Revival of US Travel Ban Exposes Anti-Muslim Bias

Revival of US  Travel Ban Exposes  Anti-Muslim Bias Revival of US  Travel Ban Exposes  Anti-Muslim Bias

The Foreign Ministry says the US Supreme Court ruling to partially reinstate travel bans against six Muslim nations testifies to an "insulting and humiliating" attitude of the US ruling establishment toward Muslims, vowing the discriminatory measure will meet a reciprocal response from Iran.

"It implies a will in the US establishment to discriminate against Muslims and an unfair attitude toward them, as opposed to US statesmen's [human rights] claims", IRNA quoted spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying in a statement on Wednesday. 

The Supreme Court on Monday said it will hear in October the case of a controversial executive order issued in March by President Donald Trump baring citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from visiting the US, while allowing much of the order to take effect.

The only change was that the ban could not be implemented against people who have personal links to the US.

In a statement on Monday, Trump called the decision "a clear victory" and said it helps him protect the homeland.

"As president, I cannot allow people into our country who want to do us harm. I want people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive", AP quoted him as saying

  Habitual Pessimism 

Qasemi said US leaders have habitually been viewing Muslims pessimistically and treating them in an unfair manner, citing anti-Muslim remarks by Trump during his controversial  election campaign and after taking office, including a promise to keep Muslims out of the US.

"History shows that an overwhelming majority of Muslims residing in the US or traveling there, including Iranians, have been law-abiding, peaceful and against extremism and violence." 

"It's a matter of regret that the US government, for short-sighted economic reasons, has turned a blind eye on real perpetrators of terrorist attacks in the US and is trying to mislead others [on the real reasons behind the spread of terrorism]," Qasemi said.

Qasemi was referring to the warm relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of most hijackers involved in the September 11 attacks led by Osama bin Laden. Trump, on his first foreign trip, visited the oil kingdom last month and sealed arms deals worth $110 billion, as well as huge investment agreements.  


  Money Talks 

The travel ruling by America's highest court also drew censure from Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, on Tuesday.

"The problem is, for some, terrorism and support for terrorism is measured by the amount of money they spend buying arms from the US and not by actually being involved in terrorism," Zarif said, referring to Saudi Arabia.

"It's regrettable that the citizens of the countries on the list have never participated in any act of terrorism against the US and yet they are being punished for acts of terrorism by citizens of other countries which are not on the list," Zarif told journalists after a meeting with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel in Berlin. The travel ban "doesn't help, it doesn't increase anybody's security," added the minister, calling the US decision the "greatest gift" for terrorist groups operating in the Middle East that seek new recruits.

Separately, Zarif tweeted, "A bigoted ban on Muslims will not keep US safer. Instead of policies empowering extremists, US should join the real fight against them."

  Another Breach 

A lawmaker in Tehran also denounced the reinstatement of the travel ban as an "obvious breach" of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers. Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, the spokesman for Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said the US Supreme Court decision was "a new restriction in the post-nuclear-deal era and is an obvious breach of the deal."

The executive order signed by Trump in March was a limited version of another order issued in January, involving a 90-day ban on visitors from the six countries and Iraq, along with a 120-day ban on all refugees. Several federal courts had described the January and March orders as unconstitutional and put on hold the ban that stirred protests inside the US and abroad.

The Trump administration claims the travel bans are crucial to keep out terrorists while it tightens vetting procedures.

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