by Hugh Ftzgerald
As is well known, the Trump Administration in 2017 banned entry to visitors from seven countries. These included Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, North Korea, and Venezuela. This was promptly attacked — and has been attacked ever since — as a “Muslim ban,” an example of Trump’s cruel “Islamophobia.” The administration patiently explained that the reason for the ban was that the governments of those countries were unable to provided sufficient information on their own nationals, who thus posed a security risk to the United States. This argument convinced the Supreme Court in Hawaii v. Trump (2018) to uphold ban as constitutional. Chief Justice John Roberts concluded the language of 8 U. S. C. §1182(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act was clear in giving the President broad authority to suspend the entry of non-citizens into the country and Trump’s Presidential Proclamation 9645 did not exceed any textual limit on the President’s authority. Under 8 U. S. C. §1182(f), a President may limit alien entry when he finds that their entry “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.”
Trump determined that aliens from some countries are detrimental because those countries do not share adequate information with the U.S. for an informed decision on entry, and that other countries are detrimental because their aliens create national security risks. Trump showed that the limits he put in place were tailored to protect American interests. The only prerequisite set forth in §1182(f) is that the President “find” that the entry of the covered aliens would be detrimental to the interests of the U.S. “The President has undoubtedly fulfilled that requirement here,” the Supreme Court ruled. Trump acted within his powers, according to Roberts.
Justice Roberts pointed out that even though five of the seven nations on the list have a Muslim majority, that fact alone “does not support an inference of religious hostility, given that the policy covers just 8% [other analysts give figures of 5%-7%] of the world’s Muslim population and is limited to countries that were previously designated by Congress or prior administrations as posing national security risks.” Additionally, Roberts said, three [sic for “two”] Muslim-majority countries have since been dropped from original travel ban – Iraq and Sudan. Similarly, there are waiver exemptions such as medical that people from banned nations are eligible for. In conclusion, Roberts says the White House had shown a “sufficient national security justification.”
None of this has mattered to those who continue to describe this national-security measure as a “Muslim ban.” Linda Sarsour, Ilhan Omar, the entire staff of CAIR, Rachel Maddow, Bernie Sanders, and millions of others refuse to consider the evidence that persuaded the Supreme Court. They have been unable to explain why, if it is a “Muslim” ban, two of the five countries on the list are non-Muslim, and more tellingly, why only 5%-7% of the world’s Muslims are affected in any way by the ban, and why two Muslim countries were early on dropped from the list, once the American government was persuaded that these countries were supplying adequate information about their nationals.
In January of this year, the Trump Administration added six more countries to the list: Nigeria, Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania, Myanmar, and Kyrgyzstan, whose nationals were to be severely restricted in their entry to the U.S. Every account in the mainstream describes these six nations as “predominately Muslim.” But that isn’t true. Both Nigeria and Eritrea are 50% Muslim. Tanzania is 36% Muslim, Myanmar is 2.3% Muslim. In other words, only two of the six nation added last January to the so-called “Muslim ban” list can be described as “predominately Muslim.” Let these facts be submitted to a candid world.
And now comes the U.A.E., with the news that it, too, is instituting a “Muslim ban” of its own, one that is more far-reaching than the American ban. The story is here: “Report: UAE halts new visas to citizens of 13 Muslim-majority states,” Israel Hayom, November 25, 2020:
The United Arab Emirates has stopped issuing new visas to citizens of 13 mostly Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, Syria and Somalia, according to a document issued by a state-owned business park….
It said applications for new employment and visit visas had been suspended for nationals, who are outside the UAE, of the 13 countries, including Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen, until further notice.
The visa ban also applies to citizens of Algeria, Kenya, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Tunisia and Turkey, the document says….
A source briefed on the matter told Reuters the UAE had temporarily stopped issuing new visas to Afghans, Pakistanis and citizens of several other countries over security concerns.
Last week, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said the UAE had stopped processing new visas for its citizens and those of some other countries.
It said it was seeking information from the UAE on the reason for the suspension but that it thought it was related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
No, it is not the pandemic, as the Pakistanis suggest, that is the main reason for this UAE ban on visas for nationals of 13 countries, but rather, as one source told Reuters, “security concerns.” What are those concerns? The UAE wants very much to become an attractive destination for Israeli tourists, and any attack on Israelis visiting the UAE for business or pleasure would harm, or even conceivably ruin, such plans. Halting new visas to all these Muslims is one way to limit the threat. There is another, related worry. Muslims in the countries included in the new ban might wish to attack Emirati targets, as a way to punish the country for having normalized ties with Israel. The UAE has decided to minimize the threat.
That’s why the UAE now has an honest-to-goodness Muslim ban. The thirteen countries covered by it are Iran, Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Algeria, Kenya, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Tunisia and Turkey. All but one of these countries — Kenya — is a predominantly Muslim land. What can those who continue to denounce, as a “Muslim ban,” the Trump administration’s ban on visitors from countries that provide insufficient information about their citizens, now say about the UAE’s ban?
Doesn’t this latest decision by the UAE qualify as the real Muslim ban? Trump banned visitors from 13 countries, only seven of which are majority Muslim; the UAE has banned visitors from 13 countries, 12 of which are Muslim. How amusing it is that three members of the Squad — Linda Sarsour, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib — and others of that ilk, who are usually so voluble, have nothing to say about the UAE’s “Muslim ban,” and are tellingly silent.
First published in Jihad Watch.
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