Trump travel ban of 2017—‘A wolf in sheep’s clothing’

Colin A. Moore, Esq. | 2/16/2017, 11:56 a.m.
Trump’s travel ban of 2017 is, to use a biblical metaphor, a case of “old wine in new bottles,” or ...
Donald Trump Shutterstock/CNN Money

“I Donald J. Trump, am calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States, until our country’s representatives can find out what is going on.”

Trump’s travel ban of 2017 is, to use a biblical metaphor, a case of “old wine in new bottles,” or more appropriately, a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” It is an attempt to put a legal veneer in what is basically a crude example of Islamophobia.

When Trump first proposed a Muslim ban in 2015, there was a withering backlash from the legal community. Apologists of the alt right, such as Rudy Giuliani, warned him that a global ban based on a religious test would be overturned by the federal courts on constitutional grounds. Giuliani proposed that a regional ban, based on the concept of imminent danger to the U.S., rather than on religious affiliation, would withstand constitutional scrutiny.

Jan. 27, 2017, Trump enacted his executive order under the caption, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The executive order banned the entry into the United States of nationals from seven countries in the Middle East and North Africa: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The problem with the “imminent danger” hypothesis is that there is no causal relation between the danger posed by nationals from these banned countries and the incidents of so-called Islamic terrorism in the United States.

The most significant terrorist incident in the history of the United States, was the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, which occurred Sept. 11, 2011, and caused almost 3,000 casualties. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on the planes that caused the explosions came from Saudi Arabia, two came from the Persian Gulf states adjacent to Saudi Arabia, one came from Egypt and one from Lebanon. None of the hijackers came from any of the countries designated in the travel ban of 2017. Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf states, Egypt and Lebanon were not on the list of banned countries.

There have been four other cases of Islamic terrorism in the United States between 2011 and 2017. There was the Fort Hood massacre Aug. 28, 2013, in which 13 individuals were killed. There was the San Bernardino shooting of 2015, in which 14 individuals were killed. There was the Orlando nightclub shooting of June 12, 2016, in which 49 people were killed. There was the Minneapolis shopping mall incident of Sept. 18, 2016, in which one person was killed.

All of the perpetrators in these terrorist incidents were citizens of the United States. In the case of the shooter in San Bernardino, his parents came from Saudi Arabia. In the case of the Orlando nightclub shooter, his parents came from the Afghan Pakistan border. In the case of the killer in the Minneapolis shopping mall incident, his parents came from Somalia.

Thus, in all of these cases, none of the individuals were residents of any of the designated countries, and in only one instance, did the parents of any of the perpetrators come from one of these designated countries—Somalia. The alt right has raged, ranted and hallucinated about the danger of Islamic terrorism. However, only 77 individuals have been killed in incidents described as Islamic terrorist incidents, whereas thousands of Americans have died at the hands of U.S. citizens armed with hand guns. Thus, the clear and present danger to American national security, is not Islamic terrorism, but U.S. citizens armed with guns.