Why the Trump Immigration Ban Threatens Us All

IMG_20160213_170645So, it’s the year of the cock – and in this new Chinese zodiac year, Trump has decided to stick it to Muslims with his immigration ban.

I learned this appalling news in a haze, still recovering from the lack of sleep. (Anyone who has ever celebrated Chinese New Year in China knows that the fireworks, often set off late into the evening and early into the morning, aren’t that helpful to rest.)

Normally, this is a week when I take time off from the blog. We’re celebrating Chinese New Year, kicking back with family, and recovering from a busy run-up to the holidays here in China. It’s a lot like Christmas and the week after, when everyone spends time with their loved ones (often taking a much-needed break from things like e-mail and the Internet). I always enjoy sharing a few choice pictures from the holidays here.

But after learning about Trump’s immigration ban, I don’t feel right in merely pushing through with the post. I don’t want to ignore what’s going on, because right now I’m sick to my stomach over this immigration ban.

If you’re reading, chances are you probably know a foreigner. Or know someone who was once a foreigner. Or you are/were a foreigner yourself. That means you should understand, more than anyone else, how horrible this policy could be. Just imagine if you or your loved ones were arbitrarily blocked by virtue of arriving from one of seven countries.

But here’s another more important point – once you allow a grave injustice like this to move forward, it isn’t long before more follows. It isn’t long before the people you love become targets. It isn’t long before you become a target. This is the same wisdom that Pastor Niemoller spoke in the 1950s with the “First they came” poem.

I am reminded of the words of the great civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, who once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” If you care about safeguarding justice for all – including yourself – you need to oppose this ban now.

As I’ve written before, I don’t usually get political. But Trump is different. This is different. Everyone ought to be appalled by what Trump has done. I don’t care how many times they try to spin this, claiming it isn’t a Muslim ban. It is a Muslim ban. This will go down in history along with many other shameful acts by the US, such as the internment of Japanese Americans on US soil. It is an ugly, hateful, racist policy.

This is the time to stand up, to show that hatred and fear will not prevail. #Resist

Fenshou: Algerian Muslim Falls For Chinese Atheist, But Love Doesn’t Last

(photo by openDemocracy via Flickr.com)

I receive e-mails from people all over the world with tales of love, and one of the most unusual ones comes from Soulef. She’s Algerian and Muslim, and falls for a Chinese atheist she meets in her home country. Thank you for sharing this story, Soulef!

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My name is Soulef. I am from Algeria, North Africa. I have always been interested in Asian culture, especially Japanese culture. I’m a big fan of manga and watched many manga shows and movies in their original version. But I never thought of being in love with Chinese men. China was for me the barbarian side of Asia. Yes, shame on me.

I work as a translator in an American company, which is located in a building with many other foreign companies. Two years ago, while I was waiting downstairs in the building for a friend, I noticed the most beautiful — yes, this word suits him — man that I have ever seen in my life. I was petrified. I couldn’t even look away as my heart skipped a beat. I was literally staring at him. He was Chinese and was with his colleagues. I remember that I spent two hours in the car waiting for his return. I even had lunch in my car. Stalker? Yeah, definitely.

When I got home, I told my sisters that I had “the coup de foudre” for a gorgeous Korean, as I thought he was from Korea. I spent the entire weekend thinking of him.

Upon returning to work, I was downstairs in the building at 12 noon — lunchtime — to wait for him. He saw me that time and kept staring at me. The day afterwards he sent me his phone number. I called him immediately, but he couldn’t even talk. He told me later that he was unable to speak, and that his name was Bo.

Everything was so evident and so obvious. We fell in love at the first glance, we talked about marriage and kids few days later. Of course, there were some obstacles as he said. Language. Even if we both speak English, we couldn’t express our real feeling through it. Religion, too. I am Muslim and he has no religion. Physically he had issues at the beginning as I am more curvy and not like Chinese women (we had to have a long discussion to overcome this). In age, he was four years younger than me. But it didn’t matter. We were in love, totally in love.

A few months later, he had to return to China to see his parents and to tell them about us. He was a little worried, and kept telling me he will say that I was pregnant so they would accept our marriage. I found the whole thing funny because I didn’t have a clue about his inner turmoil. I thought that since my parents agreed with it, so his parents will too.

Then my sister died and I was living a family tragedy. Bo left three days later. Then things went worse when Bo sent me an e-mail two weeks into his visit to China, saying his parents were against our marriage.

He returned from China and the guy before me was not the one I once knew. He was cold, tough and rude. He avoided me. I remember once I touched his face and cried, “Look at me! It’s me! I am the one that you love!” He was crying, but never he loved me again. Despite all this, we spent some time together. Sometimes he said he would miss me. He told me once that we would meet at the end of our lives, and that he would take me to a Chinese mountain ( I don’t remember its name). The last day, he made a video for me that I recorded. He said he was not happy. He wished I will be happy, and that I will forget him. The day after, he left forever.

Later on, sometime after returning to China, he sent me an e-mail saying he was a married man. I felt as if I was living in a real-life drama, with the loss of my sister and the love of my life.

After one year of mourning, I was still in love with Bo. But I decided it was time to meet another guy — Chinese, of course. I’ve recently been flirting with another Chinese man who also works in my building. I don’t know where things will go with him, but I’m certain of one thing. Bo changed my life forever.

Soulef is a translator in Algeria, North Africa who hopes to one day marry her true Chinese love.

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We’re looking for a few good stories from Chinese men and Western women in love — or out of love — to share on Fridays. Submit your original story or a published blog post today.