January 29, 2017

The immigrant creed

President Donald Trump's ban on Muslim immigrants to the USA comes as a shocker to many of us in general and to Muslims specifically. Immigration has been a phenomenon of this world from eons past. The whole of humanity has been a melting pot of genetic and cultural idiosyncrasies that have amalgamated into what we have today. Even in today's world, more so than in the past, the modalities of communication has opened national borders to immigration and intermingling as never before. Yet the biggest and most prosperous nation that we all look to as a model of development in the modernising world had squelched this flow to a drip and for some the tap had been completely closed.

Those versed in human psychology tell us that those who are in a state of anxious anticipation are those that work hardest to get ahead in life. They put their effort into overtime to make them matter in the schemes of things in the community they have been given a chance to live in. They burn the midnight lamp to study and produce and sell to pump the local economy.

In the case of USA this has been the lifeblood of the Nation from the time of the pilgrims. And the rise of national wealth and power is directly related to the hard work of the immigrant. Over time wave after wave of immigrants to this nation have provided the development dynamic that kept it on top as the world's most powerful nation and its President the most “powerful” person in the world.

And now this wall of a move to keep everyone out. A wall on immigration and a wall down south of the border. This is exclusiveness when the whole world calls for inclusiveness. These are barriers to the flow of both wealth of matter and mind when the force of globalisation calls for easing the barriers. It seems that this nation has turned upside down in a kind of jingoistic paranoia to turn history on its head. From the Machiavellian perspective, the end justifies the means and this argument may flow well with the supporters of the Republican ilk. By this measure, it would seem that the US public voted for exclusiveness; so it seems that the policies are justified to go on that track. But reality of the world being different, the most powerful nation must exemplify the behaviour they should expect from others as we create the future. It cannot be a charade played out with serious nations on doing “whatever we want whenever we want”. The prevailing pretext of protecting the US citizen from the danger of mischievous immigrants seem on a statistical scale negligible when compared to the danger to that citizen from the mischief of these very 'legal' citizens themselves. So why the fuss? Sad to say it seems that the bipolar affliction has now moved from the poor citizen (acceptable and need to be medically treated) to a whole nation (not acceptable) and needs the spade to be called a spade, and relevant treatment taken.

I pray for this nation to revert to its past wisdom and compassion of its founding fathers who invited into its portals, the world's weak, the persecuted and the downtrodden.


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