countries. In light of the rejections of it − and his whining about it −the order finally made its way up to the Supreme Court.

Before turning to what happened in the highest judicial body in the country, let us consider: Why is Trump so keen to constrain America as “a republic of fears,” as it has been since September 11, 2001? This question pushed Thomas Friedman − the famed godfather of the globalists − to say, “Dawn has not broken on September 12 in America across its lands, powers, and people.”*

Those familiar with political thought know without a doubt that an enemy is very important for a balanced society. However, creating an enemy − especially if the proposed enemy is wearing an ethnic robe and religious garb − simply requires planting a seed of fragmentation and allowing it to seep deeply into souls. This seed will grow into a historical “ghetto mentality” which will dominate in particular ways. The spirit of freedom will be absent from the horizon. Did the U.S. Supreme Court actually need proof that the ban violates U.S. immigration law as well as the First Amendment to the Constitution, which prevents the government from giving preference to one religion over another?

The five judges who supported Trump’s third order said that the appellants did not present proof that Trump intended to make the immigration order into a religious issue, although his remarks indicated exactly this.

Last Ramadan, Trump called for an iftar celebration to be held in the White House. Hillary Clinton started this tradition in 1996 when she was the first lady. For the past two years, Trump skipped this tradition. But a quick look at those who Trump invited to attend this year’s iftar shows that precious few of the invitees were officials from Islamic countries. As for American Muslim leaders: None of them were present. Their absence shows the existing gap between Trump and Islam as a religion embraced by millions of Americans. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts argued that Trump’s actions as president were “within the core of executive responsibility” and thus the order was not a violation of U.S. constitutional rules. He pointed out that it is necessary to “not only consider the statements of a particular president, but also the authority of the presidency itself.”

But what Chief Justice Roberts did not say is that the president’s policies implicitly lead to religious discrimination. There is no mistaking that the Supreme Court justices argued − with four of the justices dissenting from the decision − for the validity of Trump’s order on the premise that the word “Muslim” was not found in the document − which also included non-Islamic countries like Venezuela and North Korea. This is being used to justify throwing the doors open wide for future American presidents (or in effect any American official in the executive branch) to use this same trick to conceal racial and religious discrimination. Enshrouding religious discrimination in falsehood is exactly what Jefferson described: This is an error which needs the support of government − in this case, the Supreme Court − to cover lies with the guise of truth.

Some American experts who reject this current American unilateralism describe Trump’s third order as a “beautified Muslim ban” that simply tacked on Catholic Venezuela and Communist North Korea. Trump can tweet about the Supreme Court decision all he wants; he can call it an awesome decision. The statement released by the White House added, “Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a tremendous victory for the American People and the Constitution. The Supreme Court has upheld the clear authority of the President to defend the national security of the United States.”

But Trump has not mentioned these two fundamental things: First, Trump’s relationship with the Islamic world, which is comprised of more than 1.5 billion people. How will this recent trend be understood? Will the decision build a high wall between Trump and the Islamic world? Will it create psychological barriers between Muslims and “America’s freedoms”?

Second, this decision will be a domestic obstacle that opposes the positive integration of American Muslims. This will be like a thorn in their throats, especially in light of the American Right promoting the imperative of confronting Muslim immigration and preventing the “Islamization of America.” This is throwing oil onto the already bright flames of “Islamophobia.”

The American president’s orders − now confirmed by the judiciary − are wave upon wave of darkness plaguing both countries and individuals in this milieu of religious and racial discrimination as well as intolerance against immigrants. Enough. The U.S. Supreme Court decision establishes religious discrimination and enshrines religious intolerance. This is another America … this is not the America I knew.

*Editor’s note: The original quotation, accurately translated, could not be verified.

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