Home Columns Opinion: Trump’s executive order is not a “Muslim ban”

Opinion: Trump’s executive order is not a “Muslim ban”

4 min read

On Jan. 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on immigration. People around the world erupted in anger, expressing concerns that Trump was being racially and religiously oppressive. Protests ignited, with Ohio University students holding one at Baker Center Wednesday night.

As a disclaimer, I completely support peaceful protests. Regardless of whether I agree with the stance of the protest, being able to freely express our concerns is a very beautiful thing. In other countries around the world, people can get severely punished, even killed, for protesting and disagreeing with their federal government. The fact we can do this every day here in America is amazing in itself.

However, I have a problem with the reasoning behind the protest. As I walked by, I heard students chanting about a “Muslim ban.” I would like to inform everyone about what exactly Trump’s executive order is: it is much more than simply a “Muslim ban.”

The seven countries included in executive order are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. According to CNN, former President Obama originally compiled the list of the terror-prone countries between December 2015 and early 2016, when he limited traveling between the countries. The restrictions were placed in order to reduce the risk of terrorist threats. I have heard too many people complain Trump chose these countries randomly and without a second thought. However, the executive order is just taking Obama’s measures to a new level.

Another misconception is that each of the countries selected are the top Muslim-populated countries. According to worldatlas.com, the top 10 Muslim-majority countries are Morocco, Algeria, Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Nigeria, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Indonesia. Only one country, Iran, is in this list.

Some seem to think the executive order maintains a permanent ban on travel between these countries. However, it contains two separate holds. There is a 90-day hold on travel in general between the countries, and a 20-day hold on the United States taking refugees from the seven countries. The only permanent ban is on the intake of Syrian refugees. The justification for this is that Syria has been majorly overtaken by ISIS and is highly under ISIS control. According to those who support this aspect of the order, it would be too great a risk to allow anyone from the country in, as any terrorist could pose as a refugee.

Whether you agree or disagree with the executive order, it is important to have the correct facts.  Although my explanation was brief, I hope we all continue to study the executive order and fight for what we believe in, whether it be for or against Trump’s decision.

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