It’s not really a Muslim ban. It’s a temporary ban on immigration from seven different countries in the Middle East. If it were a true Muslim ban, the order would have extended to all predominantly Muslim countries.
Interestingly, the seven countries affected by the President’s executive order were the same seven which were affected by Obama’s 2015 and 2016 restrictions on visa-free travel.
That’s probably why the Trump administration chose those same countries. They knew that the media would have a heyday with discrimination and ‘Muslim ban’ claims. So, their planned response was going to be that they were the same countries listed by the previous administration. Politically, it was a good move. The media’s criticism of the list would also be indirect criticism of the Obama administration, which is a no-no in media circles.
Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) said that what Trump signed was absolutely a Muslim ban. He was on Morning Joe discussing the issue. Here’s how part of his exchange went with the hosts:
BRZEZINSKI: Keith is one of the people running for DNC Chair. Where do we begin first of all in terms of your party’s reaction to the ban, the travel ban? And would you call it a Muslim ban?
ELLISON: It’s absolutely a Muslim ban and more seriously it’s a religiously based ban which means they can pick on Muslim’s today but who are they going to pick on tomorrow?
BRZEZINSKI: But it’s not a ban on all Muslims.
ELLISON: My view, well, you know, but wait a minute. They said that they could add countries anytime they want. And we have to start with what Donald Trump said originally. He said he wanted a Muslim ban. And then he sent it to some lawyers and some folks to try to language it up so that it could pass muster. But the intent here is very clear, it is a Muslim ban. He was asked–
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: Congressman–?
ELLISON: –would it exclude other people and he said no, it would not exclude people from other religions. It would exclude Muslims though. So this is a Muslim ban and we should focus on that because that’s new.
ELLISON: Our country doesn’t do that.
SCARBOROUGH: Congressman, there were I think over 40 Muslim-majority countries not on that list. And also–
BRZEZINSKI: What the Congressman is saying is he thinks because they’re open to maybe adding more that that makes it a Muslim ban.
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