Muslim-majority countries where Donald Trump does business left untouched by travel ban

trump-immigrationAs controversy rages about President Donald Trump’s travel ban, critics have pointed out that the seven predominantly Muslim countries whose citizens have been barred have one thing in common – they are not among the places where the tycoon does business.

 The executive order Mr Trump signed blocks entry for the next 90 days to travellers from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen but excluded from the list are several wealthier Muslim majority countries where the Trump Organisation has business interest, including Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Turkey, the UAE, Egypt and Indonesia.

It appeared to be business as usual for Mr Trump and the Saudis yesterday, with the President pictured on the phone with the King of Saudi Arabia as hundreds of thousands of people took part in spontaneous protests against the ban.

Mr Trump has said he has handed over management of his vast real estate empire, licensing and merchandising business over to his adult sons to avoid potential conflicts of interest with his role as President.

But critics said his business interests should have been handed over to a blind trust rather to avoid the possibility of Mr Trump being kept abreast of their performance.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE INDEPENDENT 

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All the Ways Trump Defies the Law and the Constitution by Targeting Muslims

trump-immigration-ban-illegal-25228cb2-8bc9-4f60-97c7-3d8ca1d98367Hameed Darweesh aided U.S. armed forces in Iraq as a translator and electrical engineer for over a decade. For obvious reasons, that put his life at risk. After his home was raided by Baghdad police and two of his colleagues were murdered at work, he and his family fled to another part of Iraq, according to court documents. Darweesh and his family then had to flee their new town when a shopkeeper informed him men driving around in a BMW were asking for him and wanted to know where he lived.

Darweesh is one of thousands of Iraqis who have risked their lives by cooperating with or working for the U.S. government. Congress created the Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program to get people like him who have “provided faithful and valuable service to the United States Government” out of harm’s way. But the process is painfully slow, and the number of people who actually receive visas after receiving promises of protection from the U.S. is shameful.

After over three years of applications, background checks, medical exams and other processing, the Darweesh family finally received their visa last week. They got on a plane immediately. While they were in the air, thinking they were finally on their way to the land of the free, President Trump signed a cruel and illegal executive order on immigration.

The order bans nationals from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States for 90 days; the White House initially said this should be interpreted to include even those who are lawful permanent residents of the U.S. who had been out of the country temporarily. The order also halts all refugee admissions from anywhere in the world for 120 days, and all refugee admissions from Syria – where one of the greatest humanitarian crises since the Holocaust is underway – indefinitely.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE 

Trump’s refugee policy raises a question: How do you tell a Christian from a Muslim?

Busy street scene, Damascus SouqPresident Trump’s telling, the Middle East is a place where Christians run a daily gantlet of persecution, threatened at every corner by religious zealots eager to chop off their heads.

The U.S. government under previous administrations, he alleged, showed little pity.

“If you were a Muslim, you could come” to the U.S., he said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network on Friday, “but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible.”

In an executive order he signed Friday, he suspended refugee resettlement from seven Muslim-majority countries for 120 days.  (Late Saturday night, a federal judge in New York issued an order halting the removal of refugees or others who hold valid visas to enter the U.S. The order appears to affect up to 200 people who were detained in transit to the United States.)

The order notes, however, that the secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly decide to admit some refugees “including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution.”

But in proposing what commentators have called a “religious test,” Trump has not yet answered one crucial question: Just how does one differentiate between Muslims and Christians?

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE LA TIMES 

Trump blocks Muslim refugees, America loses a part of itself

ct-immigration-ban-protest-photos-20170128Let me address those celebrating President Donald Trump’s executive order barring refugees from Syria and other predominantly Muslim countries.

Let me address those who think keeping out Muslim refugees has somehow made us safer. That it has somehow made America better. That it has somehow shown us to be strong.

You are wrong. Woefully, embarrassingly, pathetically wrong.

As Trump signed the order Friday — with Vice President Mike Pence and Defense Secretary James Mattis, two men who had previously denounced such an order, standing at his side, complicit — the terrorists won. The Islamic State militant group won.

This is exactly what they wanted. For us to defy who we are, who we’ve always been.

They can claim victory for getting us to bend to their will, not due to force, but due to fear. Baseless, unfounded fear. Fear that is not becoming of most Americans I know. Fear ginned up for purely political purposes. Fear that will now cost innocent children, women and men their lives and any chance at a future. Fear that will embolden our enemies and help drive up their numbers as the evil portrait they paint of us — as a Western power at war with Islam — is confirmed in some young minds.

