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Saturday, January 28, 2017
Muslims around the world decry Trump executive order on refugees
Muslims from countries that President Trump wants to target for extreme vetting or for banning outright the arrival of refugees in the U.S. expressed dismay at the president's executive order on refugees, saying the move will play into the hands of ISIS and other extremists who claim that America is waging war on Islam.
New York Times:
But even in countries not directly affected by the ban, it sent a dispiriting signal.
"It gives the impression that America is no longer the country it used to be," said Ammar Ali Hassan, a prominent Egyptian novelist. "It is no longer open to skilled people from across the world. It is no longer the land of dreams."
Muslims in many Western countries have felt the brunt of paranoia and racial discrimination as Islamic State attacks have continued in the past year and the public furor over immigration has grown.
Since the majority of refugees accepted by the U.S. are low0skilled workers and poor, I wonder where all these "skilled people" we're denying entry to are coming from.
And Earth to New York Times: "Muslims" and even "Arabs" do not suffer from "racial discrimination," because religions and ethnicities are not a separate "race."
Many Muslims have long viewed America's vision of itself as hypocritical and its idealism as degraded. After years of grinding war in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, there is a growing belief that even many Americans do not truly believe talk about America being a "shining city on the hill" that seeks to do good in the world.
"Trump has dispensed with the politeness, but that wasn't fooling people before," said Karl Sharro, a Lebanese-Iraqi architect and commentator who is based in London. "In being honest about these draconian measures, a lot of people will say that at least we know where we stand now."
In a recent article for Politico, Mr. Sharro drew on the growing similarities between the United States' political scene and that of many Arab countries, with allegations of vote rigging, feuds involving the security services, accusations of foreign meddling and vicious arguments between the country's leader and the media.
"I just collected what everyone is saying in Arab countries," he said. "It's a kind of schadenfreude."
Mr. Sharro said he was insulted by suggestions that the visa ban might help create a new cadre of radicalized Muslims.
"The assumption that these people are going to flip into terrorists and start attacking the United States is driven by some very condescending liberal assumptions," he said.
Visiting the United States can already be a demeaning process for many Muslims. Refugees have to go through an exhaustive 18-month security clearance program, while visitors on tourist or business visas have complained of being sometimes singled out at American airports.
"Only Americans suffer from the delusion that Muslims are not already being extensively racially profiled at immigration counters when they enter the United States," said Ali Dayan Hasan, a human rights consultant from Pakistan who has regularly visited the United States since 2001.
Muslims are not being "racially profiled," because Islam is not a race, and it's dishonest to say otherwise. And when the TSA strip-searches a white grandmother while allowing most Muslims to sail through security checkpoints at airports, that hardly constitutes being "singled out" by Americans.
There appears to be a disconnect between the belief that it's okay to allow a few potential terrorists entry into the U.S.. and the reality that we have an absolute right to decide who is allowed in and who isn't. There was an unstated attitude in the Obama administration when they reduced the vetting time for refugees from 18 months to 3 months, that the few terrorists who would sneak in wouldn't kill that many Americans, and it was a small price to pay for upholding our "humanitarian" values.
Even though there have been no terrorist attacks in the U.S. from refugees, that hardly means there aren't dozens already here. In Germany, security officials admitthere are 500 ISIS infiltrators who arrived mixed in with the refugees. You have to wonder how many U.S. refugees are similarly connected.
Trump's executive order is the first concrete action taken by the U.S. government to protect us from those who would take advantage of our compassion to try to kill us. It may be an inconvenience to some foreign Muslims, but a failure to recognize the reasons for the ban shows just how in denial those Muslims are about their violent co-religionists.