On Wednesday, Jan. 25, President Trump drafted a plan for the “Muslim ban” he promised all throughout his campaign. The draft (obtained by various outlets such as CNN, Bloomberg, and the Washington Post) bans immigrants from seven countries ― Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, and Iran. On Friday, Jan. 27, the ban became official as immigrants from the seven countries were literally detained at airports all over the world.
Trump’s argument for the “Muslim ban” is that it will help protect Americans from terrorism.
Forget the fact that banning people from entire countries due to their religion and the actions of a few in the name of that religion may be morally and ethically wrong (and definitely unconstitutional), Trump’s plan won’t do anything to fight terrorism.
The Countries Trump Wants to Ban Aren’t Producing Terrorists
Now, a “Muslim ban” all together is wrong. However, if one were to try and follow the Trump logic that banning immigrants from certain countries would stop terrorism on American soil, then one would analyze terror attacks in the United States and bar individuals from the same countries as those terrorists. The Trump logic fails here.
Since 9/11, white, right-wing terrorists have killed more Americans in the U.S. than radical Islamists. So, if the goal was to stop terrorism, it would start there.
If the goal isn’t to stop all terrorism, but to stop Jihadists, then the seven countries Trump plans to ban immigrants from aren’t where he would start. He wouldn’t start in Yemen, where, according to the UN, 10,000 innocent lives have been taken since 2011. He wouldn’t start in Iraq, where the people are trying to take their land back from ISIS. He wouldn’t even start in Iran, because even though we have a strained relationship with them, no Iranian has carried out attacks on U.S. soil since before 9/11.
If he was truly looking to fight terrorism and “protect Americans from jihadists,” he would begin with ally to the United States, Saudi Arabia.
Despite the fact that 15 out of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from there, and that it gave us Osama Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, and ISIL, Saudi Arabia is not on the list of banned countries.
It’s fairly obvious that Trump’s immigration plan has less to do with protecting the lives of Americans, and more to do with protecting his interests. It’s also important to note, as many Twitter users pointed when the news of this draft broke, that the U.S. (under both the Obama and Trump administration) has bombed or is bombing five out of the seven countries on that list ― Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Iraq, and Syria.
Trump’s Personal Interests Start in Saudi Arabia
Since 9/11, we’ve heard more and more about the number of terrorist attacks by Jihadists in the name of Islam. Accompanying such headlines are stories of young men who were radicalized in countries they visited or by people they came in contact with. We saw this with San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, who was born here, but radicalized by known terrorists in Saudi Arabia. The story is not uncommon in recent times as Saudi Arabia has invested millions in spreading its own version of Islam, and making sure it reaches American soil.
Despite all that Saudi Arabia has done to spread its radical version of Islam (Wahhabism), and all the issues we have with the way it treats its women, religious minorities, and poor, it remains a close ally of the U.S. The reason is, and always will be oil.
However, unlike past administrations, this time around it’s more than just the oil keeping us close to Saudi Arabia.
It’s the president’s own businesses.
During his campaign, President Trump registered eight companies in Saudi Arabia, all hotel interests in Jeddah, the second largest city in Saudi Arabia after Mecca. He shut down four of them after this information became public during the election process. However, this doesn’t mean that he no longer does business there, or doesn’t plan to in the future. In fact, he even boasts about it.
At a rally in Alabama last year, he stated this in reference to his relationship with Saudi Arabia ― “They buy apartments from me, they spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.”
It’s obvious that he wants to keep his relationship with the House of Saud as friendly and financially appealing as possible.
According to Trump logic then, Americans would suffer, seeing as most global terror in the name of Islam comes from their teachings. It’s also no surprise that Saudi Arabia has praised Trump and his cabinet since the inauguration.
Between Saudi Arabia and Trump, it is business as usual. For displaced immigrants, orphans, widows, and elderly from war-torn countries who suffer more than we do at the hands of radical terrorists, things may just get a lot worse.