Muslim Ban or Confusion?

OPINION PIECE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of Her Campus Agnes Scott.


The “Muslim Ban,” as the media has been calling it, is a complex issue. Many are calling Trump racist or an “islamaphobe.” The executive order is temporarily banning (not all) entry from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen and banning Syrian refugees indefinitely. However, an interesting fact is they are “countries that were designated by Congress and the Obama Administration as posing national security risks in the Visa Waiver Program.” Some might argue that despite this, Obama never created a “muslim ban.” However, what if I told you that these countries make up a small percentage of Muslims in the world? What if I told you that Muslims from any country not on the list, such as Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, or India, are welcome to enter the United States? What if I told you that the reason Trump agreed with Obama’s choice and is taking it a step further is because these countries specifically are active locations of terrorist activity and/or have unstable governments?

The screening process for immigrants is not perfect. Roaming Millennial, a Youtuber, stated, “not all visas require background checks,” and, “[For green card holders or refugees,] any background checks that are requested are actually done by the intending immigrant's local government.” Tell me, would you personally trust the Iraqi government to be able to provide accurate background checks for their citizens? Or any other government on this list of the ban? (Here are some government resources about immigration: Green Card Through Family, Green Card Through Refugee or Asylee Status, Foreign Students.)

And in case you didn’t know, because the implementation of this law was definitely flawed, “green card holders and dual citizens are exempt from the ban” (Roaming Millennial). There shouldn’t have been so much confusion that the law caused this many people unnecessary trouble or stress for trying to enter the country.

Roaming Millennial, who is also an immigrant, helps give a concise breakdown of the law while pointing out that, yes, becoming an immigrant is already a long and complicated process without Trump trying to change it, however that does not mean that it is perfect. If you’re still confused about Trump’s executive order, an article was written for the National Review breaking down the issue in a different way: Trump’s Executive Order on Refugees — Separating Fact from Hysteria.

As far as people trying to use guilt to convince others that this ban is wrong, I strongly disagree with that form of argument. Not only is it unconvincing to any political leader because of the facts about the economics and safety of the United States that it lacks (which is what leaders focus on when running a country), but it is also despicable. The media has used other countries’ misery to forward their own political agenda, which the people of the west have also taken to doing. It’s pretty disgusting when someone comes up to me, someone with family that has fled Syria and family that still currently resides there, and tries to guilt trip me to agree with their political opinion when I have more personal ties to this issue than they ever will. And even if I wasn’t so personally attached, it’s wrong to assume I’m unsympathetic just because I have a different point of view. These issues aren’t as black and white as “against” or “for,” like the media is shoving down everyone’s throats.



As O’Neill stated, I implore you to ask why there wasn’t this much protest and anger when Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, dropped over 100k bombs on foreign soil? People will argue, “I was always against his drone wars.” Then why didn’t you show it? Where were the protests? Where were the screams of outrage at the media for reporting Michelle Obama’s fun nights out instead of what her husband and the countries her husband were working with were doing? Where was the outrage when it was proven that the White Helmets aren’t who they say they are? Where were the mass emails of comfort to college campuses from the administration talking about support groups for Syrians and Libyans that there are now?

My point isn’t to support Trump. I simply want the mass media and democratic majority areas to open their eyes to views that are different and that may have some valid points. (I know many conservatives need to do the same. That’s not the current issue I’m addressing.) Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean they are bigoted or racist or anti-feminist. They have their own reasonable ideas. And it’s possible to think they are reasonable while simultaneously disagreeing with them. It’s okay to say, “Hey, I understand that perspective. I’m sorry I wasn’t this angry with Obama as I am now with Trump. However, I still think that Trump should have went about protecting the country from terrorists in another way.” Saying this to non-liberals will definitely bring a more positive response from the majority of them. They will also be more likely to listen to your point of view instead of when they’re called “uneducated” or “islamaphobes” or other PC insults.



If you’re having trouble speaking respectfully to someone you disagree with, that’s okay. That happens to ALL OF US. Example: the angry rant above that I tend to point people to when they get angry at me for voting third party. (Remember, aggression creates more aggression. Or as Yoda said, “Anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”) People are passionate and it takes practice to control our emotions when speaking about topics that are important to us. However, it’s important to learn to control these emotions. The first step to having comfortable conversations with people of every kind of background is to acknowledge when you yourself get out of hand and why. Roaming Millennial (a more conservative person) created a video about having conversations, not debates, with people you disagree with: Let’s Respectfully Disagree! Feat. Milo Stewart. Milo Stewart (a more liberal person) addresses a few other points in their version of the video: 8 Tips for Respectful Disagreement | Milo Stewart ft. Roaming Millennial.

Specifically to my wonderful Scottie siblings: it’s sad when people call me brave for saying that we need to have more open dialogue and less aggression and obvious bias at our school. It’s sad when someone will message me in private saying they are conservative and in fear of expressing their views, even to a professor. It’s sad that it took me until my last semester of my fourth year at Agnes to find someone who is not liberal. It’s sad that we have students afraid to speak up while we preach on about “safe spaces.”

My last point is, if you’re so upset about what’s happening regarding the Executive Order Immigration Ban, what would YOUR solution be to preventing terrorists from entering the United States? What would YOUR solution be to trying to fix our economy while also letting thousands upon thousands of refugees into the country? Because protesting a government with shouts of anger (that aren’t coherent or contain the same arguments) isn’t the best way to bring change. Protesting is good, but the violence and incoherency and fear mongering we’ve had is not. Provide marketable alternatives. After all, Trump is a businessman. No, it’s not your job to provide alternatives. But if you’re this passionate about something, why not provide an idea that you would be 100% on board with instead of letting the government come up with an idea that you might half agree with, if you agree with it at all?

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