“Naturally the common people don’t want war ... but after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or fascist dictatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship ... voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country,” said Hermann Goering, one of the most influential persons in the Nazi Party. Scary but sounds familiar; our government is promoting culture of fear through its actions and policies, and the reason could be best explained by the words of former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, who said that it “obscures reason, intensifies emotions and makes it easier for demagogic politicians to mobilize the public on behalf of the policies they want to pursue.”

The Trump administration’s letter, dated Aug. 29, to University of North Carolina and Duke University—directing the institutions to revise their curriculum because “there is a considerable emphasis placed on … understanding the positive aspects of Islam”—is another attempt to further divide our nation for personal and political gains while completely disregarding long-term detrimental effects of such actions on our national security and peace on the global stage.

In times where acts of terror committed in the name of religion and aimed at creating unrest in the world in order to further the vested interests of certain leaders get endless coverage on the media, the need for promoting interfaith dialogues, spreading the peaceful message of Islam and negating the perception that Islam is inherently violent has never been more relevant in order to achieve peace on the global stage.

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