President 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?