Donald Trump and the Mandatory Registration of American Muslims

It is a wonderful story that has lasted for generations.

 King Christian X. and Queen Alexandrine of Denmark

King Christian X. and Queen Alexandrine of Denmark

During the Nazi occupation of Denmark, the order went out from Berlin. All Jews in the occupied territory would be required to wear a large yellow badge, a replica of the Star of David. The requirement that all Jews identify themselves as Jewish was a close precursor to the death camps.

On the day the new law was to go into effect, Hitler’s forces reported a problem to Berlin. Virtually everyone in Copenhagen and beyond, Jewish or not, was wearing the large yellow Star of David. Worse, they reported back, the wearing of the Star was led by King Christian X, the Constitutional Monarch of the Danish people.

Jews could not be identified on sight if everyone was self-identified as a Jew. The Nazi requirement was abandoned.

The idea that ordinary citizens would take such personal risks, joining together to protect a vulnerable minority has served as an inspiration ever since.

The wonderful story is not true. It probably originated with a political cartoon published in Denmark in 1942. An aide is portrayed asking the King what would happen if the occupying Nazi forces were to order Jews in Denmark to wear the yellow star. The King replies “We’ll all have to wear yellow stars.”

What actually happened was not the grand gesture of myth. The bravery was lonelier. In 1943, the order went out to take all Jews in Denmark prisoner and transport them to concentration camps. This time Nazi occupiers actually did report back a very real problem. The Jews had vanished. Nearly 8,000 Jews were no longer to be found.

Years later, historian Leni Yahil, herself a refugee from the Nazis in Germany, chronicled the rescue. Many did put themselves into harm’s way to protect the endangered minority. This act of singular bravery was taken by “thousands of policemen, government officials, physicians, and persons of all walks of life.”

I was thinking of the untrue legend and the very true fact of bravery in Denmark during World War II as I read about the reactions of some Americans to their fellow citizens.

Today, a majority (56%) of Americans agree that the values of Islam are at odds with American values and way of life, while roughly four in ten (41%) disagree.

Public Religion Research Institute, November 17, 2015

One Republican candidate would like to force American Muslims to sign into a national registry. When Donald Trump is asked whether Muslims should be legally required to register, he confirms “I would certainly implement that. Absolutely.”

To be fair, the reaction of other candidates has been cautiously negative. They do not favor an actual registry but some would target Muslims through surveillance of places of worship, or other gathering places. The conservative base, on the other hand, has been enthusiastic. Mr. Trump’s support among Republicans has jumped upward.

Most participants in a Twitter hashtag campaign, #MuslimID, have been sarcastic. Combat veterans, lawyers, former congressional staff workers, physicians, community workers, US diplomats, and a host of ordinary American citizens share images of their IDs. What they have in common, aside from US citizenship, is that they choose to exercise the basic American freedom to worship in Mosques.

Once Mr. Trump becomes President Trump and establishes forced registration for Muslims, do you suppose I and other Christians might follow the myth of Denmark and join in signing up?

Published with permission from FairandUNbalanced.

Graphics by MadMikesAmerica.

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Posted by on November 30, 2015. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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3 Responses to Donald Trump and the Mandatory Registration of American Muslims

  1. Neil Bamforth Reply

    November 30, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Muslims need to be monitored today as we don’t know who is and who isn’t a sympathiser with Islamic State. I can see no sane argument to that.

    However, we also have to accept that whilst Islam is not and will never be compatible with western values most Muslims do want to live in peace – albeit, generally, without integrating.

    Monitoring is fine and necessary for our safety.

    Registration is a Nazi based idea and wrong in so many ways.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      November 30, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      I have mixed feelings about it. I don’t think we need to follow the lead of Der Fuehrer, but we do need some type of mechanism in place to be able to identify the really bad guys in the Muslim community.

  2. Bob Munck Reply

    December 1, 2015 at 11:27 am

    “to identify the really bad guys in the Muslim community.”

    … and in the Jewish community;

    … and in the Christian community;

    … and in the Hindu community;

    … and in the agnostic community;

    … and in the atheist community.

    Anyone else we need to single out?

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