In the Mix

February 2, 2017

The Travel Ban

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Written for: Communicado Magazine
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Do Not Enter

So we’ve had a new President for approximately two weeks and we already have our first controversy – The U.S. travel ban. It’s an executive order put in place by President Trump restricting entry to the United States for 90 days by immigrants from seven mostly Muslim countries: Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia and Libya.

And as swiftly as he signed the order, it was swiftly reversed by a federal judge in Washington state as a violation of the Constitution. Here’s what the First Amendment says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

This was pretty easy. The very first line is where this issue turned. It basically means you can be Muslim and the law can’t be used against you just because of the choice you’ve made for religion. It also means you can practice your religion freely and no one can stop you as long as you don’t do anything illegal along the way.

The language in this ban was clearly aimed at Muslims and likely referred to potential attacks as radical Islamic terrorism. That identifies a religion. Had the order identified the threat as radical jihadist terrorism, it may have stuck…

He also failed to exclude visa and green card holders. This also likely weakened his case. You can’t get either of those credentials without extreme vetting. Those people have been through years of questioning and investigation; Additional scrutiny should be limited to reasonable doubt. BUT, no visa, no green card… extreme vetting it is.

So let’s go back to the seven countries…

Many people have asked, “Why those seven countries?” The Trump administration’s answer to that question has been, “These are the same seven countries identified by the Obama administration as highly suspect for terrorist activities.” But, I think the next question we should be asking is, “So if the Obama administration identified these seven countries as highly suspect, why is that new information for most people?” It’s all in the presentation…

Did you know the 9/11 attackers were from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates? Why aren’t Pakistan and Afghanistan on the list as well? We KNOW terrorists have hidden in those countries…

This goes also to the issue of what the Trump administration has chosen to call this ban. We’ve heard immigration ban, Muslim ban, refugee ban… and eventually, everyone settled on a less accusatory, travel ban. But the language of the ban was still illegal under the constitution, whatever we decide to call it.

But what about the other Middle Eastern countries? Jihadists are hiding all over the Middle East and have spread to Africa and Europe. What about the terrorists who’ve left Yemen, made it to France, trained over to London and enter the US via Heathrow? Identifying seven countries is not the answer…

Identifying terror as a threat worldwide is the answer. We need to continuously tighten our process for identifying terrorists.

But to single out those seven countries is to create a divide between our nations. To single out Islam as the source of radical terrorism – whether most of the followers are Islamic or not – is to create a divide between Islamic people as a whole and our nation. And the first step is to discontinue the use of the term, “Radical Islamic Terrorism.”

When I talk to regular people around the world, they speak of American arrogance and elitism. Actions like this confirm that divide…

As discussed in my post, Islamic or Extremist?, all people of the Islamic faith aren’t jihadists. Jihadists by definition are radicalized and extreme. They choose to inflict terror in the name of Islam, but, have no mandate by the leaders of the Islamic faith.

Every Islamic or Muslim person shouldn’t be damned for terrorism. But every Islamic or Muslim person who does become radicalized should be thwarted – and there’s a name for them… JIHADISTS! All jihadist should be profiled and questioned and monitored and more and I’m sure many Muslims would agree with that…

No American will disagree with President Trump that we need more stringent safeguards against potential terror attacks. And if that means EVERYONE entering the country has to answer more questions, then, everyone should answer more questions. But to single out some people is targeting and bigotry and that is not the American way.

So let’s see what the Trump administration comes up with for their next executive order on international travel. It’ll likely have more precise and less inflammatory language; Smart. To attempt to fight it out over the original order would be futile; To move on means they recognized the flaws in their first attempt and can correct the errors of their ways…

Hopefully they can get it right this time without alienating anyone… accusing anyone… or breaking the law…



Islamic or Extremist?

OK. I’m going to tread into dangerous territory… I’m going to offer some possibilities about the Middle East. First, is there anything about the Middle East that isn’t dangerous territory? I’m having trouble findi...
by Communicado Magazine



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