The reaction of the mainstream media and public figures to US President Donald Trump’s order pertaining to more rigorous screening of refugees and visitors from certain Muslim countries is much worse than biased; it is symptomatic of a deep psychopathic disorder.
Here is a democratically elected head of a government in a democracy who is redeeming his electoral pledge—and liberal media and almost every celebrity are berating him as if he were a tyrant, war-monger, or corrupt politician. The order bars the entry of nationals from seven countries—Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Iraq—for 90 days. This is not a blanket ban; there are exceptions for certain types of visas, e.g., for diplomats and the United Nations.
The order is also aimed at reviewing a single process for screening people entering the US. It calls for a blanket ban of all Syrian refugees until “sufficient changes” are made to the refugee programme. The Trump administration wants to give priority to the minorities suffering religious-based prosecution. This is in sync with Trump’s statement, in a television interview, that he would protect Christians and ethnic minorities like the Yazidis in the Middle East. By the way, this provision is not much different from the one that India made in September 2015 for the minority refugees from Bangladesh and Pakistan.
In short, what President Trump has done is make immigration to the US much more difficult and tight. The vehemence of liberals’ reaction is illiberal, irrational, and dangerous.
For he is doing what he always maintained that he would do if he got elected. This is the reason that most Americans are supporting him. According to a Reuters/Ipsos survey, 49 per cent of Americans support his executive order, while 41 per cent disagreed. To haul a democratically elected leader to carry out his electoral pledge militates against the spirit of democracy and liberalism. After all, he was elected by Americans, not Syrians, Iranians, Sudanese, or Somalis; he is answerable to his own countrymen, not to the rest of the world.
Second, the grounds on which he has signed the order are genuine, not fictitious. Terror incidents taking place in the US, and elsewhere, are caused by Muslims, not Hindus, Buddhists, or Sikhs. The danger from radical Islam is clear and present, but the liberal establishment is loath to accept this truth. Their god and Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, don’t even use the term ‘radical Islam’; he and his worshippers hide behind political correctness-inspired semantic artifices.
Third, refuge is something that can be requested, not demanded. It is the prerogative, not the duty, of a nation to give refuge to a person or a group; it is always within its rights to deny refuge. To say that the US is a country of immigrants is a red herring. For one, not every American accepts the country-of-immigrants doctrine. Conservative intellectuals like Samuel Huntington regard the US as a country of “settlers,” not immigrants. Further, waves of human migrations are well known in history; people from Iran, Turkey, central Asia, etc., have come and settled in our country; that, however, doesn’t mean that they have the right to seek refuge or settlement in India.
The fact that the top journalists, thought leaders, film stars, and sundry celebrities continue to haul Trump over the coals only underlines inveterate prejudices they harbor against him. The prejudices, and the words and actions emanating thereof, don’t diminish Trump; his opponents themselves are getting diminished.