U.S. ‘Muslim travel ban’ lifted but major damage done

U.S. ‘Muslim travel ban’ lifted but major damage done
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24 January 2021
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According to reports from the United States, travel agents in 13 different countries should get ready for a rush of customers because Washington has finally lifted its shockingly xenophobic and unprecedented travel ban.  Iran was one of six other Muslim-majority nations which were primarily targeted, which caused ex-president Donald Trump’s executive order to become called the “Muslim travel ban” informally and infamously.

New President Joe Biden ended the ban on his first day in office.  Observers say that the bigotry lasted four years and the damage to American citizens, countless non-Americans and America’s image cannot be overestimated.

Husbands and wives have been kept apart for years; grandparents passed away without seeing their newborn grandchildren; weddings, graduations, birthdays, funerals, jobs, business deals, educational exchanges - the accumulation of grief and difficulty caused by the Islamophobic ban is appalling.

In many ways, the ban backfired because it emphatically demonstrated the scope and impact of state-sponsored Islamophobia, something which had been routinely denied by the right and the left in not only the United States but across the West.

The ban led to doctor shortages in the United States which would soon be unable to handle the coronavirus pandemic.  It also put a pause on the so-called “brain drain” which allows America to stay near the forefront of science and technology.

Trump’s dehumanizing of Muslims followed years of scapegoating in order to rationalize the wars across the Muslim world started by Trump’s predecessors, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.  Perhaps above all, the ban showed that in the American system it is still possible to codify racism into law: the Supreme Court reversed a series of lower court decisions, which allowed the ban to go into effect.

 

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