Chicago advocates condemn Trump’s order on refugees, migrants
Chicago advocates condemn Trump’s order on refugees, migrants
Part of who we are went away as that order was signed. And we are not better for it — not at all.

We don’t look strong. We look cowardly.

And each and every person out there celebrating this decision, you don’t look tough. You don’t look patriotic. You look ignorant. And weak. Because you have turned your back on people in need.

You who are Christians have gone against everything Jesus taught. Everything.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Which Christians Are Telling Donald Trump to Keep Out Refugees?

lead_960President Trump has signed an executive order that temporarily suspends the U.S. refugee program and bars Syrian refugees. It will likely suspend immigration from certain Muslim-majority countries and bars the admission of anyone who engages in “acts of bigotry or hatred,” including “the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own.” It also allows the the secretaries of State and Homeland Security to jointly admit individuals on a case-by-case basis, “including when the person is a religious minority … facing religious persecution.”

In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network on Friday, Trump clarified what this means: Christians refugees will be given priority status. “They’ve been horribly treated,” the president said. “Do you know if you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible, at least very tough, to get into the United States? If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible.” People overseas “were chopping off the heads of everybody, but more so the Christians,” he added, “so we are going to help them.”

The announcement was met with immediate backlash from leaders of nearly every Christian denomination, along with those of other faiths. They argue that Trump’s actions do not reflect the teachings of the Bible, nor the traditions of the United States, and they have urged the president to let them get back to work—many of the country’s most prominent refugee resettlement organizations are faith-based.

If so many prominent Christian leaders reject the notion that their fellow Christians should get preferential treatment, why has this become Trump’s policy? One possible answer is that these leaders don’t necessarily reflect what their flocks believe. Even if they think an open refugee policy is in line with the teachings of Christianity, lay Americans don’t necessarily feel the same way.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY

These 7 Muslim Americans are changing the conversation

In the face of rising Islamophobia fostered by newly-minted President Donald Trump, a number of prominent Muslim Americans have risen up to challenge the stereotypes.

Here’s a closer look at 7 who have been changing the conversation and advocating on behalf of their community’s rights.

1. Amani Al-Khatahtbeh aka Muslim Girl, blogger and journalist

Khatahtbeh launched the blog Muslim Girl in 2009. Relying on the help of friends from her local mosque, she grew the blog from 1,000 readers to 1 million unique users today.

The New York Times has called her a “media titan” and she has grown the site to a team of some 50 editors and writers. Muslim Girl covers a range of issues from anti-black racism in the Muslim community to coping with your period as a Muslim woman.

Most importantly, the site provides a platform for Muslim women’s voices to be heard, pushing “back against society’s imposition of ‘voicelessness’ and ‘docility’ on young Muslim women,” Khatahtbeh told The Guardian.

FULL ARTICLE FROM STEPFEED

‘I Think Islam Hates Us’

26thu1-master768Eradicating “radical Islamic terrorism” from the face of the earth has been President Trump’s mantra, first in the campaign, then in his Inaugural Address and remarks a day later to the C.I.A.

No one would argue with fighting back against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and other terrorist groups that threaten the United States, Europe, the Middle East and beyond. For eight years, President Barack Obama did just that, using a multilayered approach that included launching thousands of air and drone strikes in at least a half dozen countries and killing countless militants, among them Osama bin Laden. While Mr. Obama made significant progress in degrading this threat — the Islamic State has lost considerable territory in both Iraq and Syria — he did not put an end to violent extremism. Mr. Trump is now pledging to do more and better.

The problem is that his approach, as we know it, is more likely to further inflame anti-American sentiment around the world than to make the United States safer. Mr. Trump has not explained how he would destroy the terrorist danger. But his use of slogans like “radical Islam,” which echo the views of his closest advisers, implies a naïve reading of the threat from about 40,000 extremists, while demonizing and alienating many of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims.

Mr. Trump’s Plans

The emerging details suggest that Mr. Trump’s plans to eradicate violent extremists are not only at odds with Mr. Obama’s; they trample on American values and international law. It was reported on Wednesday that Mr. Trump was planning to block Syrians and others from “terror prone” nations from entering the United States, at least temporarily, even though Washington already vets visitors from such countries. While people from Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq would be blocked by a monthlong ban, Mr. Trump appears, inexplicably, to be exempting Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, home of 15 of the 19 extremists who hijacked the planes on Sept. 11. Refugee admissions would be halted for 120 days while screening procedures are reviewed, with the number allowed in cut from 110,000 to 50,000.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES