It took Donald Trump less than a week after assuming office to sign a racist, xenophobic and divisive order that closed the doors of the United States to those who need it the most. Not only is this hateful order is unlikely to diminish the terrorist threat in the United States, but it will also contribute to the growth of tension and hostility with the Middle East.
The executive order banned the entry of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days, suspend the US admission system for 120 days and the Syrian refugee program indefinitely in order to prevent the country from terrorist attacks. Only a few hours later, the order was already putting the country and its citizens through chaos, anger, sadness and helplessness; dividing families and keeping legitimate visa-holders and US residents under detention at airports.
Although he claims to be protecting the US from foreign terrorism, Trump’s arguments are just excuses to manifest a powerful and discriminative attitude whose support is built upon ignorance and racism. The order generalises the ‘terrorist problem’ as a result of entire Muslim-majority countries, defining them guilty of atrocities that, in fact, are harming their own citizens more than they harm the entire whole Western world.
The order not only targets innocent populations of specific countries, but the message that it puts across targets and involves the whole religious community by attributing terrorism to entire Muslim-majority populations, the religion itself and its believers (including those who were born, raised American citizens). Trump is already questioning the innocence of millions and targeting them to be susceptible of guilt, not only disappointing his own population and excluding a big part of it in his decisions. He is also failing to represent the values of a country that claims to be free, tolerant and humanitarian.
Values of solidarity have been replaced by a discriminative, racist and provocative attitude towards innocent foreign population, clearly turning vulnerable refuge-seekers into suspects and making them guilty of the terror that hunts them at home. This immigration ban is a declaration of intent and contempt against the entire Muslim community. It is fundamentally a Muslim ban.
This is extremely dangerous for a country that was divided on the 9th of November. The order encourages suspicion and fear, and such it is promoted by the legitimising authority of the Government, this will only divide the nation even more. In other words, Trump has legitimised religious discrimination as a measure for national security. The US Government has legitimised hate, and this is both fearful and horrifying.
The lack of credibility that many people saw in Trump’s extreme discourses during his campaign has been proven wrong by his first week in office which has set the basis for his radical conservative presidency. His latest executive order condemns hate and intolerance in Middle East countries while promoting such values at home. This demonstrates once more the US’s hypocritical attitude that can be traced back to past administrations.
Hopefully, global public opinion has been mobilised since, and before, the start of Trump’s presidency. The small upside to his executive orders is that actions of solidarity and tolerance have been taking place daily after Trump assumed office, meaning that a large part of the world condemns his hateful ideology.