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Donald Trump’s Muslim Registry Threatens Religious Freedom

During the presidential campaign, national security was one of the largest talking points. The now President-Elect’s strategy was to scapegoat people of color: Mexicans, Muslims, and Syrian refugees. But what kinds of policies did he have in mind? A reporter in Nov. 2015 asked Trump how he planned on getting Muslims to register in a database and he responded, “It would be just good management.”

Trump denied that he suggested the database in a tweet in Nov. 2015, but didn’t retract his statement.

However, this week, Trump’s team came forward with a statement about the registry once talk of it resurfaced.

“President-elect Trump has never advocated for any registry or system that tracks individuals based on their religion, and to imply otherwise is completely false.”

America could debate all day about what he said, what he meant, the twisting of the media, and exaggeration, but point blank: a national muslim registry is something being discussed in politics in 2016. Hasn’t history told us this is not only inhumane, a gross injustice of human rights, and a mistake?

During WWII, America held innocent Japanese-Americans in internment camps for fears they were spies and loyal to Japan. Across the Atlantic and during the same time, Hitler and Nazis registered Jewish people with stars and numeric tattoos before executing mass genocide. Historically, America or the world isn’t that far away from these horrific events: they were only 75 years ago.

Am I suggesting that a modern day Holocaust is coming because Trump “allegedly” suggested a registry? No, but if we fail to look at history and see the dangerous ramifications of racial and religious rhetoric that led to the Holocaust and Japanese internment camps, we’re walking into the next four years blind.

How could something as infamous as registries and internment camps even be brought up in the modern age? Just this week, a prominent Trump supporter said on national television that the Japanese Internment Camps would be a “precedent” for Muslim-Americans. Yes, American citizens.

This horrific and potentially blatant human rights violation isn’t something to take lightly. It would be the single greatest threat to America’s religious freedom in the modern age and something every religious person should be concerned about. As some seem to forget, being Muslim is being apart of a religion and not a race.

Despite religious differences, we should all unite to dismiss any discrimination towards a group of earnest believers. A threat to Islamic religious liberty is a threat to Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and all other religions that practice in this country.

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Elisabeth is a senior at the University of Oklahoma, a wifi enthusiast, and an avid follower of pop culture.

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