View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Wednesday 9 December - Donald Trump

Donald Trump hopes to be nominated candidate for the Republican Party in the US presidential elections in November 2016. He has opened his mouth very wide, stating that all Muslims should be banned from entering the USA until the politicians have worked out what the hell is going on.

I have no time for sweeping statements like that, and on face value it is objectionable, coarse, undiplomatic and unbecoming of any statesman. However, let's cut away the fluff, smoke and fireworks and see what has prompted Trump to trump so loudly - trump used here as synonym for flatulence, by the way.

Several terrorist attacks have been carried out, with justification to the Islamic faith. I name but a few: the attacks on the New York World Trade Center in 1993 and 2001 (to name the worst), the mass shooting in San Bernardino last week and the attacks in Paris in January and November this year - and so many more.

What we should do about Donald Trump's exhortation is take the warning seriously. The warning that the current atrocities being carried out by "Islamic State" should NOT be used against Muslims as a group. That's what IS wants us to do. We, in America, Europe and beyond, should engage with the Muslim community in our midst, to ensure that they are an integral and integrated part of our community, respected and valued. To make sure that those who are disaffected with the society in which they live do NOT fall for the lure of IS, which preaches hatred under the thin disguise of religion. Listen to those who have genuine complaints about the way they get treated, and get them back on board.

What we should NOT do about Donald Trump is to take his exhortations seriously. I don't think it helps the debate to strip him of honorary degrees (like Robert Gordon University has done today), as it just entrenches his views and turns him into a martyr.

People like him are warning signals that there is a problem in society, which is not being addressed. Starve him of the oxygen of support, by addressing the problem, and he will be silenced. Donald Trump has his place in society, making and investing money. He should stay the hell out of politics.