By Ayesha Ulhaq
By Ayesha Ulhaq
Rabat – Global technology companies are standing in solidarity with Muslims as they issue statements against the creation of a US national database, registering Muslims in the United States.
Islamophobia has increased significantly in the 21st century and, ever since the 2016 presidential election in the United States, Muslims are at the forefront of discrimination and finding themselves victims of hate crimes in their own country.
In November 2016, Donald Trump proposed a temporary ban on all Muslim immigration to the U.S. and, although he has ultimately backed down from this, he still recommended the creation of a registered database of Muslims in the U.S. Trump claims this is a strategy to strengthening “National Security.”
Global tech companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple, IBM, Uber and Microsoft have all issued statements against the creation of such a database.
A meeting was held at Trump Tower last December with Silicon Valley executives, including Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and Oracle CEO Safra Catz. It was not clear if the Muslim registry was a part of the discussion, however, Buzzfeed put questions to these heavyweight companies as to whether they would participate by providing data if the registry becomes a reality.
A spokesperson for Google says “In relation to the hypothetical of whether we would ever help build a Muslim registry, we haven’t been asked, of course we wouldn’t do this and we are glad from all that we’ve read that the proposal doesn’t seem to be on the table.”
As reported on mvslim.com, around 1,300 workers in the tech industry signed the neveragain.tech pledge as a promise to never participate in the creation of such a database because Trump’s proposal acts as a surveillance tool specifically targeting Muslims.
The neveragain.tech pledge is an open letter that reads “We are choosing to stand in solidarity with Muslim Americans, immigrants, and all people whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by the incoming administration’s proposed data collection policies.”
Trump, however, seems at least to be vacillating in his stance on the Muslim registry proposal. Sometimes he is in favor of the idea and other times he backs away from it. Trump has the support and backing of other Republican leaders and influential individuals. Former Navy Seal, Carl Higbie, told Fox News in a November 2016 broadcast that “a Muslim registry would be constitutionally valid,” citing the containment of 120,000 Japanese Americans during the Second World War.
The question is, would it be possible to even create a database for a Muslim Registry if Trump’s proposal is put into practice, considering the refusal of global companies to participate?