Unpacking Trump’s Muslim Ban: Fact or Fiction?

Muslim Ban Donald Trump Andy Gill Patheos

With all the fake news, supposed conspiracy theories, and “alternative facts,” it’s tough to determine what’s fact and what’s fiction.

By now you all probably know, and are well aware of Trump’s “#MuslimBan.” Twitter lit up, Uber temporarily shut down, Lyft showed themselves as opportunist, and protestors came out in droves taking over airports. And, for many, the two questions still remain:

  1. Was this actually a ban on muslims? 
  2. Did Obama Select These Seven Countries?

Well, let’s review in order to help untangle the really not-so-confusing answers:

Was This actually a Muslim Ban?

On January 27th, 2017, Trump issued an Executive Order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”

“The order targets three groups:

  1. refugees from any country, who are blocked from entering the United States for the next 120 days;
  2. refugees from Syria, who are barred indefinitely;
  3. and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, who are barred from entering the United States for at least 90 days… [1]”

This ban, to be fair, was not a straight forward ban on Muslims, this executive order was pitted as a means of temporarily stopping the admission of refugees from the seven aforementioned countries… (but, at the same time, lets be honest).

Donald Trump Executive Order

Did Obama Select These Seven Countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen)?

No.

Let me explain: Seemingly, the order was based off of the “Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act

It should be noted that, this did not “ban” or “bar” travelers to the United States. According to the U.S. Customs & Border Protection FAQ page, “These new eligibility requirements do not bar travel to the United States.”

So, yes, Obama was in office when the Department of Homeland Security imposed restrictions. And, no, Obama did not create or promote this bill; it was an attachment to a must pass spending bill.

Adding Clarity to Disorienting Times:

Nuance and disorientation are intentional tactics used by both the left’s and the right’s strategists. This isn’t conspiracy theory; it’s just an engrained part of life (politics, sports, etc.). You see, If you don’t know what’s true all the while being triggered by political issues and upsetting Facebook comments on top of just regular day-to-day stressors your mind becomes “disoriented.” It, literally, cannot process that overwhelming amount of weight and information.

It’s genius, to say the least.

So, again, Donald Trump in his executive order, does not explicitly target muslims; although, it does target majority Muslim countries. But, with that said, we all know, that strategically-smart-fighters rarely, if ever, will outright state their underlying plan (thank you, Bill Murray, for this life lesson).

But, with that said, Trump actually has outright stated what his plans are for Muslims. To be more specific, on December 2015 he said exactly this:

Muslim Ban Donald Trump Statement

So, yeah, there’s that…

But, here’s the thing: The strategies in which we see, are rarely what’s actually happening. And, us, the people, we’re all left either guessing or dissociating (i.e. no longer giving a hoot).

When we see such emotionally infused videos from Tomi Lahren, or, The Daily Show titled: “Latin American drug cartels join jihadi terrorist networks to form the perfect storm,” we must begin to consciously recognize that this is nothing but a means of creating a sense of urgency, in order to disorient their opponent (I unpack this more, here).

“So, what is at play here? Trump is continuing what he started on the campaign trail. He is tapping into the fear that breeds the kind of xenophobia that gets folks excited about walls and bans, only to distract them from all the promises he won’t be keeping.” – Suad Abdul Kabeer

Trump, he’s not JUST pitting us against each other, but, he’s simultaneously igniting a fear that will incite war, provoke extremists, and cause a future militarization of our “gang ridden” neighborhoods (and, as Michelle Alexander explained so well in her book “The New Jim Crow,” that never turns out well, for the people living in these neighborhoods).

We gotta stop saying that Trump is stupid; he’s not. Politicians are magicians; they got us looking here, while their doing something else over there. Sheep though, can be extremely gullible, sometimes lazy, and almost always driven by emotion.

[Full transcript of Trump’s Executive Order]

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