We spoke to Glasgow students about the #MuslimBan

Here’s what they have to say about President Trump’s policy

After it was reported that, due to President Trump’s Muslim Ban, Glasgow Uni postgrad Hamaseh Tayari was banned from flying via the US on her way home to Glasgow from her holiday in Costa Rica, the Tab Glasgow has spoken to other students for their opinions on the ban.

President Donald Trump

What’s the story?

Trump wants to ban not only Syrian refugees for 120 days but visitors, nationals and people born in Muslim majority countries including Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Lebanon for 90 days.  He has said reasons for banning people from the aforementioned countries is to “stop Islamic extremism after 9/11”, yet the majority of criminals taking part in that attack were from Saudi Arabia, Egypt or the United Arab Emirates. So, why didn’t he ban them too? The answer is plain and simple – he didn’t want to jeopardise the business investments he has overseas.

It is clear from this that the policy was founded on nothing apart from racist scaremongering, and had nothing to do with actual, real-life threats. Theresa May then made her first official visit to the USA yesterday, and refused to condemn Trump’s policy (twice). This started the twitter trend #TheresaTheAppeaser as she appeared simpering and weak next to Trump – and would apparently do anything to get a trade deal. MPs from all over the country, including Nicola Sturgeon, are giving Theresa a piece of their minds. After all this, May made a very limp statement under pressure saying that she in fact does not agree with Trump’s policy, but has been criticised for her late and weak response.

What do students have to say?

Ahmed, first year, Business and Management

“I think this will make the Muslims in America terrified and will cause tension between Muslims and non-Muslims. A mosque in Texas got burned and Muslims are not happy with that which will maybe cause a revolution. It wouldn’t really affect me because I’m not from one of the seven countries that got banned but for sure it will affect Muslims who live in America.”

Abdelrahman Hemida, first year, Business

“I am 18 years old and I am Egyptian. I come from a family of five people, a sister, a brother, and my parents. So what I think about this Donald Trump disaster is that he is being completely racist, not only to the Muslim community, but also to other nationalities and ethnicities. It is affecting me in terms of education because I want to receive my PHD from the US but I don’t think I can anymore. I hope this catastrophe ends soon.”

Anthony, first year, Engineering 

Anthony is an American student

“I think it’s pretty dumb since the US has by far the strongest vetting system in the world to weed out dangerous people, and if we’re going to be isolationist we should at least be consistent, like not giving billions to Saudi Arabia, a theocracy that beheads people for sorcery and has the same ideology as ISIS and other terrorist groups, and who also might be funding those groups with the money we give.”

For an even broader perspective, we contacted Nia at the University of St Andrews, who had a very powerful statement to make:

Nia, first year, Languages, University of St Andrews

“As a Muslim, I think I saw this coming. It hit me on the night of the Trump election. White Americans laughed because they weren’t the ones affected. They laughed because they could laugh. Since then, it’s a little like standing on the outside looking in. There was a period of time, for a few weeks, when I just stopped checking my phone. I didn’t want to know anymore. But still, when a politically-crazed white person wanted to discuss this over coffee, I had to as well. It was easier for them to talk about it than it was for me, I felt that more than anything. For them it was news. For me it was like my life had become the front page of a very interesting yet very scary entertainment magazine. Everybody loved reading it.

“It hurts. A lot. As a Muslim, I had become so cautious about what I said. Our Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade us from ever speaking or acting out of anger. I tried to embody that principle as much as I could. I was so scared that if I said something wrong or if I seemed to harsh then people would rush to judge every single Muslim they knew all over again. Today I feel plain, downright, raw hurt. It’s disgusting, everyone admits it. But no one wants any part of it. It’s every white person or every non-Muslim defending themselves against this horrible, horrible ban that’s being introduced. Everyone’s distancing themselves from it, detaching their name from it. But in doing so, it makes me feel like the most loneliest and the most unwanted person here.

“I came here as a language student because I love culture and different cities and the idea of travelling the world is new and exciting. And there’s now a large chunk of the world that I’m told I’m not really allowed in or even wanted in. I’m basically not allowed to be me. Islam means peace, it means hope. And just as a Muslim, or as a human, on a basic human level – just like any Jew or Christian or Atheist… I’m hurt. I don’t know how else to say this. I’m hurt.”

What can you do?

There have also been many protests scheduled; the two main ones in Glasgow take place in Buchanan Street and by the Donald Dewar statue (also in Buchanan Street) on Monday at 5pm (sign up here for Buchanan Street and here for the one by the Donald Dewar statue). A petition has also been started to ban Donald Trump from making a state visit to the UK. As it has already reached over 100,000 signatures it must be debated in the houses of Parliament, yet signing it is still an important way to show solidarity. If you want to sign it, you can do so here.