Muslim Bans

This past weekend  the Trump Administration took the first steps to implement a ban on Muslims from certain countries. People can argue the semantics that it is not a ban of all Muslims because other predominantly Muslim nations were not included, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (which have produced the most number of terrorist attacks and casualties in the USA, and which also coincidently have Trump Resorts). The bottom line is that the courts are correct in reading the plain language of the presidential order and its intent. It is a ban of all Muslims from those countries, which violates laws against discrimination based on religion and on country of origin.

Christian refugees from these same countries are allowed in under the pretext that they are oppressed minorities. However, Shi’a Muslims are oppressed in Syria and Yemen, as are Sunni Muslims in Iraq, but they are still banned, which makes the intent to ban people based on their religion even more transparent.

What is remarkable about the presidential order is that Trump issued the order without consulting with his nominee for Secretary of Defense, Homeland Security or the State Department. Why the agencies most tasked with protecting our safety at home and abroad were not consulted is obvious. This is not about protecting national security. Mattis (Defense) and Flynn (Homeland Security), both former Marine Corps Generals, are on record as saying that the ban would harm national security. In fact, the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff for all Armed Forces are also on record as objecting to the ban in any form.

Furthermore, diplomats serving around the world also agree that the ban harms national security and the effort against Islamic terrorism. So why is Trump implementing an order that virtually everyone other than his closest political advisors agree will harm our national security? I guess the answer is in the question.

For many of us, this is a moral issue. For others, it is a legal issue. However, for a few Americans, the ban is more personal. Families with troops serving in war zones with Muslims are far more at risk today than they were last Friday. Men and women in Iraq, for example, must rely on the loyalty and goodwill of Muslim troops and civilians to fight ISIL. Why would a Muslim in Iraq risk not only their life but also the lives of their families to assist American troops at this point? How would an American advisor explain to his Muslim troops that they should help him kill other Muslims when they are considered unworthy to immigrate to America?

No doubt there are Americans so overcome with fear and prejudice that they will ignore any moral or even legal issue to advocate for bigotry, but they should at least give up any pretext that their concern is national security and simply admit their hatred.

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