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The Right Way To Oppose The Muslim Ban

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The Right Way To Oppose The Muslim Ban

Muslim Ban

Donald Trump says his ban on people entering the country from seven predominantly Muslim countries wasn’t a Muslim ban. But it was a Muslim ban, according to Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani.

Let’s get something straight. Most Americans, your author included, want stringent vetting of immigrants entering the country. I can easily envision Islamic terrorist groups trying to sneak operatives into this country. It’s a fact that some terrorists have entered Europe hiding in the flood of refugees.

But there are other facts. Not a single refugee admitted to the United States has committed a fatal terrorist attack here. For that we can largely thank the comprehensive vetting process put into place by Barack Obama. If there’s room for improving the process, go ahead and make changes. But where is the need for even a temporary ban? That implies we are facing a dire emergency.

Americans concerned with national security, and count me in, can’t help but see dangers in the amateurish nature of this policy rollout, now frozen by the courts. Some may have found comic relief in Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway’s reference to the nonexistent “Bowling Green massacre.” But such dumb statements from top administration officials have turned America into an international laughingstock.

Trump himself tweeted that the attempted machete attack at the Louvre Museum in Paris showed the wisdom of his policy. It happens that the machete man (the only person injured) was an Egyptian living in the United Arab Emirates — two countries not on the Trump ban list (which skirted Muslim-majority countries in which the Trump Organization does business).

The most worrisome threat may be the Islamic State’s growing capacity to recruit American-born misfits, some with no family connection to the Mideast, and remotely direct attacks through the internet. One was Emanuel Lutchman, a convicted felon in Rochester, New York, planning to launch a New Year’s Eve assault on a bar. Federal and local law enforcement tell us that they rely on local Muslim residents to share information on suspected radical activity within their communities.

Trump’s point that Christians have been horribly persecuted in some Muslim countries is true. Not true is his contention that “if you’re a Christian, you have no chance.”

In fact, it is a lie. In the last year of the Obama administration, nearly as many Christian refugees were admitted to the U.S. as were Muslim refugees.

How might one express both support for refugee screening and displeasure with the Trump approach?

For one thing, let’s not take the need for vetting lightly. I am not the commissar for protest signage, but it would be helpful for its artists to avoid conveying the idea that anyone who wants in should get in.

I also avoid emotional anecdotes about so-and-so’s being delayed for hours at the airport — or some grandmother unable to reunite with a son’s family. Not every grandmother belongs in this country. We shouldn’t mind some entrants going through more paces, as long as there is a rational process whereby all comers are checked out and, once given the green light, can enter the country and go about their business.

Insulting vast swaths of humanity is not a thinking person’s path to national security. And when the good people we do business with and fight alongside are inconvenienced, we should also at least say, “Thank you for your time.”

In sum, let’s not confuse cruelty with being tough. But let’s also concede that we live in a dangerous world. Keeping the bad people out makes a country more accepting of the good people.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com.

IMAGE: Ibrihim Al Murisi listens as his father tells reporters about their story as Yemeni nationals who were initially denied entry into the U.S. last week because of the recent travel ban, as they arrive at Washington Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Virginia, U.S. February 6, 2017.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Froma Harrop

Froma Harrop’s nationally syndicated column appears in over 150 newspapers. Media Matters ranks her column 20th nationally in total readership and 14th in large newspaper concentration. Harrop has been a guest on PBS, MSNBC, Fox News and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and is a frequent voice on NPR and talk radio stations in every time zone as well.

A Loeb Award finalist for economic commentary in 2004 and again in 2011, Harrop was also a Scripps Howard Award finalist for commentary in 2010. She has been honored by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the New England Associated Press News Executives Association has given her five awards.

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  1. Godzilla February 6, 2017

    One thing that isn’t mentioned in any Liberal news article or media broadcast is that of the 7 nations named, 6 do not have well functioning central governments. The last two sentences of this article ” But let’s also concede that we live in a dangerous world. Keeping the
    bad people out makes a country more accepting of the good people” is a great sentiment and very true.

    This isn’t a Muslim ban, if it were there would be 46 more countries on the list. This travel ban is about security, as 6 countries cannot adequately control who gets on planes and who don’t. It’s basically left up to the airlines, and their employees. Do any of you think a bad person couldn’t get on a plane with enough money to pay for the door to be open? Are you really that naive? After all, letting migrants from Middle Eastern and African countries have worked out so well for France and the rest of the EU, let’s let them come here too? Are people this damn stupid? Sadly, yes, some are.


    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth February 6, 2017

      You can actually think beyond a few silly sentences, and idiotic numbing visuals—I’m impressed.

      There are a few points that you, Trump, and others like you need to consider.

      A blanket ban on any nation is stupid, is an international way of profiling the way we do Blacks and Hispanics in America, and will fail in detecting those who slip across such a lengthy perimeter encompassing the USA. Your attempt to be objective is laudable—a far cry the vast majority of your posts.

