East London Humanist chair Paul Kaufman is worried about Trump’s state discrimination

PUBLISHED: 09:48 18 January 2017 | UPDATED: 09:48 18 January 2017


Is Trump really that bad? Can we take his more outspoken statements with a pinch of salt? Well yes, he is that bad. And as our government starts to court him, in the wake of Nigel Farage, it is important not to forget the poisonous platform Trump used to achieve power.

Take the infamous speech in December 2015 when Trump called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States….” It was greeted with whoops of delight from supporters.

But it was always unrealistic. Our own Mayor of London would have been barred, along with countless trading partners and diplomats.

Anyone with a passing knowledge of the US constitution also knows such a ban would be unlawful. The Pilgrim Fathers founded the first American colonies to escape religious persecution in Europe.

The secular principles of equality and freedom of religion and belief which they held dear were central to America’s earliest constitutions.

This is the first time in US history that a presidential candidate has advocated state discrimination against all members of a faith.

It is therefore not surprising that, having secured his election, Trump back-tracked. The policy on Muslims was removed from his website in November 2016.

This is but one example of how whipping up and licensing hatred towards individuals and communities was central to Trump’s campaign.

We should be very wary of any politician who relies on hatred, ignorance and bigotry to achieve his ends. And our government would do well to remember the adage “he who sups with the devil should have a long spoon”. More from Paul

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