Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Unenlightened Ban

I'm not naive. I know that much of what we Westerners term "terrorism" is fomented by disaffected people who are, at least marginally, Muslim in heritage. Their motive, insofar as it is something other than irrational rage, seems to be a quasi-inarticulate attempt to destabilize or undermine the Enlightenment principles which underlie Western democracy--the notions of tolerance and human rights enshrined in our constitutions and legal systems. I agree fully that such activity must be resisted--but within the framework of our Western traditions. 

What bothers me so much about Trump's anti-Muslim (and yes, of COURSE that's what it is) ban is that it is essentially an admission of defeat--an abandonment of the very Enlightenment ideals we purport to cherish and serve.

The terrorists have won. They have indeed destabilized and undermined the America of Jefferson and Madison and Lincoln to such an extent that we are ourselves resorting to the very practices which the Declaration of Independence denounced and from which the Constitution was intended to protect us.

That is deeply regrettable, and I am both ashamed and angered. We must not sacrifice liberal democracy in order to save liberal democracy.That just doesn't make any sense. Surely sound (enlightened) heads can come up with a better idea than scapegoating an entire religion.