06/02/2017 from Japan and Hong Kong
President Trump on Thursday cited on his Facebook Page a news by Al Bawaba which reports that Kuwait implemented a visa ban on five Muslim-majority nationals (Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan). However, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied that report and the source turned out to be fake. The news was also picked up by other media including Breitbart News, Infowars and Sputnik.
The reason why some media reported the ‘Kuwait ban’ news without convincing source could be because of Trump’s speech acts which stands against Muslim people, which is consistent to what Trump has always been doing and saying against the Muslims and it could possibly led to why the media find his tweet post convincing. Trump himself has a strong set of his own value and he has been emphasising on changing the world around him according to his own value and his perspective of how the world should be ever since he started electing for the US President. He offered a subjective source of the Kuwait ban which agrees to his personal view and mislead the media. It proves that Trump is starting to normalise his view since he could make them believe this ‘Kuwait ban’ to be a fact, and implying that the line between what the world is and how the world Trump wants to be becomes increasingly blurred.
A similar case in which a discourse on immigrants affected people’s view can be seen in two decades ago. Ceyhan and Tsoukala (2002) claims after the publication of Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilisations” in 1993, migrants in Europe and America were seen as a cultural threat to those countries and accused of being unwilling to integrate themselves into host society by maintaining their own language, religion, lifestyles, and so on. People started to regard migrants as “cultural others” and by doing so, they even shaped their own self-image or identity. The fear of multiculturalism made people accept the image of migrants as a threat to society and the view was normalised through echoed speech acts by political leaders, media and citizens themselves.
Trump has repeated his own view which associates Muslims with terrorists during the election campaign and now issued an Executive Order which bans citizens from the seven Muslim countries. Now that his view and policy have spread all over the world through media, his perspective is more familiar to people than before even if they think his policy based on such a perspective is ethically problematic. That is the reason some media reported the fake news on Kuwait Muslim ban without convincing sources, assuming the fact exists.
In addition, the fake news is also interpreted as a result of fear that anti-Muslim perspective is intersubjectively shared by people. Trump showed his willingness to continue his policy regardless of the judgement which issued restraining order against the Muslim ban, and countries which follow and implement his idea can appear, given far-right political parties began to rise. On the other hand, those who attempt to protect Muslims’ rights made demonstrations not only in the US but also in the UK, and posts against Muslim ban were shared on Facebook globally. Those people are mobilised by the shared agenda. The protest against increasingly normalised anti-Muslim view can be more fierce and make American society more unstable. Media mislead by Trump because of his personality and his consistency on anti-muslim view. Constructivism could be applied and it could be proved by how Trump convinced the media the news is real. He changed how the people would judge the validity of the event (Tweet or Facebook post). The anti-Muslim news could lead to an unstable society as Trump continues his policy on immigration banning.