Trump’s Religious Discrimination

As they argue Trump’s ban on travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries in the courts, the administration continues to maintain that major media outlets are not reporting on all terrorist activities. I had the opportunity to read through the list as published by the New York Times.

Of the 78 terrorist attacks listed by the administration, about one-half dozen were either not covered by the NYT or the articles were since removed from the website (with no explanation given). Most were given reasonable coverage by the NYT and other outlets that President Trump has deemed “fake news.”

It is interesting to note that terrorist attacks by right-wing and mostly Christian terrorists are not included in the list. This is continued proof that the administration is on an anti-Muslim bent, though they deny that obvious fact.

If the stay on the ban of travel is upheld by the courts, the administration has yet another plan to put into effect that will be focused primarily on Muslims. Upon vetting immigrants and refugees to be allowed into the United State, they “could be asked to hand over their social-media passwords to officials as part of enhanced security checks,” said Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. This is a breach of privacy that should not be tolerated by Americans regardless of religious beliefs.

It is my belief that such an action would be a direct violation of the Fifth Amendment to our Constitution, which reads;

…nor shall (a person) be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;

It may also be a violation of the Fourth Amendment;

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

It is interesting to note that the Constitution was written to include all under its jurisdiction, not just citizens. There are no limitations as to who is protected by its contents; citizen, visitor or undocumented.

Once again, the actions being considered by the administration is focused strictly on Muslims seeking entry to the United States for education, or work, or as refugees.

We know from a Pew Research survey that 32 percent of Americans believe that being a Christian is tantamount to being a good American. If one is to look at those who declare themselves as Republicans that number jumps to 43 percent. That is more than 10 points higher than the importance as to where you were born.

Almost a quarter of all Democrats surveyed also wrongly believe that being a Christian is equated to being a good American.

So here is the slippery slope argument concerning such bans and accusations of disloyalty:

If the administration is successful at limiting the rights of one specific group, in this case Muslims who are citizens from seven specific nations and already hold dual citizenship or valid visas, what will prevent similar discriminatory rules being levied against American citizens and residents who are non-believers (approximately 7 percent of our population) or not affiliated with any religious sect (15 percent)?

We need to stand against the administration as it attempts to apply unconstitutional rules to those who seek freedom and safety. We have other problems we must solve domestically first; poverty, affordable housing, and healthcare to name a few.

Keep the pressure on our elected officials by writing letters, making telephone calls, joining rallies. We need to confront the issues of religious discrimination head-on and need to do it now.

About David Rosman

David is the winner of the Missouri Press Foundation's "Best Columnist" in 2013 (First Place) and 2014 (Second Place), the 2016 Harold Riback Award for excellence in writing, and the winner of the 2007 Interactive Media Award for excellence in editing.
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