Column: Is Trump hope or nightmare for the Islamic world?

Trump bans citizens form 7 muslim countries from entering the US

Kemal ÖztürkBY: Kemal Öztürk*

Things have become mixed up in the U.S. Europe has also joined this great debate. There are ongoing harsh reactions toward President Donald Trump’s racist executive order that triggers hatred for Muslims and bans Muslims from certain countries from entering the U.S.

I checked whether the Muslim world made a statement about this. There are not many. Moreover, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Yemen, the countries whose citizens are banned from entering the U.S., did not make a significant statement or hold demonstrations. While I was finishing this article, only Iraq reacted. Why? It is worth discussing.

Reasons for pinning hopes on Trump

There are two reasons why some clearly support Trump:

Trump has waged a war against the U.S. established order, which causes great distress for the world, its greatest symbol, the CIA, and global media. It means that this fight will benefit the Muslim world.

Trump cannot be as bad a president as Barack Obama. He is uncomfortable with the chaos in the Middle East and can change this situation.Some segments in Turkey having sympathy for Trump have the same ideas. But they also think that Trump will extradite Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) leader Fetullah Gülen.

In the first week of his rule, Trump showed through his actions that he is poised to disturb the world. The idea of building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and banning people from seven Muslim countries alone showed anyone that a great chaos is on the horizon.

Despite this, it is surprising that the Muslim world did not voice reaction. Certainly, no one will want to confront the world’s strongest country – which fails to explain this silence.

Reasons for objection or support for Trump

Thousands of people in the U.S., including some Jewish groups (anti-Zionists), occupied tens of airports and carried out demonstrations saying, “I am a Muslim, we are all Muslims.” Condemning the ban, dozens of global companies stated that they would employ more Muslims or foreign minorities. Canada said it would welcome all foreigners to the country. Many countries in Europe, especially Germany, France and Britain (opposition only), condemned the situation.

Despite all this, the U.S. court has decided to halt enforcement for a few people who are not allowed to enter the country, but the ban is generally in place.

What does all this mean?

First of all, it would be wrong to think that these protests are staged because of love for Muslims or they are driven by democratic motives. While the U.S. media stages the greatest opposition to the government in its history and advocates Muslim rights, it does not act honestly. They are doing this because of their opposition to Trump who is continuously calling U.S. media “unfaithful, liar, trickster.”

Global companies also support anti-Trump demonstrations because of his pressure on them to move outside investments into the country.

Europe, on the other hand, denounces the law as a response to Trump’s objection to NATO and trade agreements and his attempt to destroy the EU.

Everyone has a different calculation. Although they prioritize their own interests, it is nevertheless valuable that they object to the order banning Muslims from entering the country.

Will Trump benefit the Muslim world?

The silence of the Muslim world must be criticized. It is also clear that the Muslim world misinterprets Trump. The statements he made soon after the day he was sworn in as president gave the clues of his policies: U.S. interests will come first; we will care about the interests of American people alone, open a war against Islamic terrorism, defend the rights of Christians, come closer to Jews, put some distance between Muslims and the U.S. and move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

He posted a tweet on Jan. 29 that went unnoticed. “Christians in the Middle-East have been executed in large numbers. We cannot allow this horror to continue!”

Even these explanations and initial practices alone are enough to explain Trump. He does not seem to solve the problems of the Muslim world at all. Yes, he is fighting with the U.S.’s established regime and its media, but it is obvious that he does not benefit the Muslim world.

Trump debates in Turkey

Turkey is officially silent against Trump’s practices. On the other hand, things have come to be linked to the referendum process. It seems that a segment has not raised its voice against Trump for the reasons I mentioned. I think they are wrong.

The other segment, while criticizing the silence against Trump, emphasizes the importance of the separation of forces and extolls the U.S.’s court’s decision to halt partial execution. In fact, they also keep their mouth shut about Trump’s racist and anti-Muslim attitude.

I guess the ground is not suitable to evaluate the matter in cold blood. The U.S. public opinion, the state of Europe and the referendum process in Turkey prevent Trump’s policies from being analyzed in an independent and calm manner.

But the idea that Trump is a hope for the Muslim world is definitely wrong. It is also absolutely wrong that Europe and the U.S. public will be friends of Muslims from now on.

Trump is a businessman, not a politician. He never acts sympathetically. He does not care about principles and does everything for his own and his country’s interests.

He will not say yes to anything that is not profitable. Let us think whether he will extradite Gülen from this point of view. I don’t think he will extradite him.

*Kemal Öztürk is a Turkish columnist. He writes for Yeni Şafak Turkish newspaper

     (Published in Yeni Şafak daily newspaper on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2016)