Security Implications of Executive Order on Muslim Ban

Key details:

28/01/2017 from Qatar



President Donald Trump has signed a controversial Executive Order in the Pentagon which bans asylum seekers and refugees from 7 countries in MENA (Middle East and North Africa); notably Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, and Iran. According to President Trump, the Executive Order was implemented on reasons based on security and stability for the United States despite the claims that this ban has on what the US stands for from human rights values, freedom , and liberty and this ban especially challenges the Immigration and Nationality Act implemented by congress in 1965 in which it is unlawful to discriminate asylum seekers based on national origin.

Two Iraqis were banned from entering the United States despite their service to the country and holding legitimate visas, therefore implying that asylum seekers holding legitimate visas from the countries mentioned in the Executive Order banned from entering the United States. The ban has domestic security implications, however, the impact is international as it can be argued that this Executive Order will impact the US relations with the countries that it has banned refugees from as well as where this ban will lead to in terms of relations with the United Nations since the current US President has repeatedly claimed that America comes first. The reason that this ban is connected to the US relations with the United Nations is because of the proposed “American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017” sponsored by Republican Mike Rogers, this particular bill states the termination of the US from the United Nations and that the UN removes its headquarters from the US.

Regarding relations between the US and other countries, days before the Executive Order was signed President Donald Trump has signed directives to build a wall along the national US-Mexico border to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country, this created a diplomatic crisis between the two which may lead to a further strain in relations. How the US policies with Mexico relate to the Executive Order is linked to domestic security and refugees, however, it creates a precedent for other states to prioritise their own interests or it will be very difficult for future administrations to fix the image that President Donald Trump creates of an isolated America.

The Executive Order would have been legitimate according to journalist Mehdi Hasan after the 9/11 terror attack if the reasons were based on domestic security, however, it does not include people of Saudi Arabia national origin despite 15 of the plane hijackers were Saudi Arabian, 2 were of Emirati national origin, and 1 was of Egyptian national origin. Perhaps this Executive Order holds implications on the special relationship the US has with Saudi Arabia, but even more so banning an entire religious identity will have repercussions as it legitimises Islamophobia and xenophobia as hours after the ban a masjid in Texas was in flames thus creating instability rather than any form of stability as similar incidents may continue to occur, these policies may lead to the continued isolation of the United States internationally.