Biden’s Reversal of the So-Called “Muslim Ban”
Newly inaugurated President Joe Biden with the stroke of a pen annulled former President Donald Trump’s the 90-Day Travel Ban of March 6, 2017, as “inconsistent with American values.”
Biden’s reasoning for his Proclamation on Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to The United States is that Trump’s 2017 Executive Order was “inconsistent with American values.”
Trump’s then-proclamation issued travel restrictions into the U.S. from currently eight nations: Chad, Iran, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Yemen, North Korea and Venezuela. It was wrongfully criticized as a “Muslim ban” by critics since North Korea and Venezuela have nothing to do with Islam.
Critics also (willingly) failed to admit that Trump amplified his predecessor’s Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, which included the same six (Islamic) countries listed in Trump’s ban.
During his presidential campaign, Trump had called for a “total and complete shutdown on Muslims entering the United States” — recanted propaganda at best — and an increased surveillance of mosques that breed hatred toward Americans. He also vowed to work with genuine Muslim reformers and establish a commission on radical Islam to protect America’s borders from Islamic terrorism. Its proposed mandate included a profound study in order to explain the core convictions of radical Islam, chart how Islamists recruit and deploy jihadists, and to examine political correctness. This commission was never formed.
Two Defects with Trump’s Ban
Biden’s proclamation stated that his predecessor’s Travel Ban both “jeopardized [the American] global network of alliances and partnerships and…. separated loved ones, inflicting pain that will ripple for years to come.” Yet there were two substantial flaws with Trump’s 2017 proclamation.
The first defect was that both Qatar and Saudi Arabia were not on the list of countries of Trump’s executive order travel ban. Aside Trump’s public accusations that Qatar as a sponsor of international terrorism, there has been beyond circumstantial evidence to indicate that the Saudi regime was not only involved with the tragedies of September 11, 2001, but has also been a prominent supporter of al-Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS.
Not to mention, it was a Saudi national, 21-year-old Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, who killed three U.S. service members in an attack at a Navy air station in Pensacola, Florida in 2019. He was apparently part of a group of Saudis that had been in the U.S. planning the terrorist act.
Let us also not forget that in a November 2018 CIA investigative report, it was determined that crown prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) — the kingdom’s de facto ruler — ordered the killing of Saudi critic and Washington Post journalist, who became a permanent American resident, Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
A second major flaw is that Trump’s ban also kept persecuted Christian refugees and other religious minorities from seeking asylum in the U.S. In fact, the number of Christian refugees and other religious minorities allowed to enter the U.S. dropped dramatically under President Trump, as reported by World Relief, a Christian humanitarian organization, and Open Doors USA, a non-profit that tracks religious freedom.
In 2019, according to State Department figures, the number of Christians resettled to the U.S. from a list of 50 countries known for persecuting Christians declined 69 percent compared to 2015 under the Obama administration. Six months into 2020, fewer than 950 Christians have been resettled from these 50 countries, compared to more than 18,000 in 2015. Indeed, out of a maximum of 18,000 refugee admissions permitted during the las year, the administration only allocated 5,000 spots for applicants suffering religious persecution — the Covid-19 situation only became a factor in mid-March.
What is to be Expected?
The denial of asylum for those who suffer religious persecution, as Biden stressed, was a “turn[ing] our backs on our [American] values.” That being said, how are those who sustain a sharia mentality, which ultimately seeks the Islamization of the United States and the world, to be kept from entering our American homeland?
“Make no mistake,” says Biden, “where there are threats to our Nation, we will address them. Where there are opportunities to strengthen information-sharing with partners, we will pursue them. And when visa applicants request entry to the United States, we will apply a rigorous, individualized vetting system.”
A skepticism to this approach is that Islamic fundamentalism is not pyramidal and vetting would-be jihadists will not get the job done. As many Christians and other religious minorities in the Islamic world know all too well, terrorism is a mere façade or distraction for Islamists to carry out their jihad, which includes putting them to death for demanding justice under the law, displacing them from their homes, kidnapping and raping their women, and the like.
Yet through terrorist-linked groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations, sharia-based Muslims have gotten an upper hand in having government officials capitulate to their whims. God forbid anyone in the West criticize Islam lest he be accused for being an Islamaphobe.
It would be beneficial if the Biden administration begins to work with genuine Muslim reformers and establish a commission on radical Islam. While every single religious terrorist has been a Muslim — he or she who commits atrocities in the name of Islam — not every Muslim is a terrorist. Nevertheless, there is a reason why Muslim perpetrators cite their Islamic texts. Once this is acknowledged, then perhaps the war against “radical Islam” can be effective and ultimately won.
Mario Alexis Portella is a priest of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Florence, Italy. He has a doctorate in canon law and civil law from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome; he also holds a M. A. in Medieval History from Fordham University, as well as a B.A. in Government & Politics from St. John’s University. He is also author of Islam: Religion of Peace? – The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up.