CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) was very put out that none of the 10 Democratic candidates in the first debate raised the issue of what the group calls Trump’s “Muslim ban.” It called on Americans to tweet the moderator for the second debate, in order to make sure that the Muslim ban be discussed. But the second debate passed, too, without the “Muslim ban” being discussed.
The story is here:
The organization is calling on Americans to urge the moderators – via Twitter – to ask all ten candidates in Thursday’s second debate to say how they would address the “Muslim ban,” as well as Trump’s record-low ceiling on refugee admissions, 30,000 in fiscal year 2019.CAIR, which calls itself the nation’s biggest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, also wants the candidates to be asked about “the continued rise in white supremacy, and about hate crimes targeting Muslim and other minority communities in the U.S.”
Moderators from last night’s debate did not ask how presidential hopefuls plan to address the rise in white supremacist hate groups and corresponding increase in hate crimes targeting all religious and minority communities,” said the group’s director of government affairs, Robert McCaw. “White supremacist violence is an issue that threatens the very fabric of our nation and must be addressed in tonight’s debate.”
McCaw noted that one candidate in the first debate did mention the “Muslim ban,” but said all ten on Thursday should be asked directly about it. [Update: in the second debate, no one was asked about the Muslim ban]
On Wednesday night, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said, “I’m proud to have been the first governor to stand up against Donald Trump’s heinous Muslim ban.”
The U.S. Supreme Court a year ago this week upheld the third version of Trump’s immigration executive order.
The anniversary gave Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), one of the first two Muslim women elected to the U.S. Congress, the opportunity to tweet on Wednesday, “Today marks one year since the Supreme Court upheld Trump’s Muslim Ban. I will not rest until we have banished this hateful policy to the dustbin of history where it belongs.”
While CAIR, Inslee, Omar and other critics continue to refer to the measure as a “Muslim ban,” it applies to citizens – and not all citizens – of a small minority of the world’s Muslim-majority countries.
Just five Muslim countries – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen – are affected, along with two non-Muslim countries, Venezuela and North Korea.
The five Muslim countries together have a population of some 132 million people, accounting for about eight percent of the world’s estimated 1.6 billion Muslims.
Another 52 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) are not affected by the proclamation. The world’s most populous Muslim countries – Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Egypt and Turkey – are not affected. Together, those six make up more than half of the world’s Muslims.
Under the executive order upheld by the Supreme Court, not all citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen are affected by the restrictions.
With small variations they do not apply to holders of Green Cards and current visas, dual nationals traveling on passports of non-affected countries, diplomats, asylees, and already-admitted refugees.
Since the beginning of FY 2019, on October 1 last year, the U.S. has admitted for resettlement 657 refugees from those countries – 402 from Syria, 132 from Iran, 121 from Somalia, two from Yemen. No refugees from Libya have been admitted.
All five countries affected by Trump’s executive order were also identified as posing security risks by the Obama administration in 2015 and 2016, and as a result visitors from those countries (along with those from Iraq and Sudan) were subjected to additional security measures.
The “Muslim ban” is a misnomer; it is nothing of the kind. It bans visitors — and not even all of them — from seven countries. Two of those countries — Venezuela and North Korea — are non-Muslim. Five Muslim countries — Syria, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya — are included, not because they are Muslim, but because of the inability of the governments involved to adequately monitor their own citizens who might pose security risks. Even under the Obama administration, visitors from the same five Muslim countries (along with Iraq and Sudan) were subject to additional security measures. With the Trump “Muslim ban” in place, only 8% of the world’s Muslims are affected by the ban; 92% of the world’s Muslims remain entirely unaffected by the ban.
But no matter how often these points are made, as in the article quoted above from CNS.org, the media keep loudly alive the phrase “Trump’s Muslim ban,” and it’s hard to make those points above the din. One hopes that one or more of the Democratic candidates will speak out, though not in the way that CAIR desires, by calmly presenting the rationale for the Administration’s ban on visitors from high-security-risk countries.
But it’s not just the “Muslim ban” phrase that needs to be held up for close inspection and deconstruction. It’s also the claim, by CAIR, that the candidates must discuss what it calls the “continued rise in white supremacy, and about hate crimes targeting Muslim and other minority communities in the U.S.” CAIR is trying both to slyly suggest a rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes — they have actually decreased since 2016 — and to tie that supposed rise, in the public imagination, to “racism,” by mentioning “a continued rise in white supremacy.” In fact, there has been a very large increase in hate crimes, not against Muslims, but against Jews. In the last year for which complete figures are available, 2017, antisemitic crimes rose by 37 percent over 2016, an enormous increase. For Muslims, on the other hand, the trajectory is downward. In 2017, anti-Muslim offenses accounted for 18.7 percent of anti-religious hate crimes, compared with 24.7 percent in 2016 — a drop of some 25%. Those are figures you can be sure CAIR would prefer not be broadcast; its victimhood narrative relies on others believing in a steady increase in “hate crimes” against Muslims. The next time there is a debate among a much-reduced field of Democratic candidates, should the subject of “hate crimes” come up let us hope that at least one intrepid candidate will provide the irrefutable facts: that is, there has been a steep decrease in anti-Muslim hate crimes, and a steep increase in antisemitic attacks. CAIR thrives on its victimhood narrative; Muslims have too often made charges of “islamophobia” and “anti-Muslim racism” that later proved to be exaggerated or false. The real story about the frequency and targets of “hate crimes” deserves to be told, in public, before a television audience of millions.
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