Kate Murphy, Franklin & Marshall College
How would you feel if your religion was targeted, stereotyped, and almost “banned” from a country? If one person part of a religion commits a horrible act, does the rest of the people associated with that religion have to pay for it? Now, I’m not saying that people do not have the right to fear or question others based on historical events that may have occurred. This can, however, create a controversial issue on how do we know we can trust people we may be skeptical of. That is a tough question to answer.
The events that took place in Quebec City, Canada, on January 29th, 2017 at an Islamic Cultural Centre (mosque) were tragic. A 27-year old killed six Muslims and wounded eight more during prayer, certainly giving people the right to be afraid. The motive behind this horrific act seems to be related to the recent implementation of Trump’s “ban” on certain Islamic countries. The killer was allegedly identified as someone with a Muslim background of some sort but also a strong Trump supporter. Canada is reflecting on the awful events and facing issues that seem to involve racism.
How can people be so cruel? Can it truly be based off of hate?
It all leads back to the person responsible for creating this mess. Trump banning people from Muslim-majority countries is hypocritical when it comes to the meaning of America: freedom. The United States has the reputation of being one of the most diverse and accepting countries in the world. Banning Muslims because of their religion and religious association is a cruel inhumane act. Trump is also giving the American people (such as the killer in Quebec) the perception that it is okay to follow his beliefs in stopping and eliminating Muslim immigrants from entering the U.S. Now, it is understandable that people may fear the Muslim community because of terrorist attacks that have occurred in the past. However, it is illogical to associate Muslim people as a whole as “terrorists”. It is unfair and cruel to the people of the Islamic religion.
Intertwining the event that occurred in Quebec City and Trump’s recent executive order, most Canadians believe Trump’s ordinance plays a huge role in explaining why the crime was committed. Trump is perpetuating his belief that Muslims are considered threatening people and are dangerous to the United States as a whole. Canada is said to be one of the most welcoming countries for refugees. Thus, when Canadians discovered Trump’s ban of Islamic countries, they were disgusted. The Prime Minister considered this to be an act of terrorism, however the courts have not justified it as such yet. The perpetrator was charged with six accounts of murder and five counts of attempted murder.
Although Trump has made alternate plans for refugees to stay within those countries, it is not right that he is denying them entry into the United States. Even though he has not explicitly said that he believes all Muslims are terrorists, his actions seem to imply it.
Taking this events into consideration and relating them to the college world that I am surrounded by, it made me think. As a white woman that attends a very diverse, small, liberal arts college located in the United States, there are many people on my campus that may be affected by this ban along with the events that occurred in Quebec. Furthermore, studying abroad is a major educational opportunity that many college students at Franklin and Marshall take advantage of. For example, say a Muslim student wants to study abroad. Do they have to worry they may not be able to take that opportunity because they may not be able to re-enter the United States after completing their semester abroad? Likewise, if an F&M student resides in an Islamic country, will he or she be able to go home for breaks and see their families? These situations are scary scenarios to think about. Fear has most definitely spread not only amongst campuses but throughout the world.
The event that occurred in Quebec has definitely raised many questions along with much concern.
I do not believe Trump’s ban is fair. One cannot ban an entire population based solely upon recent events. I understand as an American that yes, terrorist attacks from the Muslim religion has occurred in the past. However, not every Muslim is the same. Many need an accepting place, such as refugees. They need to escape from their horrifying hometowns especially those in Islamic countries. I believe the Quebec City killing was a hate crime and directly connected to Trump’s recent executive order. Furthermore, this encourages the idea that Muslims are not accepted.
Will Trump follow through with the ban on Islamic countries and maybe even take it further than that? Only time will tell.