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Donald Trump and ban on Muslims entering United States

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US President Donald Trump (R) speaks with US Congressman and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (L), R-Louisiana, during a meeting with the US House Deputy Whip team at the White House in Washington, DC, March 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON

My attention has been drawn to the above subject matter which appeared in some of our daily newspapers and I want you to give me a space in your widely read newspaper, to contribute my own opinion on the issue. On Friday, January 20, 2017, the Republican Donald Trump became the 45th President of United States (U.S.) by defeating the hopeful Hilary Clinton in the general elections. Not long that he moved into the White House in Washington than he issued the executive order temporarily banning people from seven dominant Muslim countries from entering the U.S. namely, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Sudan and Iran.

The order was based on the events in many countries caused by Muslim extremists, killing innocent people, thereby creating fear and at the same time threatening world peace.
From Africa, Middle East, France, Germany to U.S. the killings are enormous to allow it to continue without taking any drastic action to arrest the ugly trend. For instance in 2015, the terrorists had killed 103 and wounded 350 in simultaneous suicide bomb explosions and gun attacks in Paris popular Concert Hall called Bataclan, in Saint Denis and Stade de France in November 13 terrorists attack. In Nice, also in France, truck driver ploughed a car on people, killing 81. That was not all. A truck driver slammed Christian market in Berlin, Germany killing 12 while the U.S. suffered loss of its citizens in suicide and terrorist attacks in Bernardino and Orlando. As if the worst was not over, not too long ago, the deadly terrorist attack involving a vehicle, mowed down pedestrians near British Parliament on Westminster Bridge killing three and wounded 40 before crashing into a railing. A police officer was stabbed to death by the same jihadist at the House of Commons before being killed by the police.

Each time jihadists struck, they claimed to be soldiers of Allah and were ready to die for Allah. The word jihad as written in the Holy Quran signifies self-defence in life threatening situation. But is it right to take the lives of the innocent? Many meanings are ascribed to the word jihad as believed by many Muslims. In the first place, it means shedding blood for Allah to open the gate of heaven. In the second place, it means to die in the battlefield to go to heaven. It is on this strong belief why, for instance, many Boko Haram insurgents, before dying in the battlefield against the Nigerian Army, slaughtered their wives in spite of the pleading by them in order to be remarried in heaven instead of living them to be married to pagans.

The two religions – Christianity and Islam – share similar view in teaching and preaching of peace and love. The fact remains that only true repentance of sins and promise not to commit them again is the key that opens the door of heaven. It is a fallacy and deceit aimed at luring ignorant and poverty trodden-believers to commit all kinds of atrocities under the guise of religion.

It is true that Prophet Mohammed was a peace and loving prophet devoid of hatred and animosity toward mankind. At least he accommodated some Jews in time of persecution. In the same vein if he were to be alive today to see what and how jihadists are misguiding and misusing the word jihad to kill and maim innocent lives at will, he would be angry with violators of what Islam really means.

Prominent Islamic scholars must rise up and give proper re-definition, interpretation and representation of the word jihad instead of allowing it to be used to misguide people.

Understandably, President Donald Trump’s executive order was not against Muslims. He acted for prevention and security of his citizens against terrorist attacks and not hatred. You will agree with me that no sane leader would fold his hands to watch his citizens being killed like animals by the jihadists.

Today the world is doing everything humanly possible to embrace tolerance, freedom, equality, peace and justice for a better place for us all to live and neither war nor suicide bombs, beheading, gun, car and knife attacks against innocent people will bring security in the world.

• Sunday Yovo writes from Lagos.


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