On Friday, The Intercept reported it queried Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Apple, Google, and other companies on president-elect Donald Trump’s plan to establish a national registry of Muslims.
Considering Apple’s battle with the FBI and the Justice Department over encryption and privacy, it is a little surprising they did not reject Trump’s proposal when asked about it.
Only Twitter said it will not participate in the plan to register not only Muslims entering the country but all Muslims, including American citizens.
“There should be a lot of systems … beyond databases. I mean, we should have a lot of systems,” Trump told a reporter in November 2015.
“So the database—I said yeah, that’s all right, fine,” he said during a campaign rally.
“Even on a purely hypothetical basis, such a project would provide American technology companies an easy line to draw in the sand—pushing back against any effort to track individuals purely (or essentially) on the basis of their religious beliefs doesn’t take much in the way of courage or conviction, even by the thin standards of corporate America. We’d also be remiss in assuming no company would ever tie itself to such a nakedly evil undertaking: IBM famously helped Nazi Germany computerize the Holocaust. (IBM has downplayed its logistical role in the Holocaust, claiming in a 2001 statement that ‘most [relevant] documents were destroyed or lost during the war’),” writes Sam Biddle.
“What else can you compare this to except to prewar Nazi Germany?” asked Ibrahim Hooper, national spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “There’s no other comparison, and [Trump] seems to think that’s perfectly OK.”
Indeed Nazi mistreatment comes to mind, but so does the Constitution.
The Establishment Clause was written by James Madison in 1789. It guarantees freedom from governmental interference in both private and public religious affairs. Prior to this, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was drafted by Thomas Jefferson. The statute disestablished the Church of England in Virginia and guaranteed freedom of religion to people of all religious faiths, including Catholics and Jews as well as members of all Protestant denominations.
Donald Trump’s plan to register Muslim Americans will do nothing to save America from terrorism. If he was sincerely interested in reducing terrorism, he would break off relations with Saudi Arabia, dismantled US bases in the Middle East, and stop intervening militarily in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and Africa.