By The Griot contributors
President Trump has signed an Executive Order that effectively bans nationals from 7 countries from entering the U.S, including one of our contributors. Nationals of Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Iran and Sudan are being turned away at their point of departure and detained or deported at US airports upon arrival. We condemn this Executive Order.
It does not prevent terrorism and is not a necessary action; indeed as the CATO Institute published, no terrorist from any of those nations killed a U.S citizen in a terrorist attack on U.S soil between 1975 and 2015. There is therefore no terror prevention value to this measure – indeed as Glenn Greenwald notes in his Intercept article, the greater number of deaths in the U.S from terrorism since 9/11 have come at the hands of right-wing extremists as opposed to Muslim fanatics.
This is not a policy designed to prevent terrorism – it is nothing but a policy born of ignorance and hatred. In fact, just look at what Trump said about the policy when he shifted the focus from ‘banning Muslims’ to ‘banning territories’: “I actually don’t think it’s a rollback. In fact, you could say it’s an expansion… People were so upset when I used the word Muslim. Oh, you can’t use the word Muslim. Remember this. And I’m OK with that, because I’m talking territory instead of Muslim.” This is a blatantly discriminatory measure – it is designed to be so.
Not only does it fail to do the thing it claims to do on the tin – it plays directly into the narrative that extremist groups have been trying to paint – pitting Western Governments and Western Muslims against each other. How does one counter the view that Muslims are being discriminated against while we witness their detainment, while we witness their prevention from travelling to the U.S, while we witness our Prime Minister holding the hand of the man that signed that order, while we see the move towards torture, all designed with Muslims as the target.
Every one of us has a duty to fight this action. We at the Griot condemn it and ask – if we don’t fight this now what will come next? Support the demonstration on Monday. If you can, donate to the ACLU which will fight these measures in U.S courts. Donate to Amnesty International which will expose Trump as he reintroduces ‘black sites’ to conduct torture. Donate to Reprieve, which will represent the oppressed in court. Now is the time for action.