The President signed an order banning Shiite Muslims from entering the country. The order left many throughout the world stranded at airports, and while the order is aimed at Shiite Muslims, not Sunnis, how would they know the difference? The order has the effect of banning all Muslims, period.
While Trump signed the order Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Defense James Mattis stood nearby – one clapping the other grinning.
Yet, just six month ago, Mattis said banning Muslims would upset the world order, and Pence Twitted 13 months ago, that “calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional.” Yet, there they stood behind their new boss smiling and applauding their approval.
Hypocrisy is nothing new in Washington, it happens all the time. Yet, this stands out because the act of banning people based on their region is, not only unconstitutional, it goes against the very fabric this country was founded upon. It goes against our nation’s greeting inscribed on its plaque below the Statue of Liberty.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddle masses yearning to be free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift up my lamp beside the golden door.”
The words of another time and another America that mean nothing any longer. Now we order walls to be constructed to keep our neighbors to the south out and leave the huddled masses stranded with only their dreams of being free left to comfort them.
While Trump’s order, which is nearly 3,000 words, does not mention banning Islam, it does ban countries with Muslim majorities from entering the US, including: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia. The ban is supposed to last three months, but with the mood in Washington, it should be realized the ban could last much longer. Indeed, it would only take another order from Trump to extend past that mark and include other countries.
Refugees on flights heading to America were detained at airports when they arrived. An Iranian scientist heading to a lab in Boston and an Iraqi, who had worked for the US Army for a decade as an interpreter, along with many others, seen the door slammed in their faces today.
As Mattis said months ago, about what the international community thought of the isolationist mood of the US – but no longer stands by – “they think we’ve completely lost it,” he said. Now, it appears he’s lost it too.