IT is quite a spectacular achievement to get Nigel Farage to say you’ve gone too far on an anti-immigration comment. This week, Donald Trump, real estate magnate, Presidential hopeful and perhaps most famously, the kingmaker in the American Apprentice has managed to do that.
Nigel Farage, a man who once blamed a traffic jam on the M4 as being a symptom ‘of open-door immigration’ said of Mr Trump’s remarks: “I think that his somewhat knee-jerk reaction to this, saying that all Muslims should be banned from coming into America was perhaps for him a political mistake too far.”
In October 1886, President Grover Cleveland accepted the Statue of Liberty as a gift from France. Cleveland said in his acceptance speech that “We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected.” An instantly recognisable icon of the USA and everything the country stands for. The statue is a symbol of the USA’s acceptance of immigrants.
Trump, the grateful recipient of the 2007 Muhammad Ali Award at a ceremony in Phoenix, said in a speech in Charleston, South Carolina that the USA needed “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” This completely contradicts both President Cleveland’s declaration and indeed the very thing that makes the USA the great country that it is.
Last month, Trump declared that should he take the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, he would introduce a register of Muslims in the USA. People might be worried about this, they needn’t be. This idea does have a precedent. In 1938, Germany introduced a law where Jewish people had to precede a non-recognised Semitic name with “Israel” and “Sara”. Additionally, they had to have their passports stamped with a capital J. That ended well, didn’t it?
The most concerning thing about this declaration is the spike in support Trump has enjoyed since this announcement amongst voters in the USA and the endorsement he has enjoyed from the powerful New England Police Benevolent Association.
A poll conducted CBS News and the New York Times has said that 57 per cent of Americans are against Trump’s proposals to ban Muslim’s entering the USA. The most worrying statistic to emerge is that 43 per cent are, at best, undecided on whether Trump is right or not.
How Trump would implement the wholesale banning of Muslims entering the land of the free has yet to be ascertained. One thing that would be more than welcome by Trump is the oil produce of Muslim countries. They are so welcome that Trump advocated the seizing of oil from the fields of Iraq and Libya after their respective uprisings, which were very helpfully fuelled by his country.
Trump also has business interests in Dubai, in the form of a golf course. In Istanbul, Trump’s name graces a hotel and an office bloc. In his own office tower on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, Qatar Airways has an office. The reassuring thing from Trump is that while visiting Muslim people may not be made welcome to the USA, their money is most definitely still welcome in his pocket.
Reassuringly, Trump is showing his concerns for us all in the United Kingdom. Trump said: “We have places in London and other places that are so radicalised that police are afraid for their own lives.”
In response, The Metropolitan Police said in an unusually scathing statement that “We would not normally dignify such comments with a response, however, on this occasion we think it’s important to state to Londoners that Mr Trump could not be more wrong.”
While Trump may not have got the approval of the Metropolitan Police, he has luckily found the support of Katie Hopkins, a writer that Mr Trump describes as “respected”.
Hopkins, who has previously called for gunboats to quell the ‘feral humans and cockroaches’ that were fleeing the war in Syria, has said in support of Trump said that “there is fear among the police and the public”. That is a fear that has in no way imaginable been fuelled by the The Sun and the Daily Mail, newspapers that she has written her sagacious musings for in the last twelve months.
Perhaps Hopkins and Trump are right, people in the UK are hiding behind their doors in fear of a terror threat. British people, displaying that stiff upper lip that Trump’s compatriots at the Massachusetts Spy described us as having in 1815, are being a stoic as ever. The reality of it all is that behind our homes are haunted by fears of Jihadi’s running amok on our streets. On the other hand, Hopkins and Trump could be talking complete bollocks. It’s not unheard of, is it?
By: Anthony Murphy