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The Daily Tar Heel

Column: How you become those you ban


Mejs Hasan

After eight years of lying that Obama is a Muslim, I think the tragedy for Trump voters is that they and their leader are turning into those they fear.

Not overnight, but tweet by tweet, drop by drop.

Often, Middle East violence begins with lies: a Christian man has kidnapped a Muslim girl, go save her! The U.S. government made a film insulting Islam, storm the embassy!

Now remember: in December, a man from sleepy Salisbury drove almost 350 miles to investigate if Hillary Clinton was molesting children at a distant pizza parlor. He investigated by firing his rifle there. His “intel” was fake news.

Dylan Roof, who massacred nine in a Black church, had “intel” that “blacks were taking over the world.”

Now, 52 percent of Republicans have “intel” that their leader didn’t lose the popular vote by 2.9 million. I wonder: apparently it’s Arabs that believe in wild conspiracies that ruin their societies, not Americans. What are you doing?

Fox News, please meet Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera pontificates all day to its Arab audience about how perfect they are, how everything is everyone else’s fault. Is this helpful? Is it helpful that an American channel in turn, drop by drop, gives you the same?

Do you know what you looked like when toddlers and babies were yanked from their parents at airports by American border police? At the stroke of a power-hungry bully’s pen, people in transit, America-bound with the legal paperwork, suddenly couldn’t meet their families.

What came to my mind were Arab police. How many times have I heard Arabs — those who grew up in police states — hark back to how they quaked, because even their kids got no mercy, because “Arab police don’t understand what a child is.” Drip, drip ... how’s your understanding?

The president tweets that people who look like me are “pouring in.” The factual intel is that refugees are vetted for years. It’s terrifying to live in a place where the ruler actively stirs up fear against people like yourself. He amplifies fear with tweets of “pouring in,” but stops tweeting when a white supremacist massacres a Quebec mosque. The president must have learned that tactic in the Arab dictator’s playbook.

“Just leave,” you scream, “if you don’t like it.”

That’s cruel to say to your neighbor who’s not harming you.

“Well, all terrorists are Muslim.”

First, not true. Second, America judges on character and actions. Taking a grievance out on a whole group — frightening and attacking their kids, making blanket statements — that’s why parts of the Arab world are going up in flames. That’s how it ends when lies rule and people are told to shut up before they can make their own case.

That’s what refugees escape: a toxicity where so many people have gone crazy that you can’t fight or win anymore.

I know I’m not going to win. But I ask Trump voters to seriously reflect what they will win — and what they will lose.

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