Chicago - In the immediate wake of Donald Trump’s stunning upset over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a number of people have been playing a game of “wait and see” as though President-elect Trump will somehow transform himself into something other than what he is: a deeply crooked businessman who has little idea about the mechanisms of domestic and foreign government and no desire to learn its workings. He is a man who who race baited his loyal supporters on the campaign trail with promises to get rid of “those immigrants and foreigners who took their jobs.” At the same time, he is a man who surrounds himself with equally appalling cronies who are intent upon tearing apart the very fabric of the United States.
Chicago – In the immediate wake of Donald Trump’s stunning upset over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a number of people have been playing a game of “wait and see” as though President-elect Trump will somehow transform himself into something other than what he is: a deeply crooked businessman who has little idea about the mechanisms of domestic and foreign government and no desire to learn its workings. He is a man who who race baited his loyal supporters on the campaign trail with promises to get rid of “those immigrants and foreigners who took their jobs.” At the same time, he is a man who surrounds himself with equally appalling cronies who are intent upon tearing apart the very fabric of the United States.
Yet almost two weeks later, it is very clear that Donald Trump meant much of what he said during his campaign and that this influence is coming out in his choices for members of his transition team and his cabinet.
As a result, this new Administration’s undeniable anti-Muslim and anti-Islam stances and its fierce denial of global warming, along with the rest of its rhetoric and actions, must be recognized as credible and serious threats to Moroccans and the rest of the world.
During the campaign and on his website, Donald Trump repeatedly called for an “immediate ban on Muslims from entering the United States.” When pushed for clarification, he stated that it’s no longer just about Muslims but “all immigrants and visitors coming from countries compromised by terrorism.” Trump argued that this makes his plan more about specific territory than about specific people defined by religious belief, but his choice for National Security Advisor and Attorney General, the head of the Department of Justice, refutes this.
Trump’s choice, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, was both an early supporter of Donald Trump and the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) from 2012-2014. During his years as Director of the DIA, a post he was later fired from for his extremist and Islamophobic views, Lt. Gen. Flynn argued that Islamic terrorism is the major threat facing the United States and needs to be fought with all tools and allies necessary.
While Lt. Gen. Flynn is not alone in voicing these statements, what makes his appointment worrisome is that Flynn includes all of Islam into his description of Islamic terrorism. Flynn believes that Islam is inherently intolerant and that Islam, unlike other religions, has not and cannot peacefully co-exist.
Likewise, Trump’s selection of US Senator Jefferson “Jeff” Sessions for Attorney General underscores the ways in which his Administration will use all legal tools necessary to implement its plans. Senator Sessions, who was refused a federal judgeship in 1986 because of his racists beliefs and his attacks against civil-rights legislation and organizations, has become a major voice calling for harsh imprisonment of civilians and immigrants alike for low-level offenses. As Attorney General, he will have the power to shape US Immigration law, including the detention, incarceration, and deportation of immigrants, for decades to come.
The fact that a man who thinks Islam is inherently violent and a man who was denied a judicial position because of his inability to uphold civil rights will be advising Donald Trump on issues of national security, immigration and border protection, and civil rights, should immediately cause worry amongst those who value human rights, dignity, and checks against unrestrained power.
And it must be said that these type of policies play into the hands of groups like ISIS/DAESH who use such rhetoric to entice supporters and adherents. Make no mistake: this administration is a gift to people like them and they will use it to their full advantage.
Denial of Global Warming
Morocco is in the process of wrapping up COP22, a major international conference on climate change. During this conference, the number of signatories on the Paris Climate Accord rose to 111 countries out of 195, and 47 countries pledged to use only renewable fuels by 2050.
For all of this progress, things are now very different on the American side of the agreement.
On Nov 6, 2012, three years prior to his campaign, Trump tweeted that “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive”–Source: Donald J. Trump Twitter Account (@realdonaldtrump).
Four years later on the campaign trail and in his statement for his first 100 days in office, Trump called for renewed drilling for oil, natural gas, and coal production in the United States. He has also said that would withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.
A sign that the incoming Trump administration believes that global warming is a hoax can again be found in Trump’s transition team and his short list for cabinet members. For leader of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Transition team, Trump named Myron Ebell, a man who stated:
“…The whole case for global warming is silly and that I believe that the vast majority of scientists think it’s silly, and therefore I’m a little bit embarrassed by the fact that I waste my time on a silly issue.” –Source: “Everything’s Cool” (City Lights Pictures: 2007); rebroadcasted by “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”
Names for Trump’s Secretary of Energy now include Harold G. Hamm, the chief executive of Continental Resources, a major US oil and gas company. The day after the election, Hamm said that Trump should start removing current regulations on oil and gas companies in order to “let business thrive.” He also said that permits for drilling federal lands were “non-existent” (despite a reported 3,508 permits issued in 2015 by the US Bureau of Land Management), that new rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on capturing methane gas, were “out there to impede production [of natural oil and gas]”, and that it was time to stop federal subsidies on clean energy production such as wind and solar.” –Source, CNBC.com
In order for the United States to lessen its outsized impact upon global warming, it needs to drastically cut its carbon emissions in the next nine years. This means switching away from fossil fuels to clean energy and strictly enforcing energy sector regulations such as the requirement for natural gas companies to trap methane, and enforcing higher efficiency standards for a number of products, such as cars, light bulbs, appliances, and buildings.
Given the outright denial of climate change by Donald Trump and his Transition Team EPA leader, the belittling of important and necessary regulation by a candidate for Energy Secretary, and Trump’s own refusal to adhere to the Paris Accord, it is clear that the incoming Trump Administration poses a major threat to the environment.
The Kingdom of Morocco and other world governments need to take Donald Trump and his actions seriously. His plan to halt immigration of Muslims to the United States and to flout all the evidence of global warming and the terms of Paris Accord are very serious matters. Unless there is serious pressure from Morocco and other members of the global community to halt the forward march of the Trump Administration –lawsuits and legal actions do appear to work quite well; Tump has had 4,095 to date! –we will all be living in a very different and very difficult world for decades to come.
A.L. Castonguay is a 2016-2017 Fulbright Scholar from the United States studying the history of the Almoravid Dynasty and the Maliki school of Sunni Islam in Morocco. She is a Doctoral Candidate in History and a member of the Notre Dame Islamic Studies Colloquium, headed by Ebrahim Moosa, at the University of Notre Dame.
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