America’s ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries may be stirring anger across the West, but in the Arab world the move has received some more surprising responses.
In a series of tweets, Dubai’s Head of General Security, Dhahi Khalfan this morning expressed his support for President Trump’s “Muslim ban”.
نؤيد ترمب تأييدا مطلقا في منع دخول كل من يحتمل انه سيسبب لأمريكا إخلال بأمنها.— ضاحي خلفان تميم (@Dhahi_Khalfan) January 29, 2017
We completely support Trump in his ban on entry to those who may cause a breach in America’s security.
كل دولة لها حق حماية أمنها ممن يحتمل انه خطر على سلامة الناس— ضاحي خلفان تميم (@Dhahi_Khalfan) January 29, 2017
Every country has the right to protect its security from anyone who could be dangerous for the safety of its people.
الإدارات الأمريكية السابقة احتضنت جميع المطلوبين للعدالة في الوطن العربي والمصنفين من الإرهابيين...ترامب ما تفعله صحيح— ضاحي خلفان تميم (@Dhahi_Khalfan) January 29, 2017
Previous US administrations have embraced all the wanted men of the Arab world and those classified as terrorists... Trump what you're doing is right.
Khalfan, who has a following 1.5 million on his official Twitter account, also wrote that it was America’s right to “ban whoever they want to ban”. Emirati passport holders are not included in the executive order that Trump signed on Saturday, suspending visas for travellers from several Arab nations including Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.
One Iraqi-American journalist, Steven Nabil, was quick to point out Khalfan’s hypocrisy on Facebook:
Marwan al-Shehhi and Fayez Banihammad were among the 19 terrorists of al-Qaeda who attacked the World Trade Center and other targets on 9-11, which led to the deaths of thousands of American civilians. They both had Emirati citizenship like Dhahi Khalfan.
Others supported his criticism, highlighting the fact that very few individuals from the countries banned by Trump have carried out terrorist attacks in the West:
This Trump is stupid, his calculation is simplistic... The countries that America has banned from entry: Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Iran and Somalia... No resident of any of those countries participated in the strikes on the World Trade Center. [Whereas] 17 Saudi citizens participated in the attacks... We conclude that he is merely a real estate and amusements trader.
Iran, Iraq, Syria: They may be the smallest threat to security in the whole world, yet they are prevented from entering the US. Meanwhile Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Algeria, they are the sources of terrorism. [But for Trump] they're not a problem.
Trump has said that the ban is intended to "protect the United States from foreign nationals entering from countries compromised by terrorism" and allow time to implement "a more rigorous vetting process."
A decision overnight by a federal judge in New York has allowed anyone from the targeted countries in transit or already in the country to remain, provided they have a valid visa. However, it is not clear whether the executive order itself will continue to be implemented.
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