Of Muslim Bans and the First Amendment

The First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Nelson Lowhim, Writer & Veteran

Nelson Lowhim, Writer & Veteran

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when the latest version of the Muslim Ban was struck down by a federal judge in Hawaii. A previous version is still at the Supreme Court which also upheld parts of it. But I’m guessing this kind of hope from a partial defeat only speaks to how far we’ve fallen as a nation. In my view, all it proves is that we need to remain vigilant in order to make sure we keep tribalism at bay and make sure that it doesn’t tear this country apart.

And once again, I must point out how Trump is merely a symptom of a greater sickness now flaring up in our great nation—and across the world, as it were. The Muslim ban, in direct contradiction to what the first amendment states, puts to lie the idea that the right ever cared about the Constitution. But such an intellectual “win” is of little comfort when the right marches on. Only now they’re aware of the anti-intellectualism and wear that badge proudly because this is not about rational points but tribalism and drawing lines in the sand. It is, ultimately, about feelings, their feelings over reality. But even that statement can’t be condescending because the effects are very real and will result in so many more deaths.

In fact, this Islamaphobia is so powerful, so instilled in our institutions’ DNA that it would be remiss not to point out how similar laws and actions were enacted before. Indeed, someone from the right would be forgiven for being surprised at the reaction to their wants as they are simply the logical end of what we as a nation have carried out so far.

Indeed, it’s beyond belief what has been carried out so far in the name of “national security”—ever that priesthood shrouded in secrecy. And I use the term shrouded without any hint of irony because we all know much of what’s being enacted is for the sake of paranoid fevered-nightmares of some in America.

And I’m aware that Obama carried out somewhat similar actions with CARRP and other policies that were defacto anti-Muslim policies. Direct violations of the first amendment. But you won’t hear anything about that from the right. For all their talk about being “strict-constitutionalists”, the parts they don’t like will be immediately tossed with the glib remark that “the Constitution isn’t a suicide pact.”

This all evokes a great sadness in me even if I know with how little intelligence this world is run; even if I’m aware of this great play of apes that I’m a part of. Because what it means is that Trump is merely the symptom of this desire to wage civilizational war against Islam—or at least the weak members of Islam, for no one is going after the Saudi Regime any time soon. A grifters paradise, these old white Americans with their fevered dreams, but one with great humanitarian consequences. So though I rail against them, and even their enablers in the center, I wonder what we can do to cease this latest attempt at ethnic cleansing and, on a global scale, something like genocide or democide—for make no mistake that this is what this is about, no matter the mask it wears.

And as far as the right is concerned, I’m not sure how much one can reach them. But as far as—and I’m taking a page out of the activist handbook and out of what Solnit has said, of preaching to the choir—those with a shred of humanity are concerned, what do we do? It’s not enough to state the obvious that the other side is nothing more than a continuation of the worst of humanity (Nazis and what have you), but to look for ways to counter the pervasive propaganda in the mainstream media as well as to make more connections to protect those in Islam where we can.

Below are some links with which to move forward.

Veterans Challenge Islamaphobia

Or simply call your rep in DC