"Register Me First" Is A Renewed Call To Fight Islamophobia (And Donald Trump)
On Monday, President Trump signed a second version of his travel ban on a list of primarily Muslim countries. While the new mandate was revised to eliminate Iraq from the group of targeted countries and added exemptions for U.S. permanent residents, current refugees, and dual citizens from those barred from entering the country, the order is still seen as discriminatory and unconstitutional by many. Shortly after it was signed, the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) launched Register Me First, a campaign to battle Islamophobia in Trump's America.
"Registermefirst.com provides an opportunity for anyone who wants to oppose the Muslim Ban, any future Muslim registry or other unconstitutional actions by the Trump administration to join the broader movement challenging those unjust policies," read the group's statement. "After signing up on the 'Register Me First' website, supporters will continue to be updated on how they can express their solidarity with American Muslims and how they can oppose the Trump administration’s Islamophobic policies and proposals. Those who register at the site will receive CAIR’s email updates about a potential Muslim registry, about the updated Muslim ban and about other Trump administration efforts to restrict civil liberties."
At the time of this writing, nearly 2,300 people had pledged their support on the website.
Upon signing the site's pledge to fight on behalf of the Muslim community, the platform provides customized Twitter and Facebook messages directed to the signee's senator. Since we're living in the digital age and CAIR knows it, the prepared messages all include the hashtag #RegisterMeFirst.
The site's name is a reference to the Trump administration's previous suggestions of a Muslim registry. In a 2015 interview, responding to whether or not he would implement a database of Muslims living in the U.S., Trump said to an MSNBC reporter, "I would certainly implement that. Absolutely." When asked what the difference would be between such a database and the registry of Jews in Nazi Germany, Trump's response was, "You tell me."
The Register Me First website points out that the U.S. had already attempted to counter terrorism by monitoring Muslims with the ineffective post-9/11 program called National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), which targeted people from 25 Muslim-majority countries. It was halted in 2011 by President Obama and was ordered to be dismantled weeks before President Trump's inauguration.
Whether or not Trump and his administration actually try to build a Muslim registry — his team denied having plans for one in November — the rise of Islamophobia in the U.S. makes a movement like Register Me First vital. If you're concerned about Muslims in this country being discriminated against or threatened, signing CAIR's pledge is a great step to take.