Almost 20,000 Americans have vowed to register themselves as Muslims in a show of solidarity after the country’s President-elect Donald Trump suggested the government may create a national database for people who come from Muslim countries.
Around 3.3 million Muslims living in the US face becoming increasingly marginalised under Trump’s presidency after he led an election campaign full of hardline rhetoric targeting immigrants and visitors from countries suffering from rampant terrorism.
Although Trump’s team has denied ever advocating for a registry or system that tracks individuals based on their religion, Trump had openly called for a “complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” during his campaign.
In response, the Register US website initiated a pledge movement "to stand together with Muslims across the country."
— RegisterUs (@RegisterUsToday) November 14, 2016
Among the supporters of the campaign has been outspoken Jewish American activist Jonathan Greenblatt, who heads the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). "If one day Muslims will be forced to register, that is the day that this proud Jew will register as a Muslim," he said.
— ADL (@ADL_National) November 17, 2016
Critics of the Muslim database have gone as far as comparing it to a system implemented in Nazi Germany which required Jews to register with authorities.
@RegisterUsToday If anyone' name is entered into a database driven by GOP/Trump bigotry, this is how I say, "It's wrong to do this!"
— Sam Martin (@RealSamMartin) November 17, 2016
Rebecca Green, who launched the Register US website with two friends last week, praised the public’s response. "We see this effort as a plea to American values to not become the kind of country that keeps lists based on religion," she told Reuters in an email
"Nothing is more anti-American than a registry based on religion."