'Muslim ban': Where Trump and Baghdadi's interests may well collide

IS leader al-Baghdadi and US President Donald Trump Credit: AP

America’s so-called ‘Muslim ban’ is aimed at tackling the threat to homeland security from groups like self-styled Islamic State.

But with this migration crackdown, the objectives of Donald J Trump and IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi collide.

It’s possible that our dangerous world has been made that bit more perilous by the signing of the controversial executive order.

Here are three reasons why:

Iraqi troops hold the IS flag after they liberated Mosul Credit: AP

1. IS recruiters and propagandists argue that the West, led by the United States, is engaged in a Judeo-Christian war against Islam.

Not only have presidents and prime ministers consistently rejected that, but they have placed it at the heart of the global fight against radicalisation.

They haven’t always been successful, but they have at least tried.

This single executive order empowers the recruiters. Trump has done their work for them.

Between 1975 and 2015 foreign terrorists from those countries killed zero Americans on US soil Credit: AP

2. Suddenly, the argument that America’s partners in the Middle East should do more in the fight against IS - following US leadership - has become a bit more difficult to make.

They are already making a huge contribution - after all, they have much more at stake than the Americans.

But they might find the message from Washington confusing or offensive.

Some will wonder why Saudi Arabia, where Trump has business interests, is excluded from the list of seven countries singled out.

A report by the Cato Institute found that between 1975 and 2015 foreign terrorists from those countries killed zero Americans on US soil.

This policy may harm America's national security Credit: AP

3. Trump’s executive order will be interpreted by the recruiters as a statement about the American view of identity and citizenship: in summary, "If you were born an Iraqi, who will forever be an Iraqi - you cannot pick and chose where you are from".

That is likely to assist the terrorists behind the radicalisation process urging local recruits to reject the draw of the West.

Of course, Trump’s view is that the new rules might prevent terrorists from entering the US in the future.


But evidence from the recent past - combined with what we know about the arguments made in the jihadisphere - suggest that this policy will have, at best, no impact on America’s national security and may well harm it.

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