Those who support Trump will find some logical explanation for why he cannot fulfill his promises, and those who do not support him will find additional points of discussion. And that is where it pretty much stops. We have recently learned to follow the script, and the script is a loop.
The average citizenry remains where they are, and the world does not change much, at least, not much in the way of resolving problems of a global scale.
It may actually make things a bit worse.
I do want to point out, as an aside, that both “freedom” and “security” have been sold to the American people as exclusively American values that many across the world hate and want to bring down. That is, at best, mindless gibberish, and at worst, a totally false, and, quite literally, a dangerous assumption.
There are no legitimate societies that do not like or want freedom and security and are therefore hell-bent on taking down societies that have it. Freedom and security are characteristics that are desirable by all, and no one society has the sole proprietorship on these.
As nonsensical as the idea is, that there are those who hate American freedom and security, it is easy to sell the idea to a population who, historically, were not encouraged to, and did not need to, understand different cultures. Others assimilated to American ways, and not necessarily the other way around.
Americans do have a titillating relationship with exotic and ethnic things, for numerous sociological reasons that belong in a different article; but that titillation is the boundary in most situations. Few are xenocentric.
In these circumstances, the wildest ideas make sense to the average American, especially when they see events that corroborate their thinking.
In those situations, rationality and logic are not the refuge they seek; anger and hatred take over, logic dies, and real consequences, as stupid as they may be, follow.
Approximately 2.5% of all terrorist attacks between 1970 and 2012 on US soil were carried out by Muslims. And yet, unscrupulous politicians and media have deemed Islam and terrorism to be synonyms
There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world today. It is also the fastest growing religion in the United States. Common sense dictates that if the religion preached its followers hatred and violence, then the rest of the world would stand no chance. It is a numerical ratio of 1:4 for every Muslim and the victim they would seek to annihilate.
If it has not happened yet, then it is because the religion has very different tenets and a very different, and peaceful, approach to salvation.
Every religion has their extremists, and the most horrendous acts are carried out by these tiny fractions of the group.
It is politics and media that have wrongfully, but intentionally, linked the actions of the few to the larger mass when it serves a purpose -- money and power. There is lip service afterwards, and rightful protests by some, but it is harder to rid the mind of stereotypes than it is to accept logical statements.
It is election season in the United States, and we will see a lot more between now and November that will not make sense to the thinking mind. The biggest fallout is that many of the damages will be quite permanent in nature, and it will be even more difficult for Muslims to continue doing what they are doing.
This is institutionalised discrimination, where an entire group suffers based on an idea not rooted in either science or common sense, but in the stereotypical images created for political gain.
Even the FBI’s own database shows that only a small percentage of the terroristic acts are attributed to radical Islamists.
Approximately 2.5% of all terrorist attacks between 1970 and 2012 on US soil were carried out by Muslims. And yet, unscrupulous politicians and media have deemed Islam and terrorism to be synonyms.
They do not talk about any other religion and use the word “terrorism.” They do not dissect the religious backgrounds of those who are not Muslims.
The acts of these individuals do not spill on to the rest of the religion they belong to. Their religions are not held hostage for their actions.
That 2.5%, lately more so, is repeatedly aired on media as terrorism; the remaining 97.5% of the acts are labeled as perpetrated by those who are mentally ill, have psychological issues rooted in childhood circumstances, and the like.
What can we do? It is definitely an uphill battle, but one that is better to fight than to let it run its course, hoping that civic sense will one day kick in and make things better for all. My suggestion is to keep in mind the following:
Terrorism is never perpetrated by all members of an established religion or society; it is engaged in by a numerical minority who has fallen prey to extremism.
Terrorism is not owned by a single religion or society, but comes in all shapes and colours from all cultures and backgrounds.
Terrorism is rooted in misinterpretations, and it is fed by a lack of opportunity. Economic desperation amongst people, whether imposed by the state, or a result of social and individual circumstances, is the topmost breeding ground for violent extremism.
And it is because of the economic desperation among whole groups and among individuals that we will see both semi-organised groups and lone wolves perpetrate terrorist acts.
As educators, we need to address this in our classrooms and outside; as researchers, we need to translate our findings in everyday language and disseminate widely; as other professionals, we need to reach out to our neighbors and friends and engage in communal dialogue. And, as long as we are at it, we need to have more Muslim journalists and lawyers in Western nations.
It would also not hurt if Trump never became president of the United States.
Dr Ansar Ahmed is an Effectiveness Management Consultant, currently employed by Booz Allen Hamilton and working with the US Department of Defense educational activity projects in Washington, DC.