How We Should Respond

News outlets are reporting that the incoming Trump Administration is seriously considering establishment of a “registry” for Muslims. Politico recently quoted Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who says the effort is being modeled after the highly controversial National Security Entry-Exit Registration System implemented after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

When challenged about the constitutionality of such a measure, Trump supporters point to the “precedent” of World War II Japanese internment camps. Although that precedent has never been formally overruled, it is widely considered to have been a shameful departure from American principles, attributable to the stress of war.

Ordinarily, I would dismiss such stories, assuming that more responsible people would recognize the unAmerican nature and probable unconstitutionality of such a proposal; given the abysmal bona fides of those Trump has around him, however, I cannot simply assume that this effort will be still-born.

So here is what I propose:

If a Trump Administration attempts to require registration of Muslims, I intend to register, and I will encourage all of my friends and family to register as well.

One of the few positive stories that emerged during the Holocaust was the reported reaction of the Danes when, under Nazi occupation, Danish Jews were ordered to wear armbands with the infamous yellow Star of David. As the story goes, the Danish King and his subjects also donned the armbands, in a demonstration of the equality and solidarity of all Danish citizens.

Snopes tells us that the story is apocryphal, although the Danes did engage in heroic measures to save Danish Jews.

Although this legend may not be true in its specifics, it was certainly true enough in spirit. The rescue of several thousand Danish Jews was accomplished through the efforts of “thousands of policemen, government officials, physicians, and persons of all walks of life.” The efforts to save Danish Jews may not have had the flair of the “yellow star” legend, and they may not have required quite so many citizens to visibly oppose an occupying army, but those who were rescued undoubtedly preferred substance to style.

Sometimes, a morality tale can be more powerful than accurate history.

An actual effort to make Muslims register would be challenged immediately, and I have to believe it would be quickly enjoined, but the mere fact of the attempt would have a chilling effect on everyone’s religious liberties.

As a practical matter, if thousands of non-Muslim Americans publicize our intention to add our names to any registry–and if we announce that intention immediately in response to any trial balloon or actual proposal to create such a registry– we may be able to abort this insulting and demeaning and thoroughly unAmerican effort.

I hope these reports are wrong, but given the rhetoric of the campaign, Trump’s embrace of the “alt-right” (aka Nazis, White Supremacists and the KKK), and the nature of his inner circle, prudence suggests  that we prepare for the worst.


  1. Indiana has a Muslim Congressman, Andre Carson. Will he have to register, will his daughter, too? And then there is the facetious rhetoric about all coming together? Why should we enable this kind of nonsense. It is dangerous and definitely a threat to our national security. Does anyone believe that the extremists here in this country are not going to react violently when the rest of us say, NO?

  2. JD; I’m sure Andre Carson and the other Muslim Rep.; Ellison ?, will be the first ordered to register as Muslims if Trump gets his way.

    Through friends on Facebook I got the web site address for where you can get your list of state electors and their E-mail addresses. I’m going to try it; they are the only source for action before December 19th.

    Didn’t tell you of my running battle with Senator Jim Merritt a few years ago. Republican Senator Delph from Carmel authored bills to go after employers who were knowingly hiring and landlords who were knowingly renting to illegal immigrants. Merritt stopped both bills; insisting it was the federal government’s responsibility. I messaged Merritt several times asking him to support Delph’s bills (and his bills to lower student loans) but he repeatedly refused. He finally E-mailed me asking for my home phone number so he could “call me that night and discuss the issue”. I told him I am deaf and cannot use a phone, could only contact via E-mail. Never heard from him again; E-mails can be saved as proof of anything he said to me. Immigration is a problem in Indiana and another major target for Trump’s threatened action; we will find so support on the state level here.

    Merritt was the representative for Unsafe Buildings Amendments in 1991 General Assembly; still, nothing has been done in this state regarding that issue which has escalated and a major source of crime as well as deterioration of infrastructure. Many immigrants can be found housed in these areas. Also; the journalist Brian Eason at the Star hasn’t been heard from for months and his series, “Abandon Indy” is no more. We are in a war now regarding Trump and Pence but we can’t let these other issues be forgotten.

  3. I sent an E-mail to all Indiana electors; three were returned as invalid addresses, Laura Campbell, Chuck Williams and Ethan Manning but Manning has a 2nd address. Use it hasn’t been returned.

    The tiniest bit of hope, the slightest chance, a glimmer that we can turn this around; only 37 vote changes are needed out of those hundreds of electoral members. Two have already changed; at last report Hillary was over 1,400,000 popular votes ahead. I tried; please help me.

  4. Thanks for your insightful messages, Sheila. We’re on board as well! As “old” Key School parents, we have our children engaged as well. Keep up the good work! We are avid followers of your blog.

  5. Thank you Sheila! I have just discovered your blog and every post is thoughtful and wise, full of insight and sense. Notice I donʻt say “common sense” since that isnʻt so common anymore. This reminds me of when we added “Hussein” as our middle names to protest the anti-Obama and anti-Muslim rhetoric. Hoping it doesnʻt happen, yet it if does, Iʻm with you, and will also add my name to the Muslim Registry. These are strange times which call for unusual measures that ask us to stand up for truth and justice, not just for some, but for all people.

    Again, many thanks for your “jaundiced” and clear-eyed voice. Youʻre helping us wade through the muck. And I mean MUCK with a capital “T”

  6. Definitely In! I wore a uniform for 8 years to protect this country . I will submit my name to protect this country as a citizen and for citizens of this country. I have never been so worried about the welfare of this country. United we are strong!

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