by Hugh Fitzgerald
From Newsweek, which in its headline to the story includes the phrase “Trump’s Muslim ban”:
Ivanka Trump was ridiculed this weekend after wishing “Eid Mubarak” to Muslims celebrating the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha.
The greeting, translated as “Blessed Feast” is used as a salutation during Islam’s high holidays. Eid al-Adha, which this year runs from sundown August 10 to sundown August 11, honors Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac at God’s command.
In Islam, the son of Abraham who is nearly sacrificed is Ishmael, not Isaac.
After posting the greeting on Twitter Sunday morning, the first daughter and presidential advisor was derided as “Nepotism Barbie” and accused of Islamophobia for her association with the Trump administration, which instituted a travel ban on visitors and immigrants from several majority-Muslim countries in 2017.
“Your father instituted a Muslim ban,” tweeted Mother Jones editor-in-chief Clara Jeffery.
“Psst, don’t nobody tell Nepotism Barbie here how her father tried to ban all Muslims from entering the United States,” wrote Smirking Chimp blogger Jeff Tiedrich.
In February 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order 13769, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The White House described the order as a preemptive attempt to keep out dangerous individuals from unstable, predominately Arab countries.
The White House did not describe E.O. 13769 as an attempt to keep out dangerous individuals “from unstable, predominately Arab countries” but, as the Supreme Court agreed in its decision in Hawaii v. Trump, from countries that “do not share adequate information with the U.S. for an informed decision on entry, and also from certain other countries because their aliens created national security risks.” Trump showed the Court that the limits he put in place were tailored to protect American interests.
“Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States,” the President’s Executive Order 13769 warned.
The ban has been labeled racist, Islamophobic and anti-immigration—and Ivanka received full brunt of criticism Sunday following her olive branch toward the Muslim community.
Yes, the ban has been labelled – most unfairly — as “racist, Islamophobic, and anti-immigration.” “Racist”? Let’s remember that among the countries included in the ban are North Korea, Venezuela, Somalia, and Iraq, where people of at least three, and possibly four, different racial groups live.
“Islamophobic”? That’s the all-purpose word that is now used to inhibit, or to attack, perfectly rational islamocritics. Even if we were to allow its employ, it can’t reasonably be applied to E.O. 13769. Two of the seven countries covered by the so-called “Muslim ban” are non-Muslim. There are 57 Muslim-majority states, and only five of them are affected in any way by the ban. Two Muslim states, Iraq and Chad, were on the original list, but when it was determined that their ability to monitor their own citizens for security purposes, and to share that information with the American government, had sufficiently improved, they were dropped from the list. No Muslims coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and 45 other Muslim countries have seen any change in their status. No Muslims coming from France or Great Britain or Germany or a dozen other European countries will be affected. Those who are outraged by what they misleadingly call a “travel ban on Muslims” should be reminded that for 95% of the world’s Muslims, nothing has changed. Furthermore, individuals from the affected countries can even apply for an exemption, and may be allowed in on an individual basis. All this has to be kept constantly in mind, and constantly repeated.
Nor can the ban be described as “anti-immigration.” It says nothing about immigration in general, or more pointedly, nothing about the flood of Hispanic immigrants entering our country through our southern border. Of the nearly 200 countries in the world, would-be “immigrants” from only five of them are covered by the ban, and as those countries improve their own security apparatuses and sharing of information, like Iraq and Chad, they too will be dropped from the list of those covered by the ban.
“Imagine being the advisor to the president who created the Muslim ban and tweeting this,” wrote novelist Molly Jong-Fast (The Social Climber’s Handbook).
“Your father is bigoted against Muslims of all nationalities,” wrote Justin Hendrix. “Your duplicity is despicable.”
The “despicable duplicity” here is not that of Ivanka Trump, but of those who criticize her for a two-word greeting to American Muslims on the occasion of the Eid al-Adha feast. She is being whipped from pillar to post because, being the daughter of the man who imposed the “Muslim ban,” she must surely be a supreme hypocrite.
But the hypocrisy here is not hers. It belongs to those who continue to deliberately describe E.O. 13769 as a “Muslim ban,” despite the Hawaii v. Trump decision, in which the Supreme Court upheld the ban as constitutional because it was not a “Muslim ban.” To repeat: countries were included in the Executive Order only if they did “not share adequate information with the U.S. for an informed decision on entry, and also from certain other countries because their aliens created national security risks.”
Would it have mattered if someone other than Ivanka Trump, say, Secretary Pompeo, had wished Muslim Americans “Eid Mubarak”? No, the same charge of “hypocrisy” would have been leveled at him for belonging to an administration that imposed “the racist, isalmophobic, and anti-immigrant Muslim ban.” Anyone in the Trump Administration who wished Muslims “Eid Mubarak” would be attacked as “a hypocrite.”
But what would have happened if neither Ivanka Trump, nor anyone in the Trump Administration, had wished Muslims “Eid Mubarak” on the occasion of Eid al-Adha? The furor from Muslim organizations and individuals, with CAIR and Ilhan Omar and Linda Sarsour leading the pack, would have been tremendous.
Let’s imagine CAIR’s statement, read by an aggrieved-looking Nihad Awad:
“I stand here today, as a representative of the largest Muslim civil rights organization in America. I am – we are – deeply troubled. There are only two holidays in Islam. Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr. Yet the Trump Administration could not be bothered to recognize Eid al-Adha with a greeting to Muslims in America. Even just a simple “Eid Mubarak” would have been welcome. How do you think this makes us, as Muslims and as loyal Americans, feel? It’s a way of telling us we don’t really belong in this country, that – as our President said — ‘we should go back to wherever we came from.’ Our whole community is being systematically disrespected by this Administration. None of us should be surprised. This is the same Administration that imposed the famous Muslim travel ban. This is the same racist, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant President who when he was a candidate proudly said that ‘Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.’
“I implore other Americans, especially our Christian and Jewish brothers, all those in the interfaith movement, to stand with us, to share our pain, to let this Administration know that an assault on any of us – Muslim, Christian, or Jew — is an assault on all of us. This for us is a time of deep sadness and even fear. We saw what happened at Christchurch. We saw what happened in El Paso. The hate, all the hate, has to stop. Come visit our mosques. Come get to know us. Come share your questions and concerns. When Americans get together, we can accomplish great things. From this day forth, let’s work to put the haters out of business.
“Thank you. Salaam aleikum.”
Hypocrisy? Despicable duplicity? What do you think?
First published in Jihad Watch.
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