Rabat - Let me begin asking what would Mr. Trump think of this adaptation of this section of his order:
Rabat – Let me begin asking what would Mr. Trump think of this adaptation of this section of his order:
“To protect Muslims, Muslim countries must ensure that those U.S. Citizens admitted to their countries do not bear hostile attitudes toward them and their founding principles. Muslim countries cannot, and should not, admit those U.S. Citizens who do not support their Constitutions, or those who would place violent ideologies over their laws. In addition, Muslim countries should not admit citizens of countries who engage in acts of war against others thousands of miles away from them, imprison others without due process, practice torture in illegal prisons, make and hold mass destruction weapons, practice bigotry or hatred (including against gays or other forms of violence against the freedoms of women over their bodies, or the persecution of those who discriminate against individuals who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress others of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.”
Trump’s order is heinous and reeks of hatred, racism and discrimination. Not only does it leave too much open for interpretation, misuse, and abuse by enforcing officers, but every possible application of the order calls for the breach of some civil, constitutional or privacy law, putting agencies charged with its implementation in dire legal situations.
The procedures are not explicitly stipulated and concepts are not defined – not even loosely. In fact, how are customs agents and frontier guards to discriminate between individuals they are requested to vet? How would they be able to tell who is an extremist and who is not, who is a potential terrorist and who is not? Fortunetelling is not a skill they are expected to excel in.
G.W. Bush Jr. had once promised that terrorists would be smoked out and killed. Although his discourse had been judged as unwarranted, many excused him him, for at least he was talking about a well identified group operating in a well defined perimeter. But who exactly is Trump talking about? Men with ethnic clothes, with beards, who say Allah Akbar, women with veils or are caught praying in streets, whole nations? He seems to be assuming that all Muslims are potential terrorists until they have been proved otherwise, that is, when they have been declared dead of old age or a natural cause. It is interesting, however, that his seven countries do no include those countries in which the terrorist ideology he claims to be fighting and the funding that promotes it originated.
He, above all, should know exactly where the fight should start. The question his countrymen are entitled to ask is that of why he has not extended the list to include those areas. Could it be that he has put his own interests before those of the nation?
Supposing appropriate training is provided to the relevant staff and adequate resourcing is made available to immigration and customs officers, what exactly would they be requested to watch for? If it is people who may have, at some point of their lives, expressed negative attitudes towards the U.S. foreign policy and involvement in wars in remote parts of the world or some U.S. political leaders, they would then find it hard to allow anyone in the country including U.S. citizens themselves and, actually, some living former Presidents and current governors and senators.
If it is Muslims with hard line religious convictions, which in Trump’s ideology means those who claim that Shari’a is the law Muslims should abide by, they would then have to bar every single Muslim, as the word shari’a, a cultural synonym of the term law, does not have the same meaning as it does for the president and his advisors. If it is men who treat women as they would cattle, then they would have difficulties distinguishing among some Muslims and the followers of other faiths in the USA itself, including some Jews, Christians, Mormons, and others.
If it is men who talk about the rule of some Vice-God on Earth, a God sent character or the return of some Messiah, they would then have to shut in many a taxpaying, law-abiding WASP American. If it is men with aggressive attitudes towards others with different sexual orientations or choices or disrespectful of the media and their professionals, they might have to expel Trump himself from their country as soon before he drives the country to a point of no return. If it is individuals with arsenals of assault rifles and war weapons in their attics or backyard sheds, they would need to start building new high security prisons to host the thousands of U.S. citizens who fall within this category.
It has been amusing to read the recommendations of self-declared experts on what they refer to as Islamism and terrorism as to how to accurately asses which Muslims should be allowed in and who should be returned home on the same plane or abducted. One of the recommendations is to establish a comprehensive database of all Muslims which would collect data from the Internet, human intelligence reports and, information collected from interrogations.
Besides the extreme technological complexity and low cost efficiency of this solution, the experts who recommended it seem to have not thought of the possibility of fabricating backgrounds and of forging histories and profiles and of training terrorists to beat interviewers at their own game. If they can beat lie detectors, would beating a human not be within their competence? Furthermore, terrorist organizations do not need to recruit combatants from foreign countries. Practically all those who struck recently were either nationals of the countries they operated in or residents therein. But let’s forget this lest Mr. Trump hears us and issues an order to interrogate every single individual in the country.
As to the interviewing of potential terrorists, it would seem that whatever their degree of complexity and comprehensiveness, unless the interviewee is an amateur or stupid they would have the right answers. In fact, no terrorist would admit to being a terrorist and would certainly not admit to anything they know that would jeopardize their chances of being allowed in. They can practice and be trained to pass those interviews. They may even introduce themselves as Christians, agnostics, atheists, Jews, Buddhists or homosexuals seeking refuge from the violence of their societies. They can also pretend they were fleeing their countries because they were planning to marry out of their religions or against the will of their families and needed protection. Pretending would not be difficult.
Another option the order had not considered is that just as the USA and other democratic nations can and actually have outsourced some of their military functions, so can terrorists organizations. Professional armies or squads can be raised anywhere in the world and assigned missions anywhere in the world. They can be European, Asian, African, American, or whatever else. One thing Mr. Trump has not been taught in his presidential orientation programs is that criminals and terrorists learn and adapt faster than any established institution or agency. He better not forget this.
Now, if the purpose is to vet according to religious convictions, the whole approach would be simply unconstitutional and the issue merely an excuse to discriminate against specific groups. Courts of law and civil society will take care of such ill-intended projects, hopefully!
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy