President Trump issued an executive order on Friday that will deny refugees and immigrants from certain Muslim-majority countries entry to the United States.
“We are establishing new vetting measures, to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America,” Trump said during a visit to the Department of Defense. “We don’t want ‘em here. We want to ensure we aren’t admitting into our country the very threats that our men and women are fighting overseas.”
This executive order, which Trump signed at the Pentagon, suspends the issuing of U.S. visas or travel permits to people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90-days. All refugee admissions from Syria are now terminated indefinitely.
However, statistics from the CATO Institute show that not a single American was killed on U.S. soil by citizens from any of those countries between 1975 and 2015.
The executive order is titled “Protection Of The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States.” This then begs the question: Why is Saudi Arabia not on the list? 15 of the 19 suspects who were charged as hijackers in the 9/11 attacks were from Saudi, with the others being from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon. CATO’s research shows that Saudi citizens killed 2,369 Americans between 1975 and 2015, so one would expect Saudi to be at the top of Trump’s list!
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Saudi also meddled in American life by actively funding Muslim radicalism through US-based mosques and charities around the time of the 9/11 attacks. These connections between Saudi and 9/11 were made public when the “28 Pages,” a U.S. intelligence report, was declassified in July 2016. The report, hidden from the American people for 13 years, claimed to link the hijackers to Saudi government officials, members of the Saudi royal family and suspected Saudi intelligence operatives.
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Given the overwhelming evidence and public knowledge of Saudi Arabia’s ties to terrorism, what is holding Trump back from adding the kingdom to the list? Not only is Saudi a long-time ally of the US, but Trump had this to say during a campaign rally in Alabama last year: “They buy apartments from me,” he said. “They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.”
It is in Trump’s interests to keep relations amicable with the Saudis considering he registered eight companies tied to hotel interests in Saudi after launching his campaign in 2015. Trump also has multi-million dollar licensing and development deals in Turkey, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. The situation shows a clear conflict of interests as citizens from these countries are still welcome to apply for travel permits and US visas.
The hashtag #MuslimBan is currently trending on Twitter. One account known as the “Rogue POTUS Staff” have pointed out that it isn’t just Saudi that is missing from Trump’s list!
#MuslimBan said to be necessary because of 9-11, but none of the home countries of 9-11 hijackers are included in ban. pic.twitter.com/hG3q99hh90
— Rogue POTUS Staff (@RoguePOTUSStaff) January 28, 2017
Independent commentators have been critical on the conspicuous absence of Saudi on Trump’s list given that Saudi is a proponent of Wahhabism—a form of radical, militant Islam whose ultimate goal is to create a worldwide community, or caliphate, of Muslim believers.
#SaudiArabia exports terrorism worldwide, but whose citizens get banned from entering the US? #Iran's! Simply brilliant, Trump.#MuslimBan
— Sarah Abdallah (@sahouraxo) January 28, 2017
All terrorists are brainwashed by Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi anti-Shia anti-Christian ideology yet Iranians are the ones banned? ???#MuslimBan
— Rana Harbi (@RanaHarbi) January 28, 2017
One called out the hypocrisy of those who lambast Trump’s ban, but supported Obama’s regime change wars, which caused the need for the mass movement of people from their homelands in the first place.
Yes, hypocrite. Thanks to the wars of "regime change" across our region that you and the Obama administration started. https://t.co/jXeKWNwCWB
— Sarah Abdallah (@sahouraxo) January 28, 2017
Trumps “Muslim Ban,” as it is known, may be his most controversial change yet since he took power as President. It is a shame that Trump did not take this chance to show the world that he wants to get serious about terrorism, its supporters and proponents. In fact, one could argue that his decision is a slap in the face to the victims of 9/11 and their families and only serves to embolden those who seek to do harm to the US while punishing those who are innocent and suffering right now.
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