from Pressure Points and Middle East Program

On Barring Muslims from Entering the United States

December 10, 2015

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"Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on," his campaign said.

I thought it would be useful to consider who would be barred from entry into the United States by this proposition. Here are some examples.

--Twenty percent of the population of Israel.

--The King of Jordan, a close U.S. ally.

--92 percent of the population of Senegal, a country that is non-Arab and a close U.S. ally.

--Every member of the Muslim Students Network at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Trump’s alma mater, who come from another country.

--The Aga Khan, leader of the world’s 30 million Ismaili Muslims.

--Members of the British House of Commons and House of Lords who happen to be Muslims.

--The president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

--Salman Rushdie, the author against whom Ayatollah Khomeini issued a death fatwa.

The list could of course go on for dozens of pages, but the point seems obvious. Beyond the obvious moral and legal points that should be made against the Trump proposal, it is senseless: it would bar from the United States people who present no threat. And it is dangerous, because it is certain to harm our country’s image in the world and if ever adopted would destroy cooperation from Muslim nations, communities, and individuals at just the moment when increased anti-terror cooperation is needed.

Cooperation against terror is important, and we might want to invite the key counter-terror officials from the military, police, and intelligence services among our key Arab allies in the Middle East here to confer with the FBI and CIA. Except, under the Trump proposal, they wouldn’t be admitted to the United States. Muslims, you see.

 

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