On Trump & Travel

It’s been several days since the Orlando shooting but my rage is constantly refuelled by the flurry of articles circulating through my newsfeed. I’m horrified by the actions of that young man, but I’m just as disturbed by the world’s response to it. Unfortunately, when an assailant is Muslim, fixating on his religious background and boiling all motive down to radicalism has become so commonplace that it’s almost expected.

It is frightening that the world has degenerated to the point where a Presidential Candidate for the United States of America, history’s greatest champion of freedom, can condemn 1.6 billion Muslims for the actions of a few. The fact that so many people share this opinion is perhaps the saddest fact of all.

When I logged on to Facebook last night, someone I once took classes with shared an article that claimed that gun control was a distraction, and that the real reason for the Orlando shooting was Islam. I don’t intend to single this person out, but this article, and the conversation that ensued in the comments led me to the realisation that I’d been wrong. I used to think that those who demonised Islam were either Republicans with addled brains, or the ignorant. However, these were educated people. If it is not for a lack of education or exposure, then what is it that causes people to paint almost a quarter of the world in the dark dregs of ISIS supporters?

It is arrogance. It is arrogance that goes back to the relationship of the ‘White man and the Savages.’ It is the arrogance that comes from asserting themselves as an individual while homogenising all those who are different. The same arrogance that causes people to casually remark that Asians all look the same. It is arrogance that stops them from seeing the flaws in their own system and instead causes them to vilify innocents. It is arrogance that is stopping them from seeing that they’re playing into ISIS’ hands. ISIS wants to divide the world. It wants the world to turn on Muslims so it can claim to be their sole champion. What they do not understand is that most Muslims despise ISIS just as much, if not more, than they do. ISIS has destroyed the lives of our people, our lands, our homes, and it is poisoning what it means to be Muslim today.

And what is the remedy to this arrogance? It is to travel. It is to drown yourself in cultures so strange, so foreign that centuries of institutionalised superiority is cleansed with the humbling understanding that different does not mean less. It is to find beauty in these differences and in the knowledge that the actions of one, do not define the actions of all. It is through travel that you will understand that people across the world, regardless of the colour of their skin, the tongues they speak, the God they bow down to, is an individual with thoughts, hopes and dreams. And, lastly, it is to revel in the knowledge that with this understanding that you are fighting the forces that seek to divide us and pit us against one and other.

And, so you must travel. Travel to distant lands and pastures nearby and open your mind to that which seems different and find amongst you the commonalities that bind us together, for in times such as these, our love for one and other, as a people, is our greatest weapon.

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36 thoughts on “On Trump & Travel

  1. Sascha Darlington says:

    This is very well written and your comments are true. I know the type of people of whom you are speaking, unfortunately they are also travelers to the extent that immersing oneself in the culture of the country is to go to a hotel, eat what you’re familiar with (or gripe because you can’t find it), go on tours and then return home meeting only fellow travelers. There is an unwillingness to explore beyond a comfort zone. Likewise, this is why so many, at least in the states, like to pretend that the 1950’s represented the best time in the US so everyone should go back to sticking their head in the sand. Sorry for the soapbox. It was an awful lot to just say: I agree with you, wasn’t it? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eman says:

      I wouldn’t even count that as travelling, if you aren’t going to try anything new then you might as well save your money and stay home.
      Haha! I appreciate the well-thought out comment, thank you!


  2. Natalie says:

    Very interesting post! I think it’s true that some people are arrogant, but I think homophobia played a large role in the Orlando shooting as well. America has a hyper-masculine culture at times, and that hyper-masculinity often leads to violence, especially when it comes to marginalized groups that the shooter, it is speculated, may have been a part of.

    Of course, traveling and being more worldly can never hurt 🙂 Especially if it helps people spread love instead of hate!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eman says:

      Thank you! The point I was making was not about the shooting itself but the response to it. I was referring to the arrogance of those members of society who blame Muslims and Islam as a whole for the shooting, not the arrogance of the shooter, although personality disorders of all sorts are definitely likely contributors towards his decision to massacre innocent lives.


      • Natalie says:

        Positively unfair — it’s interesting how all Muslims are blamed when one Muslim does something bad, but when a radical Christian does something crazy, everyone knows the difference between the radicals and non-radicals. It’s sad that we can’t make that distinction with all religions — and all nationalities, ethnicities, etc. 😦

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Suze says:

    It terrifies me to think that the response to the shooting (or any shooting for that matter) is to automatically blame a religion. I cringe when I think of how the world views my country…and I despair that the ignorant, the entitled, the religious zealots will have their way and actually put that horror of a man into the highest public office we have. You want to see radicals? Look no further than the majority of Charismatic Churches in this country. They pick Islam because they have no clue about the religion and rely on a vague “education” that talked about the crusades. It terrifies the thinking population here. Thank you for such a powerful and TRUTH filled post! Shared and reblogged.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Suze says:

        I have many people in the Middle East that I simply love..and hate to think that they are being marginalized and denigrated simply for their homelands or religions. Stay safe…and know that some of us here in the states do NOT think the way Mr Trump and his minions think.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. CalicoJack says:

    Howdy Suze!

    You’re right, travel is a good way of broadening your perspective and humanizing people who live in other countries, cultures, and societies. However, it probably won’t work for Trump — who has traveled extensively — for a couple of reasons. Primarily because of his narcissism. He doesn’t just have narcissistic features, he is a diagnosable narcissistic personality disorder. He is an UNPRODUCTIVE narcissistic personality disorder, to boot. UNPRODUCTIVE. Secondarily, Trump travels in luxury with many layers of sycophants between him and anyone who is remotely real or themselves. He will never see average people living average lives.

