Social Media Post Fuels Deportation
FREEDOM OF SPEECH LOST
On Feb. 3, an Egyptian pilot student posted a status on Facebook stating he’d be willing to serve a life sentence for killing business mogul and presidential candidate Donald Trump. About a month later, he was arrested and is being forced to leave the country by July 5.
The 23-year-old student Emadeldin Elsayed was studying in Southern California with a student visa, and in an interview had said he had no intentions of hurting anyone. He was simply expressing his anger over Trump’s comments about Muslims. And because of this post, he is forced to give up his dreams.
How is this fair? Well, simply put, it’s not. This student was targeted for expressing his opinion and practicing his First Amendment right. Social media is such an accessible platform for people to express their opinions. There are millions of people, everyday, who have said the same exact thing about other individuals on social media. Just about any picture of President Obama on Facebook is riddled with hateful, ignorant, and often racist comments, usually saying far worse.
The student should’ve known that he could potentially get in serious trouble for expressing such an opinion, especially from his university, who complained to the authorities in the first place. It was stupid, hateful, and the kind of gross comment that warrants consequences. But deportation? That seems a bit too far. What’s worse is that he didn’t have such vicious intentions—it was all out of pure anger at the specific moment.
The underlying reasoning behind his deportation is because he’s Muslim. Because of his Middle Eastern background, the secret service had even more reason to kick him out. Although authorities and government officials claim his religious status is not the motive behind his arrest and deportation, we all know it is.
After 9/11, and the horrific events followed by extremist terrorists over the years, Muslims have been deemed dangerous. Everything they say or do is noteworthy and should be taken seriously. Now Muslims are associated with terrorists. They’re not. The terrorists who call themselves Muslims aren’t affiliated with any religion. They’re simply cold-hearted, mass murderers who want nothing but to see the world burn.
It isn’t fair that Elsayed was targeted for his comments about Trump, nor is it constitutional that he’s forced to leave the country. However, as a Muslim, you’re forced to think twice about what you say, because the other person might interpret your intentions in the complete opposite direction or tone.
But that shouldn’t stop anyone from expressing their opinion. Once you enter US soil, you can exercise your rights. Everyone has the right to say what they want, and to be arrested over it is just plain stupid.
illustration: Madalyn Drewno • CU Denver Sentry