Mellanöstern och Nordafrika Tidningen
Published On: Sun, Oct 16th, 2016

Sikhs are not Muslims

The spiralling crash of Donald Trump’s campaign for president of the United States is out in the open for all to see. But the show is not over yet. The polls show that the lies and attacks Trump has produced throughout the primary campaign, convention and post convention are finally catching up with him. Although Clinton does not have a commanding lead in the national polls, she is far ahead in the important electoral vote race. One of the earliest political attacks by Trump was a call for a total ban on Muslims entering the United States, drawing on the anti-immigrant fervor that has surfaced throughout Europe and the United States. This has been softened somewhat, but Trump’s attacks on a Muslim Gold Star family further shows his bias against Islam.


The Trump propaganda machine is working full speed ahead. One of the latest ads claims that millions of Muslims support Trump. Unfortunately, the image on the ad is that of a Sikh, not a Muslim. I suppose he does have moral support from ISIS, who would love to see someone as idiotic as Trump become president. But it is doubtful that he will have hundreds, let alone millions of Muslims, pulling the lever for such a hate-filled candidate. Neither will most women voters, most Latino voters and most Black voters. Vladimir Putin is no doubt pulling for Trump as well, although his vote does not count, unless Russian hackers make it count.

The election is only about three weeks away but the polls have shown that Trump is still trailing, despite the high negative ratings for Hillary Clinton. There is no doubt that this election cycle has two of the least admired presidential candidates in the history of the country. But whatever faults Clinton has do not compare with the unhinged rant of Trump and his most “deplorable” followers. Clinton is the establishment candidate, supported even by many prominent Republicans. Her policy towards events in the Middle East will probably not change much from those of President Obama. Israel will continue to be allowed to treat Palestinians in an apartheid manner. The major arms buyers in the Gulf are not likely to see their sales drop. The civil strife in Syria and Yemen will not be resolved soon. Change is not in the air.

It is hard to know exactly what a President Trump would do if in office, apart from brandishing TRUMP across the façade of the White House and turning it into a casino. He has been vague on his policies, preferring to ask voters to believe him because he is a great man with great ideas. Trump bragged that he knows how to battle ISIS more than the generals. Those Republicans who are holding their nose and planning to vote for a fatally flawed candidate are hoping that a Republican congress can overrule any of the inane ideas that Trump proposes in an early morning twitter fit. But it appears Trump has reached his maximum support, feeding red meat to his minions but failing to make a case for independents who are critical in swing states. The rest of the world, as well as the American electorate, can breathe easier knowing that the chances of Trump being elected have dwindled, but stay tuned.

About the Author

- Anthropologist and historian with 40 years of experience researching and working in Yemen. Varisco is currently the President of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies, Senior Fellow at the Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg of Bonn University, and an expert advisor to MENA Tidningen.

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