Anti-Muslim extremism becomes state policy with Trump

A storm was already looming on the horizon when President Donald Trump assumed power in the U.S. As one of the least popular American presidents in recent history, citizens have protested against his protectionist, populist, xenophobic and far-right political platform. Indeed, less than one month into his term, Trump managed to create widespread “shock and awe” among the proponents of political, social and economic liberties in the U.S., as well as across the world. The fact that he swiftly started to realize his campaign promises to enforce economic protectionism, diplomatic isolationism, withdrawal from regional arrangements and restricting social movement signifies that the global system is entering a new phase. It seems that the U.S. might not be prepared to carry the burden of the public needs associated with its self-professed mission of “leading the free world” any more. A rich catalog of political and economic confrontations, which might result from the lack of relative “hegemonic stability,” is likely to be one of the hot topics of discussion in the coming months and years. However, more importantly from the perspective of the Muslim world, radical policy decisions taken by the Trump administration might herald a new era in which the already existing danger of anti-Muslim extremism in the Western world is elevated from the status of a marginal world view and social phenomenon to an element of official policy making.

When the freshly inaugurated U.S. president approved an executive order on Jan. 25 with the effect of suspending American refugee programs and banning the admission of citizens from seven Muslim countries for three months, the seriousness of the impending challenge was widely recognized for the first time. The executive order — which effectively stopped the allocation of visas to Muslim citizens of seven countries, including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan, on the precept of preventing terrorism — sent shock waves through both the libertarian circles in the U.S. and the global public opinion in general. Strangely, some of the established U.S. citizens originating from these countries also experienced problems when entering the U.S. and rumors began to spread that the official list of countries whose citizens were deemed risky in terms of terrorism will be expanded soon. …


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