Here's What You Need To Know About The Travel Ban On Muslim-Majority Countries
We have the low-down.
During his election campaign, Donald Trump made bold statements about keeping the US safe from terrorism, putting America first, and strengthening border controls.
Many of the ideas behind his policies seemed to preach division and intolerance, like the wall he proposed to build between the border of the US and Mexico to keep Mexicans from moving to the states.
And since he entered the White House a few short days ago he has really kicked into action with his policy-making, proving that he would stick to his promises. For example, the orders to have that wall built along the border between the US and Mexico have been signed, as well as the order for 10,000 immigration officers to guard it.
Since the inauguration, the government has also weakened Obamacare (the American health system set up with the aim of making healthcare more affordable and accessible for all citizens of the US) and taken away funding for any non-governmental organisation outside the US that refers patients to get abortions or provides counselling.
This weekend we saw the government’s most recent ruling came into play. Citizens of some Muslim-majority countries have been banned from entering the US in an attempt to stop Muslim refugees from moving there.
So in the last two days, people from many countries have just been refused entry into the US.
So what exactly is the travel ban?
The ban is preventing all immigrants and visa holders from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US for 90 days, all refugee admissions for 120 days, and it bans Syrian refugees from entering indefinitely. The countries forbidden are Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Syria, Somalia and Libya.
BUT some Muslim-majority countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey were excluded from this list, because President Trump has business interests with them.
What are the main problems?
Whatever your political opinions are, there are reasons that this new ban is worrying. Firstly, the ban has singled out one religion as effectively being the root of all the worlds’ evil, and it suggests that acts of violence and terror are only carried out by Muslim refugees.
This not only doesn’t make ANY sense (Islamic extremists are terrorists and do not represent the Muslim faith at all), but the ban will actually only serve to create MORE hate and, if anything, will increase the numbers of people leaning towards extremism. The ban portrays Muslims as The Enemy when actually they have been victimised.
Secondly, who is the ban actually trying to keep out? There are many Muslims who have families in the US and are now prevented from coming back to them. There are many refugees who only want to escape war and destruction in their own countries and protect their children. And meanwhile there will still be many violent and hateful people already living in the US, with American citizenship, who could decide to commit an act of terrorism at any point, ban or no ban.
Who has spoken up?
Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham (who are leading authorities on national security) have been among those to criticise the ban, saying that they are worried that it will become a “self-inflicted wound” and only encourage more terrorism.
Many celebrities have been speaking up against it as well. Britain's four-time Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah who, according to the ban, wouldn’t have been able to return back to America where he has been living with his wife and children for the past six years wrote a Facebook post yesterday protesting the ban:
As a high profile case, Mo has now been granted permission to return to the states but he still condemns the ban. There will be many cases just like Mo’s that won’t get this special treatment.
Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian, Ellen Page, Seth Rogan, and Malala are among some of the other famous faces that are posting to social media protesting the ban.
As well as protests that are happening around the US, many in Britain will also be demonstrating against the ban in protests due to take place tonight around the UK. A petition asking for Donald Trump to be banned from visiting the UK has raised more than 1.2 million signatures.
We just hope that, at times like these, people can stay united in the face of fear and uncertainty and show their solidarity for the victims of scapegoating and prejudice, as so many have already been doing around the world.