Over the course of his campaign for the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump has spewed bigotry in many forms including extreme xenophobia and Islamophobia. With an increased fear of terrorism in the western world, Islamophobia has become particularly prominent due to the ways in which Islam is so commonly associated with terrorism. Donald Trump has even gone as far as calling for “a complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”.
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. We have no choice.” – Donald Trump
It would appear from this statement that Trump has somehow come to the conclusion that Muslim people entering the US pose a specific threat to the country that others coming into the US do not. An argument for this can be broken down into the following:
Premise 1: Terror threat levels are on the rise globally.
Premise 2: Terrorism is inherently linked to Islam.
Premise 3: Muslim people are more likely to commit acts of terror than any other group.
Conclusion: Muslim people entering the US pose a greater threat to national security than other groups entering the US.
Premise 1: This premise is true. Several countries have increased their terror threat levels as a result of attacks in places such as France.
Premise 2: This premise not true. Terrorist activity has existed, and continues to exist in many contexts outside of Islam. Although it is most commonly associated with the Muslim faith, the two are not inherently linked.
Premise 3: This premise is not true. There is no basis for the idea that Muslims are more likely to commit acts of terror than other groups. Statistics actually suggest the opposite, at least in the US where an FBI report stated that 94% of terrorist attacks in the country from 1980-2005 were carried out by non-Muslims.
Overall, this argument is not true as only one of the three premises is true.
This argument is valid, meaning the premises lead to the conclusion and if the premises were true, the conclusion would also have to be true.
This argument is valid but it is not true therefore it cannot be sound.
Islamophobia has become increasingly prominent in society as a result of fear, ignorance and harmful generalizations. The implications of this are extremely serious and certainly do more harm than good. The attitudes which formed the above argument are extremely damaging to Muslim people in all parts of the world. In the US as well as other western countries, this creates an unsafe environment for Muslim citizens who are at risk of being victims of hate crimes and discrimination. These attitudes also make it increasingly difficult for refugees from countries like Syria to not only be accepted into a new country but also to settle in and feel welcome when they arrive. Needless to say, these words have immense power and it is important to be aware of their consequences.