Hate Knuckles

We've heard the travel ban issued by President Donald Trump riddled with many definitions. People called it a "Muslim ban," an "act of racism" and a "decision that erodes the fabric of America's liberties." Trump initially signed an executive order banning foreign nationals from Muslim-leading countries like Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days until they were vetted. The updated list dropped Iraq and is still being fought in the courts. "Since 2001, hundreds of persons born abroad have been convicted of terrorism-related crimes in the United States," the White House said in a statement. "They have included not just persons who came here legally on visas but also individuals who first entered the country as refugees."

Raheel Raza is a Pakistani-Canadian journalist, author, anti-racism activist and works with the ClarionProject.org and is the President of Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow. Both organizations educate the public about the dangers of radical Islam. The platforms are used for human rights activists to speak out against extremism and to work to find solutions. Raza agreed with the administration's assessment and as a devout Muslim, she supports tightening our borders and the U.S. immigration laws. 

"We are fighting an ideology and an ideology can't be fought with weapons."
"To address radicalization head-on is good for the future," she said after President Trump's first address to Congress about fighting radical Islamists. "We had the feeling that something was going to happen and of course, 9/11 came along and there were all these knee-jerk reactions and none of these were positive solutions to the problem. Many progressive Muslims decided that we need to have an open discussion on the problem," she explained. "Going into Iraq and Afghanistan never solved the problem. This is not a war of weapons. It is a war of ideas." We are fighting an ideology and an ideology can't be fought with weapons. Terrorism is the result of radicalization. "No one is born a terrorist. It's a human manifestation and the indoctrination of the minds of kids at a very young age. When they are indoctrinated in hate, they don't grow up to be normal 9 to 5 citizens with compassion and love in their hearts. The hate is then manipulated into violence," said the author of Their Jihad...Not My Jihad.

The book examined how Muslims, their religion and their culture integrated into North American society, but there was and is an inner conflict. "The struggle of the soul is good enough and if we can become better human beings in our struggles, that is what our Jihad should be. We are not being taught that in institutions, we are taught that Jihad is justified. There are Muslims who fight this battle. There are Muslims who are speaking out and we need to do this together." Muslims have yet to successfully formulate an alternative to Islamism. There is a distinct difference from Islam as the spiritual faith and Islam as the continuation of the Abrahamic faith. "Islam compels me to follow the five basic foundational pillars of my faith, which is a form of worship. Then there is Islamism, which is political Islam, where Islam is politicized and becomes violent. We need to choose which Islam that we want to follow," she explained.

We asked if the travel ban was solely focused on Muslims. This is not against all Muslims, she corrected. "It's against Muslims who are distorting the faith. I realize that the anti-Trump movement is well-funded and very well planned. It doesn't matter what he says. I never believed that this was a ban against Muslims. As president of the United States, he could've banned Muslims from every country. But he hasn't and it is not permanent. We are speaking in a vacuum," she explained. She's right. After the travel ban was issued, there was a terror attack in London. A truck was driven into a crowd at a shopping center in central Stockholm, killing at least three people and injuring many others shortly after.

Strengthening the security of a nation is a president's job and right based on section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952: “Whenever the president finds that the entry of aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, the president may, by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

President Barack Obama issued travel restrictions against Iraq in 2011 for six months after terrorists disguised themselves as refugees entered the country. President Bill Clinton and George W. Bush also issued bans. This is not about religion--the travel ban is to protect America. "You know, religion shouldn't come into it," said Raza. "It's a political move, the six countries are failed states, they have a lot of internal unrest. The rise of Jihad are in these states and they are unpredictable. It's a practical move by Trump in the right direction. Muslim leaders from other countries have supported Trump, but we never hear that in the news," she added.

This sends a strong message to other Muslim countries, who support, fund and train terrorists. "Unlike the previous president, this president is not going to be politically correct and will not stand for harm to come to his own country and this includes protecting Muslims. Terrorists have harmed and attacked Muslims more than they have non-Muslims."

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