Why Trumps Travel Ban Does More Harm Than Good
By Lara McMurray
Throughout Donald Trump’s campaign and presidency, he has fought for and justified actions his travel ban, the policy blocking citizens of several majority-Muslim countries (Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, and Libya) from entering the United States. Over and over, he’s feuded with regional courts on the issue, and eventually the Supreme Court took the case. Finally, after three different versions of the ban, the Supreme Court has allowed it to proceed in full effect. While Trump and his administration deny that it has anything to do with religion, his baseless scare tactics and promise to “ban all Muslims from entering the U.S” prove otherwise. Over and over again, he used baseless scare tactics scapegoating Muslims, naming off well-known terrorist attacks that would have supposedly never happened had his ban been put in place. However, this is simply untrue.
Trump cited the Boston, San Bernardino, and of course the 9/11 attacks in an attempt to strike Islamophobia into our hearts in hope we will support his travel ban. However, if he intends to justify his islamophobic policy, citing these specific acts of terrorism is not the way to go. Here’s why: the Boston attackers, who were of Russian origin; The San Bernardino shooters, of Saudi Arabian origin; and the nineteen men behind the 9/11 attacks, who were citizens of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Lebanon; all have two things in common. One, none are from any of the countries on Trump’s travel ban. And two, all are countries containing Trump properties.
Baseless Islamophobic rhetoric has been crucial in Donald Trump’s political career. Throughout his campaign he has created an Us versus Them situation, and scapegoated Muslims and immigrants in order to do so. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, both the Bush and Obama administrations were careful to make sure the war on terror was not to be interpreted as a war with Islam. But when it comes to Trump, Islamophobia has always played a crucial role in his success. He has repeatedly labeled Muslims as the enemy and insisted that they be treated as such. This is seen through his campaign promises of the Muslim registry and a ban on all Muslims from entering the United States (which he eventually limited to the nations listed in his travel ban). He’s strongly advocated against allowing Syrian refugees enter the U.S., and has repeatedly called refugees “a trojan horse”, insisting that they’re likely to turn against us once they enter our borders.
While Trump’s Islamophobic rhetoric and policy are supposedly meant to reduce terrorist threat in the US, it’s doing quite the opposite. “His utter hate towards Muslims will make our job much easier because we can recruit thousands," stated Abu Omar Khorasani, a top ISIS commander in Afghanistan. Isis, Al-Qaeda, and other jihadist organizations are thrilled at the travel ban, as it offers further proof that the US is at war with Islam. Terrorist organizations are feeding off his travel ban, and increasing their use of propaganda in hopes of recruiting from America’s Muslim population. By isolating and discriminating against Muslims, Trump is subsequently helping Isis gain appeal. If Trump is really trying to keep terrorism out, isolating American Muslims will not be the answer.