In light of the contentious issues surrounding Trump’s foreign policies, NewsFour approached local Muslims to garner their opinions about the attempted ban on immigration and refugees into the United States.
We also asked what it is like being Muslim in Ireland and whether they are worried for their rights and dignities here.
Salma Ramadan, 19. Egyptian background.
“Well, for me personally I didn’t feel it was a huge difference to me because Ireland is on its own, America is on its own, Trump doesn’t run Ireland and I feel people are really open-minded in Ireland, especially in college. I think we have the most open-minded people here, they’re very accepting and very tolerant. My family don’t have ties to America, they are all living safe in Egypt so I’m not worried about them.”
Rida Mahmood, 20. Pakistani heritage.
“I moved here when I was three in 1999. Both of my parents are from Pakistan. His travel ban was on other Muslim countries not Pakistan and all my relatives are mostly from Pakistan. But I do know that he has had a huge impact. My cousin who has two young daughters left to visit Pakistan and even though he was able to come back it made us imagine what would it be like if he couldn’t come back and that is what has happened to so many people, so we can sympathise with them.
“The fact that people can support such a concept, the travel restrictions, it’s unbelievable to imagine something like that. I attended the protest at the embassy and it was really nice to see everyone. Even though the ban is dividing people, its actually having a bigger effect at uniting the world together. There are so many people out there willing to help and willing to diversify society and they are happy about getting to know new cultures and people. It’s nice to see that.”
Andre Reza Tabassi, 25 is an American passport holder studying for a Masters in Ireland for a year.
“It’s a little better to be Muslim in Ireland than in America. Whatever that has made Irish culture the way it is now, people are a lot more friendly. In the U.S. I can see the discrimination against Muslims sometimes, it doesn’t happen that much but on a few occasions you could feel the hate. But here you can feel the curiosity, people are more open to it. They are opinionated but still respectful and I enjoy living here, it’s not a big deal at all.
“Americans are very realistic, they want to grab the enemy before the enemy attacks. That has been the mentality of America’s foreign policy for many years. So with Trump being in office, it’s not any different from the past, including with Obama. It is an inconvenience, the travel restrictions, but I think maybe it’s an essential part to go through until the stigma of Muslims being associated with terrorism is removed.
Maybe after a year or two of the screenings being implemented they will realise that they aren’t getting anywhere with it and that they are not stopping any real terrorists and that it’s not effective. Other than that, going back to the states is going to be fairly fine. Trump has made the issue come to the forefront, but people burning mosques and the Quran or people looking for Muslims to beat up doesn’t happen very often. You don’t feel the fear they try to show you in the media.”
Mohammed Elfaki, 19, born in Saudi Arabia and his parents are from Sudan.
“Personally things haven’t really changed in Ireland. The Irish people are very nice and accepting and very friendly. It is the stereotype but that is what their reputation is like around Europe. In all my years living here it has held true.
“For us as young Muslims, most of us are second or third generation. So our older generations have established any facilities that we need, like the mosques. And the Muslim population in Ireland right now is at a stage that any necessities, like halal foods are readily available because there is enough of a population to generate a demand for it.
“For me as a guy, I think girls have it a bit harder because they have to wear their head scarves so they are a lot more visible, but personally I have never had anyone say anything bad to me or be abusive. My mother has been called stuff but it has generally been by men who are either intoxicated or under the influence of something.
“I do have a Sudanese passport so I was affected by the ban since I was a dual citizen. I don’t really travel much but it could have been a problem. Let’s say, last year when my dad had a conference to attend in Boston, then that would have been a problem for him because he wouldn’t have been able to go and he needed to attend it to get some credits for education. But I am glad that the world at large sees how much an insane move it is and the judges have acted to block it, so that’s good. That is what most people are saying, despite what Trump is trying to represent.”
Images supplied by Jessica Ellis.
By Jessica Ellis