So let’s talk about something terrible.
Over the last week or so, I’ve seen a renewed concerned over a possible Muslim registry, especially in light of the ban on entry from some Muslim majority countries. Now this is horrible, and very likely not super legal, but quite a few people have announced, and many made this announcement the very day such a ban was even suggested all the way back in 2015, that they would help to defend the Muslim population of the US by registering themselves as Muslims if this should happen. I’ve seen this compared to a story about the King of Denmark, Christian X, who allegedly wore a Star of David in protest of Nazi Germany’s policy of forcing Jews to wear the same badge identifying them as such. Snopes says this story is false, but the sentiment is a good one.
Unfortunately, there is a problem.
There will be no ‘registering.’
If this does happen, and I’m not saying it will (but it could), it won’t be something you get to sign up for.
If the orange man, or congress, decided to implement this database of Muslims in the US, they won’t ask for cooperation, because they won’t need it. They will simply use the tools of data collection already available to them. They will look up who the people going to mosques are, who the people buying halal are, who is googling passages of the Quran, and who follows any prominent Muslims on twitter.
The state of data collection is currently such that not only could they do this with zero cooperation from the populous whatsoever, they may already have done it.
The orange man has been the executive for over a week now, and he could have asked for such a list day one.
And the worst part? The orange man didn’t have to do anything but ask, because we did this.
This is the surveillance state we built since 9/11.
We should be proud of ourselves for that, I suppose.
There are still ways to muddy the water. It is still doable, but you’ll have to make a real effort.
First and foremost, you can’t talk about it. If you utter a word of your intention to anyone just about anywhere over the internet, then that’s almost certainly the end of it. Next you’ll have to stop going to whatever your current (if any) place of worship is, and start going to your nearest mosque. No I’m not kidding. You’ll need to start reading and following Muslim authors and thinkers, you’ll need to make professions of faith, you will have to start being a Muslim in all visible ways.
And even this, even essentially converting to Islam, may not be enough, because we built a surveillance system so pervasive and powerful, and all in the name of keeping Americans “safe.”
Not a happy thought, but this is the state of things.
Good luck to everyone.