The executive order signed by Trump which targets 7 Muslim countries has more inconsistencies and language loopholes than a toddler’s half-finished English essay. It’s not just that he conveniently provides exceptions to the Muslim countries he has business ties and connections to, but he also specifies under certain clauses, a measure of leniency if you are a sheep of the Christian faith. And so, it’s reassuring that in light of such myopic religious discrimination, many people and rights groups have taken it upon themselves to insist that Muslims (and refugees / immigrants) are always welcome no matter what happens.
It’s great of course, that we are willing to support religious pluralism rather than to commit the grave fallacy of associating an entire basket of apples with a few bad ones. Canada’s prime minister and their cabinet members have gone to special lengths to make rousing speeches, and so have many individuals who feel that such a ban is not only unconstitutional, but a direct violation of everything that once represented America’s liberties and possibilities. And ultimately, we are doing the right thing. Harmony, tolerance and kindness will go distances that violence, discrimination and hatred would never reach.
But it’s important to remember that despite these unkind persecutions faced by Muslims, this in no way proves that their religion is acceptable, nor logically coherent. In fighting for religious freedom, it’s too easy to also accidentally (or purposely) acknowledge the validity of the faith. The danger now is that in advocating religious freedom, we are all also silently giving the OK to religious appeals, even though in the context of modernity, many religions are nothing short of nonsense, or are in almost every case, completely incompatible with logical thought or the scientific method.
Islam, even if subjected to modern interpretations, and even if entire sentences and paragraphs in the Koran could be outright omitted or given a generous inference, is still a religion that, like every other religions, relies on unsound and dangerous reasoning, as well as stirring hostility towards Science and modern cultural norms.
In a religious survey carried out by the Pew Research Center in 2013 across the globe, the executive summary found that a majority of Muslims say that their faith is the one true faith to eternal life in heaven, and that their religious leaders should have an influence over political matters. This by the way, is an argument for Islam to be infused into politics, a regression to the dark ages where religious figures had more power than rulers. While the survey does show that Muslims are positive towards Science, it is likely that while they may accept the evolution of species, most would reject the proven notion of human evolution.
The results of the survey also showed that 1 – 7% of Muslims support violence against civilians in the name of Islam, with this percentage being much higher (as much as 20%) in areas like Bangladesh and Egypt. Consequently (from the remaining survey questions), it can be stated categorically that Muslims often support dangerous ideas: death for blasphemy, misogyny (the belief that men are superior to women) and various forms of repulsive behavior. There can be no doubt the same resistance to Science, abortion and critical thinking can also be found in Christianity, and to varying extents, in other faiths.
However, Trump’s ban is in no way an effective method in reducing the influence of religion. Whether it’s politics, friendships or romantic love, you simply cannot win by force. It’s not just that his ban targets a specific faith while falsely raising the credibility of another (Christianity), it also doesn’t establish any logical coherence about faith in general. And in the face of such unfair treatment, psychology has taught us that it only fosters a greater resistance and self-affirmation of one’s convictions. It’s also important to begrudgingly admit that even in the face of overwhelming evidence, people rarely change their minds anyway, but for sure, violence and persecution are the lowest denominators in changing perspectives.
So, have you thought about (HYTA) the religious implications of Trump’s Muslim ban?