    I have to say, though, I am so grateful to be able to live as an expat. I lived for 16 years in the Far East (S. Korea, 10 years and Vietnam , 6) and in Kenya for the last four. Having lived in Africa has changed my perspective on race enormously. It is amazing to live as a racial, cultural, and linguistic minority, especially in a country where the race proportions are flipped.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Eman says:

      Hi Jack! Thanks for your comment, when I wrote the article I wasn’t recommending travel for Trump, he’s far too rooted in his narcissism for there to be any hope for redemption, I consider travel as a means of expanding the horizons of those who were judging harshly cultures other than their own without ever making the effort of getting to know them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • CalicoJack says:

        Howdy Eman!

        On Trump, we agree. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been abroad for 18 years now. I’ve seen lots of people both living abroad and just visiting who don’t make an effort to know the host culture in the least. It’s amazing to me that you choose to live abroad and not desire to get to know the culture you’re living in. It does seep in, though. You can’t help but be changed by the experience.



  5. Steven Sawyer says:

    I find it difficult (no impossible) to fathom the wisdom of globe trotting to cultivate cultural understanding to remedy arrogance.
    1. World travel is outrageously expensive. I don’t know anyone but the filthy rich jet-setters who could afford such a cure for arrogance. And how long would one have to remain a foreign culture to soak up enough “understanding” to become less arrogant? A week? A month? A year?
    2. World travel is becoming increasingly dangerous. There isn’t another country in the world, in my view, stable enough to guarantee safe travel in their country. Besides, the United States is not on the world’s top 10 list of favorite countries. Most foreign countries don’t like us.
    3. Poverty and instability and political corruption and economic chaos plague many foreign countries which, in my view, render them skeptical and unwilling to share their culture with folks who want to remedy their arrogance.
    4. As you point out it’s the arrogant among us who blame Islam or Hitler or Trump or Congress or Clinton for our miserable attitude towards others. What makes you think the arrogant will travel? They’re arrogant, as you say. They believe they’re right to think and act the way they do. What would motivate an arrogant person (who doesn’t believe they’re arrogant) to travel to rid themselves of the arrogance they don’t believe they have?
    I’ve got a much more reasonable remedy for discovering and understanding other cultures¬¬. Instead of traveling across the world, travel across the street. We have a Super Wal-Mart a few miles from our house. If you drew a circle with a 5-mile radius around that Wal-Mart, you would discover more than 100 different languages and nationalities.
    We have a lovely young Bosnian family living next door. We are becoming friends. We chat with each other in our yards. We have exchanged strawberries and soups and barbecue chicken with each other. And as we fellowship with them, we are learning more about them and their Bosnian roots. We have several friendly, helpful Hispanic families across the street. We have been in each other’s homes. We attended a birthday party for one of the kids in their front yard.
    We are learning more about them and discovering they are very nice, hard working, helpful neighbors.
    I taught a Muslim mother English a year ago. I did the tutoring in her home, met her husband and had interesting conversations with her three teenage kids. I learned things about her and her family and she learned about me.
    That’s a much cheaper, less dangerous way to understand and cultivate relationships with folks from other cultures. And because we’re both interested in forming relationships, it doesn’t leave much room for arrogance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eman says:

      Hi Steven, thanks for taking the time to write such a comprehensive comment. To answer your concerns:
      1 & 4 – The point I was trying to make was that whether you choose to travel around the world or really just across the street the important part is to try and find the commonalities between us and understand the differences, I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear.

      2 – I’m afraid that’s a matter of perspective, while undoubtedly there has been a considerable upsurge in terrorist activity around the world, that may or not be reason enough to dissuade someone from international travel. That being said, should you be uncomfortable travelling abroad, I spoke about the importance of cultural immersion and as I mentioned above that need not necessarily be in a foreign land.

      3 – While you are entitled to your opinion, I must say that my own experiences travelling abroad have led me to disagree very strongly. Some of the most welcoming, accepting people I have met are in fact in places rife with poverty, corruption and violence.

      Thanks again for your input and your comment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Eman says:

      Oh and I’d like to add that I found your line “There isn’t another country in the world stable enough to guarantee safe travel in their country” deeply troubling. Out of the 196 countries in the world, you believe that the United States is the only one that is safe enough to travel in? Gun happy America is the safest country in the world? I’m not sure if I’d call this arrogance or ignorance.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Steven Sawyer says:

        No. I’m sorry. Nice catch! I didn’t say that right. America is probably one of the scariest countries to travel in. I should have said, “There isn’t a single country in the world (especially the US) that is safe enough to travel in.” Thanks for the feedback. Again, nice catch!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. radontheroad says:

    This was such a captivating read! Having just returned from my own travel’s to South East Asia, my eyes have been opened to how painfully arrogant people can be, especially in terms of race, religion and general equality. Your words couldn’t ring more true.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wander-Full says:

    I share the same sentiments! I hate to even watch/listen to the news these days, due to the incredulous views/statements people make. I hope every day that there will be more sense in their arguments or points of view but find that again and again, fear wins out. To be honest, the world terrifies me at the moment – and I’m always stumped by peoples arrogance/ignorance. However, I also believe that travel (abroad or the next town over) can give you a much clearer picture of the world and you can meet some truly wonderful individuals/communities. I certainly wouldn’t stop travelling out of fear. I only wish for more people to do it! PS. You have such a talent with writing! A wonderful way with words 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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