President Trump concentrated his pre-electoral promises and statements on certain key topics. The most prominent ones among these topics were the issues about immigrants, war on radicalism and new international economic measures aimed at protecting the America’s economic interests.
Among these, the executive order implemented the fastest by Mr. Trump after taking office was to ban the entry of refugees and various Muslim nationals to the US. Under the Executive Order, which has been dubbed a “Muslim Ban” by anti-Trump circles, the US refugee admission system has been suspended for 120 days; the Syrian refugee program has been indefinitely discontinued; the citizens of 7 Muslims countries consisting Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan have been banned for 90 days from entering the United States.
The order, which has sparked widespread reactions and protests within and outside the United States, has placed many Muslims with valid official visas, even residence permits who come to the US to study, work, visit their relatives, or receive treatment for various illnesses in an exceedingly difficult position. In fact, when the order was issued, many among them were flying on their way to the US, unaware of the unfolding events.
The order brought with it contradictions and uncertainties. For example, those who are citizens of the 7 countries but also hold dual passports from countries such as France, Canada and Britain were also included in the ban. On the other hand, the Department of Homeland Security announced that those who have permanent residence permits and pose no serious threat to the US would be allowed in on a case-by-case basis. However, it remains unclear whether this would extend to those in possession of work or student visas.
It is clear that, other than causing grief to innocent harmless Muslims, the order, which was issued on the grounds of establishing security measures against terrorism, will be of no avail to the safety of the country or the image of the new administration. Welcoming refugees is a crucial part of what America represents and values, a part of the American Dream that Trump promises to revive. Since the 2nd World War, the US has been the world’s leader in resettling refugees. Half of the refugees who are permanently resettled in a third country resettled in the US. Since the Refugee Act of 1980, the federal government has suspended refugee admissions only once before: in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, to December 11, 2001. The executive order presumes that the US needs to take longer reviewing refugee procedures in 2017 than it did after 9/11.
Amongst the terrorist activities carried out in Western countries, many terrorist organizations employ the members they have recruited from among the citizens of those countries. Lately, the terrorists who carry out acts of terrorism in Europe or the US are found to carry the passports of those countries. For example, the terrorists who perpetrated the Paris attacks in December 2015 and killed 132 people were in possession of French and Belgian passports.
Furthermore, those coming from these 7 countries obtained their visas or permanent residency rights only after going through extensive inspections, psychological tests and interviews, and thorough investigations on their entire backgrounds, activities, connections and social circles. Those who do not meet the required criteria or arouse even the slightest suspicion cannot obtain a visa in the first place. For this reason, trying to get a visa from these countries is a method no terrorist would follow.
Radicalism, as pointed out by President Trump, indeed poses a serious threat for the US, Islamic countries and the entire world. However, it is quite unlikely that this order, signed out of concern for urgently implementing the election promises, will offer a solution to the said threat.
On the contrary, such a practice will only please the deep state elements who are dissatisfied with the new administration. It will present a significant leverage to the provocateurs of the “deep” global anti-Trump campaign, lying in ambush for the opportunity of finding a flaw. The fact that the circles who previously did not voice any criticism against the Muslim massacre in the Middle East, or may even have supported it, now supposedly look out for Muslims merely for the sake of opposing Trump is a clear indication of this.
Furthermore, it should not be forgotten that such policies fuel the feelings of anger, hatred and vengeance, as well as nurture the radical elements who look for an opportunity to attract new recruits to their ranks from among the 3.3 million Muslims in the country.
Therefore, it’s best to not insist on such an erroneous and unfruitful practice that is far from being effective and realistic while having so many negative outcomes. Even if it is impossible to fully reverse the order, it is necessary to make adjustments that will at least reduce the grievances and minimize the ban periods urgently.
Radicalism is a deviant ideology that emerges in the name of Islam but completely contradicts the spirit and tenets of the Qur’an, the one and true source of Islam. Thus, before all else, it is of utmost importance to make a distinction between radicalism and the true Islam that is based on the Qur’an.
If President Trump wishes to eliminate radicalism as he has promised, this can only be achieved through an ideological and scientific struggle. The powerful, real, and truthful ideas of the Qur’an will undoubtedly eradicate the false and hypocritical message that terrorists use to justify their violent acts. It has been proven countless times by experience that, contrary to expectations, erroneous policies of violence and military methods provide terrorist structures with ever greater grounds for justification of their cause and a larger number of followers.
For that reason, the Muslim community in the US and around the world should be made aware of the truth of Islam and the deviancy of radicalism in the light of Qur’anic and rational evidence. A broad and extensive worldwide education campaign will deal the most devastating blow to radicalism and eradicate the terrorists’ deviant ideology altogether. It is high time for the world and for President Trump to realize that this is the only way out.
Adnan Oktar’s piece in Gulf Times & Jefferson Corner & News Today: