American Protests against the Muslim Ban: Lessons for all Pakistanis

It is now a recorded fact of history that as soon as Donald Trump signed and promulgated his infamous Muslim Ban, hundreds of Americans rushed to their local airports to protest this singularly stupid action of their president. Note, no one organized this protest, there was no centralized call by leaders or activists: this was a spontaneous response by the average American citizens from all walks of life.

On the legal front, the American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU) immediately field stay orders against the detention of some detained refugees and some major district courts in America issued a stay order within a few hours. Of course, this is not a total victory, but it says  lot about the general American culture. Note also that included amongst the protestors were Americans from all faiths and creeds: Muslims, Jews, Christians, atheists etc.etc.

In fact in so many way the American Jews were and have been the strongest critics of this policy. In most of the cases in new York as they, in the words of one of my Twitter sources they finished their Shabbat and rushed to the airports to protest:


Similarly, a lot of Democratic leaders, liberal activists, students, and Christians also joined the protests against the Muslim ban. Some leading Catholic and Protestant church organizations also called President Trump’s actions Un-Christian and Un-American. Now, please note that for the Democratic party the American Muslims are not even remotely a huge political  constituency, but they still came out strongly against the ban.

These protests, of course, were prompted by several individual and collective motivations: some people were there because they saw it as Un-American, others joined because they thought it immoral to stand by when refugees were being detained, yet others joined the protests because they felt it was the wrong way to make America safe. Their personal of collective motivations notwithstanding, all these people came out and made their collective bodies speak against the Muslim ban, and that is truly American and commendable!

Now, as Pakistanis we need to ask ourselves some serious questions. The most important question  to ask, of course, is this:

How many of us, the Pakistani citizens, would have come out and stood in solidarity with a minority group if the government had promulgated a law like this?

And if the answer is “we don’t know,” or worse “not many” then we have a lot work to do as a nation!