NZ needs to stand with the people of the world against Trump’s ‘muslim ban’. – Nigel Latta. 

It’s time for NZ to step up… our government needs to speak out strongly against injustice. We cannot simply politely and diplomatically side step this, we have to call it for what it is. We show who we are as a country not when it’s easy, but when it’s hard.

Donald Trump’s executive order for what is very blatantly a ‘muslim ban’ is inhumane, unjust, and completely irrational. He says it is about “protecting” America, yet his ban does not include the countries from which actual terrorists originated from. Co-incidentally the countries not included on his list are all countries he has significant business interests in (for example Saudi Arabia and the UAE). Any ban of people from any predominantly Muslim country is wrong, and this irreconcilable inconsistency serves only to reveal the utterly irrational bigotry of this policy.

[NOTE: and for all those people who say it isn’t a muslim ban, and this is simply the corrupt media misreporting him yet again, you might recall that amongst all the other truly terrible things he said during his presidential campaign, one of the things he did say, over and over, was that he was going to stop muslims coming to the US. Quote: “Donald J Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of muslims coming into this country…” He actually said that. So, there’s the fact that he actually promised a literal muslim ban to his supporters which lends considerable credence to the idea that this is in fact the “muslim ban” he said he was going to implement.]

Countries all over the world are speaking out against this action, and are offering to take in refugees effected by Trump’s ‘muslim ban’. We need to do the same. We have a moral obligation to offer these displaced people a haven. Not because it’s easy, but because it’s right.

Speaking out against Trump is a unquestionably a dangerous thing to do. This is a man who has demonstrated again and again that he takes any criticism deeply personally, and he is clearly willing to use the powers of his office to strike back at people who oppose him. He may well punish the countries who stand up to him, and who condemn him. There may be implications for NZ economically and politically, yet stand up to him we must.

Throughout human history people have stood by while terrible things were perpetrated against specific populations and groups. We cannot stand aside and be part of this grievous injustice being perpetrated on a group based simply on their religion. The worst crimes against humanity all begin as minor infractions, as the progressive curtailment of rights and freedoms of innocent people.

We stood up to the US over nuclear weapons, not because it was easy, but because it was right. Now that moment has arrived again, and we are once again having our moral courage questioned. We either stand aside, or we step up. Now more than ever, the world needs courageous leadership in the face of injustice, ignorance, and bigotry.

New Zealand needs to show that leadership now. We need to stand up, and speak out. It isn’t the easy thing to do, but it is the right thing to do.

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