Muslim Press has conducted an interview with Marshall Auerback, a market analyst and commentator, to discuss the upcoming U.S presidential election and Donald Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Here's the full text of the interview:
Muslim Press: Mr. Auerback, What's your take on Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States?
Marshall Auerback: It's an abomination. An attack on everything that is fundamental to American traditions. It smacks of a modern-day McCarthyism, with Muslims replacing communists as the source of the witch hunt. I can't think of anything more calculated to foment increasing tensions between the USA and the Islamic world.
We shouldn’t be surprised that Trump made such comments, we should be surprised if the world hasn’t yet noticed all the racism, bigotry, and demonization these people have been enduring in the US for so long. Make no mistake, the establishment, through its immediate hypocritical denouncements of Trump’s remarks by both Republicans and Democrats, is not enraged by the comments per se, it is enraged because someone who happens to be running for a position as high as a presidential candidate, and who happens to be more publicly open about his bigotry than most candidates from both political parties would hope him to be, has publicly articulated the already-existing and deep-rooted hatred against the peoples of the Middle East. Both political parties, in my analysis, are very concerned that Trump’s comments are going to actually trigger a real conversation about what have already been the unwritten laws and rules of conduct against these people. They are worried that these comments, as racist and bigoted as they are, will finally trigger conversations about the right questions.
Trump’s comments reveal the intertwined, intimate, and dialectical relationship between the military-industrial complex and the refugee-industrial-complex in the US. It shows how they both make, feed, and serve each other. The task of the military-industrial-complex is to select countries to destroy as part of the plan to create a new world order in line with what the US and her “allies” want to achieve. Note how I always put “allies” in quotation marks, because I do believe that a day will come when the American people will discover very late in the game that their “best allies” were never truly allies; they were rather wolves dressed as sheep (I am thinking of countries such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan). The refugee-industrial-complex, on the other hand, has the job of bringing usually a very small number of refugees as a façade to show that the US is a humanitarian nation that cares about saving human lives from countries ruled by dictators who “kill their own people”. Here, I would like for us to dwell on the notion of “dictators killing their own people,” which is quite problematic and misleading.
MP: What would be the outcome of this ban for America and for Muslim countries? If he becomes president, do you think he would carry out this policy?
Marshall Auerback: It won't happen because many of our so-called "allies" would prevent it from happening. But if it occurred, it would in effect legitimize the voices of Islamic extremism that are calling for a total war against the US and the West.
He is unlikely to become president and even if he does, both the congress and the US Supreme Court would likely prevent a total ban from becoming a serious possibility. Both from the perspective of the ban's constitutionality (it is illegal under the US constitution) and also because it would jeopardize many key relationships that the US has with countries in the Islamic world, especially intelligence relationships. Even former vice-president Dick Cheney (certainly no friend of the Islamic world) called the proposed ban 'un-American', as did the republican speaker of the house, Paul Ryan.
MP: Do you think his rhetoric against minorities, especially Muslims, are popular in the United States?
Marshall Auerback: It is popular with his base, which is full of angry white men, who feel threatened by the rise of a "browner", more multicultural country, considerably different from the one which they grew up with.
It is true that trump has played on fears and concerns that many ordinary Americans have about terrorism (because it has been such a rare occurrence over here, compared to Europe or the Middle East itself), but there has been a considerable backlash against the comments and increasing concerns expressed that trump has unleashed a broader form of racism that has legitimized hate. So whilst a very vocal minority might like his comments, and his proposed ban, i think in general there has been a negative response to it.
MP: What's your take on Trump's attack on Khan family?
Marshall Auerback: Unforgiveable. As Ohio governor John Kasich said, "There's only one way to talk about Gold Star parents: with honor and respect. Capt. Khan is a hero. Together, we should pray for his family."
MP: Trump has said Ghazala Khan was silent at the DNC because she was not "allowed to speak". What could you say about this? Is this a religious stereotype?
Marshall Auerback: Again, I would simply reiterate the comments that Mrs. Khan herself made: "Because without saying a thing, all the world, all America, felt my pain. I am a Gold Star mother. Whoever saw me, felt me in their heart."
The poor woman is still traumatized by the loss of her son, as any loving mother would be. Trump showed a typical lack of sensitivity to the mother's grief and did so whilst playing on traditional stereotypes about Muslim women.
Marshall Auerback is a Fellow at Economists for Peace and Security and a Research Associate at the Levy Institute. He also works as a global portfolio strategist for Madison Street Partners, LLC, a Colorado based investment management group.