The Muslim ban

There’s little more heartening than public assembly in protest for the common good. Given the broader US-led foreign policy agenda in the Middle East, however, I find it odd that it should be a moratorium on US immigration from a peculiarly conceived selection of countries that unifies public ire.

Essentially, drone strikes indiscriminately killing villagers in Yemen—to help the most sinister dictatorship in the region maintain control of petroleum shipping lanes—is fine. Clinton and Kerry, under Obama, who established and executed that policy, collectively preserve their status as sane advocates for the liberal order. But leaving people stuck at Terminal 5 unable to start their new jobs at Harvard crosses the line of common decency.

It goes without saying that I’d rather see a US that adopts neither of those policy planks. But the idea that the border rules are a more draconian measure than extrajudicial murder by remote control serves above all to underline the disconnect between populations east and west of the Mediterranean.

At the very least, let me assert that Donald Trump’s Muslim ban will be little more than a footnote in the Arab world’s treatise against a century of injustices inflicted upon them by successive western superpowers.


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