In the past week, Donald Trump signed an executive order to prevent Muslims from seven different countries entering the U.S.A. As a result, a petition was started to prevent Trump from making a state visit to the U.K., because ‘it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen’, which over 1.8million people have signed as I write this piece. A petition was also created to support a state visit, which has been signed by over 200,000 people. The creator of that petition explains ‘the U.K. is a country that… does not believe that people that appose our point of view should be gagged.’
Well, it’s a shame that I OPPOSE the creator’s point of view when it comes to spelling…
Anyway, Parliament announced that a debate will take place over a Trump state visit on the 20th February. Last year, Parliament debated whether Trump should be banned from visiting the U.K. after over 500,000 people signed another petition. However, there was no actual vote over the issue.
I thought it would be interesting to see the list of people who are currently banned from entering the U.K., the reasons behind their bans, and then comparing it to Trump. What better way of doing it than by checking the almighty source of knowledge that is Wikipedia!
It turns out in 2009, the Home Office published the names of 16 people banned from entering the United Kingdom, along with official reasons why. Since 2009, many other people have been banned, but the Home Office have not disclosed these names. Most of the 16 were (and still are) banned because they were ‘Considered to be engaging in unacceptable behaviour by seeking to foment, justify or glory terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs and to provoke others to commit terrorist acts,’ or something loosely based on that, according to the official reasons. Even the Westboro Baptist Church’s Shirley Phelps-Roper is banned because she is ‘Considered to be engaging in unacceptable behaviour by fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the United Kingdom.’
Now compare those reasons to Donald Trump, what he has said and done, and the impact it has had. But first, we need to know what terrorism and terrorist violence is. According to Dictionary.com, terrorism is:
‘The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.’
In a way, many could strongly argue that based on the reasons why people have been banned in the past from entering the U.K., Donald Trump should also be banned (or at the very least, his state visit should be cancelled).
‘Considered to be engaging in unacceptable behaviour by seeking to foment, justify or glory terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs…’ – At one of his rallies, Trump spoke of 4 of his supporters attacking a protestor, saying it was ‘really amazing to watch’ then complained that the next day ‘we got killed in the press.’. This video shows him telling his supporters ‘knock the crap’ out of any protestor (along with many of the other things he has said about protestors). He even said he would like to punch a protestor in the face.
When you look at the definition of terrorism, it clearly shows that he has repeatedly fomented, justified and glorified terrorist violence in furtherance of his beliefs, as well as provoked others to commit terrorist acts (whilst promising them he will pay for the legal fees).
Let’s now compare the reason Shirley Phelps-Roper was banned to what Trump has done. ‘Considered to be engaging in unacceptable behaviour by fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the United Kingdom’. Trump has insulted a number of people and groups since his Presidential campaign began, including Mexicans, Muslims, and a whole bunch of others. He has now banned people from seven different countries from entering the United States. The impact Trump has had in America has been significant.
A website was created showing the list of attacks in the United States, in the name of Trump. So far, there are at least a hundred cases on there. Islamophobic attacks doubled in California last year. Furthermore, there was a wave of alleged hate crimes against Muslims, Hispanics, black people, LGBT people and ethnic minorities following Trump’s election victory. Even in the last week, after Trump enforced the Muslim ban, a mosque in Texas was set on fire, and 6 people were shot dead at a Mosque in Quebec, Canada. Trump’s hatred HAS led to an increase in inter-community violence in the United States.
After the Brexit vote here, hate crimes rose by 41%. Based on what has happened in the U.S. and the U.K., some could argue that Trump is also ‘Considered to be engaging in unacceptable behaviour by fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the United Kingdom’, which is why Shirley Phelps-Roper is banned from the U.K..
If Theresa May wants to do more to reduce the threat of terrorism, then it is probably best not to have someone like Trump, who foments, justifies and glorifies terrorist violence, over for a state visit.
However, based on the list of people banned from the U.K., some could even strongly argue that Donald Trump also meets the requirements of that list, and should be banned outright too.