      Which makes me think you have a Jeckyll-Hyde psychological complex.

      I digress. What you cleverly try to hide is your propensity to want to smear Muslims; and you do this trick by citing “this is not a Muslim ban, when Trump time again on the stump professed his bigotry, overtly and covertly about Muslims, repeatedly. Your selective amnesia must have clicked on to let you forget that.

      You fail to mention anything about the “Aryan Cowboy”, Bannon, who repeatedly has shown specific biases towards “non-white” populations in the past. And he served as the “pimp” who proposed the finer points of the ban along with another surrogate to Trump—another little detail you chose to overlook. And you were clever not to mention anything re” Saudi Arabia which has been a major exporter of Wahhabi extremist ideology. You are familiar with that extremist view, culturally endemic to Saudi Arabia and to a slightly lesser degree in Qatar—are you not? If you and Trump want to ban countries, then you should have been riled about those two nations as well. But Trump has business connections there, and so terrorist concerns are tossed out in favor of Trump’s bottom line—are you OK with that “loophole?

      So, in the future when you want to comment on international and cultural aspects of human society, at least educate yourself, be consistent about terrorism by applying the rules across the board, and always keep in mind that all terrorists don’t just strap bombs to themselves—some even walk calmly into churches and start shooting innocent church-goers, as Dylan Roof did, or as Robert E. Chambliss(aka “Dynamite Bob)” did in the 60’s on a quiet Sunday in Birmingham, Alabama.

      You and others have no problems with angry males going berserk and shooting children, church-goers, and movie-goers, but your antennae go up IMMEDIATELY the moment you see or hear of a black person being implicated in a murder, or a lone terrorist from Sudan or Somalia shoots a lesser number of people than those killed at Sandy Hooks, or Aurora, Colo.

      Maybe you and Trump should be banned??

      1. ron February 8, 2017

        Well said !

  2. Dominick Vila February 7, 2017

    The first thing we must do is understand the difference between immigrants (legal or illegal), and refugees. Immigrants leave their homeland for a variety of reasons. More often than not because of financial considerations. Refugees leave their homeland to save their lives. Most countries have immigration laws in place designed to control entry. Most civilized countries provide asylum to those escaping war, terrorism, or persecution.
    The Muslim ban, called so by Trump the day he rolled it out, and by Rudy Guiliani who cynically acknowledged it was a ban under a different name, is tantamount to religious bigotry, and evidence of cowardice.

    1. itsfun February 14, 2017

      Why do terrorists leave their homelands? Trump did not call his ban a Muslim ban as you say. You calling it a Muslim ban does not make it one. Check out the number of Muslims in this world. The President banned the countries with the most danger to the safety of us.

  3. stsintl February 7, 2017

    · Published on January 30, 2017

    Joshua Brown
    CEO at Ritholtz Wealth Management

    “To my Jewish, Irish, Asian and Italian friends, let’s remember:

    Your ancestors were lower than dirt when they arrived here. Italians were referred to – openly – as a subhuman race of rats and criminals. Irishmen were apes and monkeys.
    Laws were passed to keep Chinese women out of the country, so that the Chinese males who were brought over for menial labor couldn’t produce offspring.
    Jews were spat upon in the streets and routinely excluded from polite society.
    Unhire-able. Undesirable. Laws were passed to allow for the mass discrimination and segregation of your great grandparents, not much more than a century ago.
    It’s nice that you now view yourselves as “Real Americans.” Just yesterday, your kind were anything but. And I don’t mean in the deep south or in obscure corners of the country. Your forebears were considered human garbage on the streets of New York, Philadelphia and Boston. It wasn’t all that long ago when mainstream politicians were actively seeking ways to get rid of you too.”

    Now it’s Muslims’ turn. Which America is the POTUS and his supporters are going to make “Great Again”?

  4. stsintl February 7, 2017

    By the way, home grown Americans of all colors have been killing each other with guns at the rate of over 3,000 a year. Under age children cannot buy beer or cigarettes, drive a car, or serve in the military, but they can buy guns with no questions asked. And, the “NRA Terrorism” leader sits right next to the POTUS. How does he plan to “Make America Safe Again”?

  5. Edward Allen February 9, 2017

    I got paid $104000 in 2016 by freelancing from my house a­­n­­d I manage to accomplish that by work­ing part-time f­o­r 3 or sometimes more h /day. I was following work model I stumbled upon from this website i found online and I am so happy that I was able to earn so much extra income. It’s really user friendly a­­n­­d I’m so happy that i found this. Check out what I do… http://statictab.com/msxjhtx

  6. itsfun February 14, 2017

    Not a Muslim ban and continued calling it that will not change a thing. The President is charged with protecting our nation from terrorists and he will do that.


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