“In front of Mr Trump, the Prime Minister said that the point of the ‘Special Relationship’ was to have a frank dialogue. Well, this is one area where we need to be frank about where we stand. As an important ally of the United States, surely we have a duty to remind them of the values on which they were founded upon.”
French President Francois Hollande urged Europe to form a united front and provide a “firm” response to US President Donald Trump, at a gathering Saturday of southern European Union leaders.
“We must conduct firm dialogue with the new American administration which has shown it has its own approach to the problems we all face,” he said at the end of the gathering as he was flanked by the other leaders who took part.
Trump has rattled America’s traditional European allies with a range of radical policy plans.
On Friday he also signed a sweeping executive order to suspend the arrival of refugees and impose tough controls on travelers from seven Muslim countries.
During his first phone conversation with Trump late Saturday, Hollande stressed the “economic and political consequences of a protectionist approach”, adding that the principle of “acceptance of refugees” should be respected.
“Faced with an unstable and uncertain world, withdrawal into oneself is a dead-end response,” Hollande was quoted as saying in an Elysee Palace statement.
Hollande had earlier told the gathering that “when he adopts protectionist measures, which could destabilise economies not just in Europe but the economies of the main countries of the world, we have to respond”.
“And when he refuses the arrival of refugees, while Europe has done its duty, we have to respond.”
While officially the new administration in Washington was not on the agenda, the six other European leaders who took part in the summit also alluded to Trump.
Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Europe was “ready, interested and willing to cooperate” with the Trump administration. “But we are Europe, and we cherish our values,” he added.
French and German foreign ministers met on Saturday to discuss President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on nationals from seven countries entering the US. The ban affects citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, and is in effect for an extendable initial period of 90 days.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said, “We have signed international obligations, so welcoming refugees fleeing war and oppression forms part of our duties. There are many other issues that worry us. That is why Sigmar and I also discussed what we are going to do. When our colleague, [Rex] Tillerson, is officially appointed, we will both contact him.”
The International Rescue Committee said, “The agency is calling President Donald Trump’s suspension of the U.S. refugee resettlement program a ‘harmful and hasty’ decision. America must remain true to its core values. America must remain a beacon of hope.”
French President François Hollande said, “We should engage in discussions that sometimes should be very firm … When he rejects the arrival of refugees, while Europe has done its duty, we should respond to him.”
Meanwhile, Trump has said the new ban is working out “very well.”
“It’s not a Muslim ban. It’s working out very nicely. You see it at the airports, you see it all over. We’re going to have a very, very strict ban and we’re going to have extreme vetting which we should have had in this country for many years,” Trump said.
The entire text of the executive order can be read here. Although most media coverage refers to a ban on Muslim refugees, the executive order makes no explicit mention of Islam. It does, however state that “In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law.
“In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including ‘honor’ killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.”
Several top Senate Republicans raised concerns Sunday that President Trump’s order to halt the admission of refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries had not been properly vetted and could harm the relationship between the United States and key allies.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) cautioned that the United States does not have a religious test for entry into the country, though he stopped short of rejecting the order in its entirety. McConnell said that Muslims, both in the United States and abroad, are key allies in the fight against terrorism and urged caution in regard to Trump’s plan to implement “extreme vetting” for refugees from countries where a majority of the citizens are Muslim.
“I don’t want to criticize them for improving vetting,” McConnell said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I think we need to be careful. We don’t have religious tests in this country.”
Thousands of demonstrators rallied outside the White House and in cities nationwide Sunday to protest President Trump’s refugee ban, as the executive order continued to halt travel in some locations, despite being partially lifted by federal judges overnight.
In addition to Washington, large protests took place in New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Atlanta, and at airports in more than 30 cities.
In downtown Washington, protesters lined Pennsylvania Avenue and filled Lafayette Square. They cycled through a variety of chants, and wielded poster boards bearing messages such as “Islamophobia is un-American” and “Dissent is patriotic.”
The travel ban bars entry into the United States from seven predominately Muslim countries. Despite a federal judge’s ruling late Saturday night, and similar court decisions with varying degrees of power, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement Sunday that said the agency would continue to implement the travel rule.
Designating Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization could lead to major fallout for American Muslims.
Members of the hardline anti-Islam lobby are eagerly anticipating the possibility of the Trump administration designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, which is increasingly likely if conspiracy theorists like Frank Gaffney play a prominent role in Trump’s transition team. Gaffney believes the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the US government at every level and has even questioned whether Barack Obama was “America’s first Muslim president” implementing the Brotherhood’s plans.
While a terrorist designation would have several foreign policy implications, experts say the measure is being pushed primarily by stateside anti-Islam extremists like Gaffney who believe it would empower the Trump administration to target a number of major Muslim American nonprofits.
“Let me be extremely clear,” said J.M. Berger, a counterterrorism analyst at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism. “This initiative is concerned with controlling American Muslims, not with any issue pertaining to the Muslim Brotherhood in any practical or realistic sense.”
Nathan Lean, author of The Islamophobia Industry, said such a designation could have chilling implications for Muslim civil society in the United States. Based on unfounded yet oft-repeated claims that American Muslim groups have ties to — or are outright fronts for — the Muslim Brotherhood, Lean said, the designation would provide cover for the administration to shut down nonprofits, maliciously prosecute individuals, and pursue other acts that would, in turn, leave ordinary American Muslims more vulnerable to marginalization and repression.
“I believe that Muslim civil liberties could potentially, with this policy move, be wiped off the map,” Lean said. “It sounds like hyperbole, but I mean that very seriously.”
What may seem like a dramatic rise in the number of hate harassment and hate incidents happening across the country in the wake of Tuesday’s general election is not in anyone’s imagination, experts say.
There indeed has been a spike in the number of reports of such incidents, say representatives for two organizations that track such occurrences. A representative for one group, in fact, said the rise appears to be even worse that what was took place immediately after the terror attacks in 2001.
“Since the election, we’ve seen a big uptick in incidents of vandalism, threats, intimidation spurred by the rhetoric surrounding Mr. Trump’s election,” Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., told USA TODAY. “The white supremacists out there are celebrating his victory and many are feeling their oats,” Cohen said.
Number of anti-Muslim hate crimes rose in 2015 to the highest level since the aftermath of 9/11.
Hate crimes against Muslims in the United States shot up 67 percent in 2015 to their highest levels since the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, according to new FBI statistics.
Overall, 57 percent of the 5,850 reported incidents were motivated by race or ethnicity, while 20 percent of hate crimes were related to religious bias, the federal law enforcement agency reported on Monday.
There were 257 incidents of anti-Muslim bias in 2015, compared with 154 the previous year. The number is second only to the surge in hate crimes following the 9/11 attacks in 2001, when 481 incidents against Muslims were reported.
While there was a huge increase in crimes against Muslims, Jews remained the most frequent target of religious-based hate crimes in the US, representing 53 percent of all those reported, the FBI said.
Famously while campaigning, Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the US. He also promised to build a wall to block Mexicans.
In the first television interview since his election, Trump said he is planning to immediately deport or jail as many as three million undocumented immigrants.