For the first time in my entire life, this morning I actually cried at the news.
It’s impossible to ignore what’s happening in the world, but if you want to, or if you think that speaking on the current political climate should be left to politicians then you’ve come to the wrong place. I usually refrain from writing anything even remotely political on social media because it undoubtedly will attract scrutiny and counter arguments but on this matter, frankly I don’t care. I am so comfortable in the way I view the world and I would be tremendously disappointed in myself if I didn’t have some commentary on the horrendous path the world is on right now.
First of all, I’d like to point out that my mum was born in the United States. Consequently, my brother and I have the right – for now – to claim dual citizenship. The prospect of moving to and living in the US has been very much a likely scenario for us both for our entire lives up until now. What doesn’t make sense to me is how I – someone who’s entire family bar my mother is Scottish – have the right to fill out the appropriate paperwork and jump on a flight to any US state with really no questions asked, whilst people who have lived and worked and loved in America for years are now barred from reentering because of where they were born.
America is built on immigrants. It is a nation of immigrants. Even when speaking to Americans, they identify with the country their family emigrated from before describing themselves as American. Nobody is from America apart from Native Americans, and you just need to open a book or read the news about how greatly mistreated they have been.
To tarnish seven countries as terrorist states is astounding. Truly astounding. How can one of the most powerful men in the entire world be so unfathomably ignorant? How can racism and hatred and sheer bile be at one of the most admired posts on the planet in this day and age? How can Islamophobia be acceptable and normalised and to some extent promoted by these sanctions? How are shootings in and burning down of mosques failing to make headline news? How is this the modern world? We have taken such a step back in recent years because of stereotypes, scaremongering and ignorance.
I have Muslim friends. Beautiful, kind hearted and smart girls. I sat in history classes and learned about how Jewish discrimination started off with them and now bans are being implemented and registers are being discussed over their religion. I sat in religious education and learned about their religion, about how important it was to give back to those less fortunate, about the importance of self-purification. At a school with such a large Muslim student body I saw first hand the importance of tolerance and the hurt that racism can cause. I can safely say that I don’t see people by their colour, I don’t ask their religion or their sexuality and even if I find it out I would never allow it to alter the way I view or felt about that person. Being Bhuddist doesn’t make you good, being Christian doesn’t make you better, and being Muslim certainly doesn’t make you bad, or a terrorist, or a threat to any body or country.
I cannot even begin to imagine how it must feel to be afraid of what’s coming over the next few years purely because of my faith or the country I was born in. I can only hope that the marches and protests and hundreds of thousands of dollars being raised across the globe to aid those who are stranded or being discriminated against is a tiny piece of solace during this horrendous period of time.