Trump/Pence Regime Moves Ahead with Stealth Muslim Ban
This Fascist Outrage Must Be STOPPED!

July 24, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


The Trump/Pence Muslim Ban 2.0 is a lot in the news, but less known is that the regime is already moving aggressively ahead in other ways to close the door on people from Muslim countries. A New York Times op-ed by two representatives of the group Muslim Advocates sheds important light on this (“How Trump Is Stealthily Carrying Out His Muslim Ban,” by Farhana Khera and Jonathan J. Smith, July 18).

Two recent Supreme Court rulings (reported at here and here) gave a green light to large parts of Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0, which bans U.S. entry by all refugees and people from six Muslim-majority countries. The Court is due to take up the whole ban in October. But this regime has made clear it does not intend to let courts or laws get in the way of its fascist agenda. As Khera and Smith write, “Lost amid the uproar over the Trump administration’s travel restrictions on citizens from Muslim majority countries and the impending showdown at the Supreme Court are the insidious ways that the government has already begun to impose a Muslim ban. It’s doing so through deceptively boring means: increasing administrative hurdles and cementing or even expanding the current travel restrictions that are not under review at the court. The collective impact of these changes will be that a permanent Muslim ban is enshrined into American immigration policy.”

One of these stealth means is “extreme vetting” of people applying for visas for immigration or travel to the U.S. This takes what was an already intrusive process to a whole other level by requiring people to provide things like travel history for the last 15 years, including how the travel was paid for; work history and home addresses for the last 15 years; names and birth dates for all current and former spouses or partners; and all social media platforms and “handles” used during the past five years. Whether the people are approved for visas or not, the information collected could go into a database to be used to profile and politically target not only those individuals but others connected to them—overseas as well as in the U.S.—through personal ties or the social media.

Exempt from this are 38 countries considered “friendly”—almost all in Europe, plus a few others like Australia and Japan. Included are the rest of the world. As Khera and Smith note, while the State Department says only “populations warranting increased scrutiny” are subject to extreme vetting, “[E]veryone knows that term is code for people from predominantly Muslim countries.”

Other moves along these lines include:

* In June, Trump canceled a previous order that had required the State Department to make sure that most of the interviews for people applying for non-immigrant visas happen within three weeks.

* The departments of state, homeland security, and several other agencies sent reports to the White House in July about visa screening processes in the U.S. and other countries. That information supposedly would be used to figure out whether the short-term ban on people from Muslim-majority countries should be extended permanently and whether other countries should be added to the list. The regime has refused to make these reports public. But Khera and Smith point out in their op-ed, “[A]ll circumstantial evidence suggests that Muslim-majority countries will bear the brunt of these restrictions, which is exactly what President Trump has called for.”

The stealth Muslim-ban measures have already led to a 55 percent drop in U.S visas issued to people from the six countries on the Muslim Ban 2.0 (Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen) compared to last year—and a 20 percent drop for visas issued to people from nearly 50 Muslim-majority countries.

Beyond this, the Muslim ban is fanning the demonization of all Muslims. Under the “clash of civilizations” paradigm that the Trump/Pence fascists are operating on, the billions of people in nations ravaged by the U.S. and other imperialist powers pose a dangerous threat. To the extent that reactionary Islamic Jihad has taken root in some of those places—in the soil and environment created by imperialism—that and any other challenges to U.S. imperialism must be crushed by overwhelming military force. And, in this genocidal worldview, because they undermine the white Christian supremacist coherence of the U.S., Muslims must be banned from entry and treated as pariahs. Further, if all people from Muslim countries are “potential terrorists,” as this fascist logic goes, then what about the Muslims in the U.S.?

This cannot go down! The Muslim ban must be stopped through fierce and widespread opposition, as part of the fight to drive out the fascist regime.




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