His "Muslim ban" raises global awareness on "My Muslim Neighbor"
Evidently, the US president's recent executive order to impose a sweeping visa ban only against citizens of certain Muslim nations has not only failed, due to numerous legal challenges dismissing the Islamophobic decree as unconstitutional, but it has also triggered a backlash across the US and the globe with huge protest rallies waged against the move.
The outpouring of support and sympathy for thousands of victims of the short-lived ban -- including a 5-year-old boy that was handcuffed by US immigration officers and a gravely ill child that needed immediate medical treatment -- was just unprecedented and truly historic with massive protest rallies at numerous airports in major US cities and at American embassies across the globe.
The Trump administration, however, appeared unrepentant following the global outrage against the decree, with White House spokesman Sean Spicer responding to a question regarding the handcuffing of a 5-year-old like this: "To assume someone because of their age or gender, that they don't pose a threat, would be misguided and wrong."
Trump's anti-Muslim measure also triggered indignation of some politicians within and outside of the US as well as legal complaints filed by nearly 100 major tech companies against the move. It further led to the release of fact and figures by American institutions and advocacy groups showing that no one from the seven Muslim nations singled out in the president's executive order had been involved in any deadly terror attack in the US since the September 11, 2001, thereby undermining the credibility of the move, as well as Trump's insistence that Muslims pose a threat to American security.
The following are just a sampling of reports and press accounts on the extent of fury stirred by President Trump's so-called Muslim Ban measure:
Challenging whole basis of Trump's order
A number of US-based think tanks and academic institutions have seriously challenged the legitimacy of Trump's anti-Muslim decree and his argument that it will protect Americans against terrorism, strongly rejecting the notion that Muslim Americans pose a security threat to the nation. Here are some sample rebuffs:
- According to a new study by Duke University's Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security (TCTHS), "Muslims living in the US were involved in only one-third of 1 percent of all murders in the country in 2016."
- The study, authored by sociologist Charles Kurzman, also found that while 54 people were killed by a Muslim American in 2016 -- the vast majority of which (49) came in a single attack on Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida by a US-born Muslim of Afghan descend -- nearly 11,000 Americans were killed across the country in gun violence in the same year. Kurzman then argues that Trump has never said anything about creating a registry of gun owners.
- According to the same research, while a total of 123 people have been killed by Muslim American extremist since the 9/11 incidents, "more than 240,000 Americans were murdered over the same period."
- TCTHS Director David Schanzer said in a statement accompanying the study that “It is flatly untrue that America is deeply threatened by violent extremism by Muslim Americans.”
- According to data from the Washington-based think tank, Cato Institute, between 1975 and 2015 there have been no American death on US soil at the hands of foreign terrorists from the seven countries listed in Trump’s executive order.
- According to a study published in 2015 by another US-based think tank, the New America Foundation, right-wing Americans from European descent present a far greater terror threat to the US than individuals linked to terrorist groups that operate in the name of Islam, such as al-Qaeda and ISIL. The study further points out that most of the terror attacks carried out on US soil since the 9/11 attacks have been committed by white supremacist and radical anti-government groups.
Public rage across the US
Large protest rallies were waged at major international airports in metropolitan areas across the United States for up to several days in a row. Among the cities where up to 10,000 people showed up to protest the sudden issuance and enforcement of Trump's Muslim Ban decree were New York, Washington, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Denver, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and South Carolina.
The protest events came after US custom and immigration agents began detaining refugees and travelers possessing legal visas -- including those holding permanent residency permits -- from the seven countries listed under Trump's decree: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia.
Protesters carried signs that urged unity and inclusiveness while chanting slogans such as "No ban! No wall!", "Let them in" and "Refugees welcome." There were also reported instances in which non-Muslim American citizens present at the airports, surrounded groups of Muslim protesters performing congressional prayers to protect them from police and security forces trying to disperse them.