As a warning of a religious crackdown soon to come, it could not have been much more clear. Late yesterday, as Americans were getting ready for a long winter vacation until the new year, Donald Trump declared his intention to declare war against Muslims. He said, of Islam, “This is a purely religious threat, which turned into reality. Such hatred! When will the U.S., and all countries, fight back!”
Let’s break this statement down:
1) Donald Trump was speaking in the context of a terrorist attack in Berlin, Germany, in which a Muslim drug dealer killed 12 people.
2) When Trump calls the terrorist threat “purely religious”, that means that he regards Islam itself, and not just terrorists who are Muslim, as the enemy of the United States.
3) When Trump urges other countries along with the United States, to “fight back” against this enemy, that means a war against Islam, not a war against Muslim terrorists.
4) A war against Islam could be a literal war – a new Christian Crusade against Muslims on behalf of Donald Trump’s militant Christian political base. If that’s so, it means that the United States would consider itself at war on the basis of religion, something that’s never happened before. Furthermore, we would be at war with a huge number of Muslim countries that haven’t had any role in supporting terrorist attacks: Countries such as Morocco on the western side and Indonesia on the eastern side.
5) It could be that Donald Trump wants to declare a figurative war, in which the power of the federal government is used to attack the practice of the religion of Islam itself. In the past, Trump has proposed shutting down mosques, placing American Muslims under government surveillance, forcing them to carry religious identification with them at all times much as Hitler forced Jews to wear yellow stars, prohibiting them from international travel, and putting them into internment camps – all on the basis of their religion alone. Just a few days ago, when asked if he really intends to do these sorts of things, he simply responded, “You know my plans.”
If what you want the United States of America to become is a brutal Christian theocracy, then you’ll see no problem with Trump’s plans. If you actually believe in the traditional American value, enshrined in the highest law of the land, that religion and government should remain separate, and that the government must not discriminate on the basis of religion, then you need to get ready to take part in the resistance the Trump Administration.