News & Politics

The ‘Muslim Ban’ Is Gone. Now Come the Reminders of Why We Needed It.

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Joe Biden had barely been in the Oval Office long enough to exile the Winston Churchill bust yet again when he repealed the notorious “Muslim Ban,” and so now Americans can rest easy. We have repudiated one of the hallmarks of the Bad Orange Man’s administration, put “racism” and “Islamophobia” behind us, and resumed our role as a refuge for the tired, the poor, the woke masses. And so as a glorious new multicultural era dawns in America, after a four-year-long speed bump, will come the reminders that virtue-signaling is never a risk-free proposition.

For besides cementing Old Joe’s role as the errand boy for his party’s ascendant hard-Left wing, that was all the repeal of the “Muslim Ban” was: virtue-signaling. The executive order his handlers had ready for him to sign on Wednesday made that clear. “Beyond contravening our values,” it said, “these Executive Orders and Proclamations” — that is, the ones instituting the bans – “have undermined our national security. They have jeopardized our global network of alliances and partnerships and are a moral blight that has dulled the power of our example the world over. And they have separated loved ones, inflicting pain that will ripple for years to come. They are just plain wrong.”

That “moral blight” bit is the key, as it would be hard for Biden’s handlers to whisper into his earpiece a coherent argument for how a ban on travel from such upstanding members of the international community as Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, Venezuela, Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and Tanzania undermined, rather than strengthened, national security.

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But even the “moral blight” business runs into a major problem: there never really was a “Muslim Ban” at all. From beginning to end, that was just propaganda designed to smear Trump as a racist (even though Islam is, contrary to popular belief, actually not a race), bigoted, “Islamophobe.” It had no basis in reality. For as you may be aware, North Korea, Venezuela, and Myanmar are not actually Muslim countries at all. Eritrea has about a fifty percent Muslim population. Tanzania is about 35% Muslim.

What’s more, the world’s largest Muslim populations are (in descending order) in Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Algeria, and Sudan. Iran, Nigeria and Sudan are the only ones on the “Muslim Ban” list. If Trump had really wanted to bar Muslims from entering the United States, he would have banned travel from Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Turkey, and Algeria. He made no attempt to do so. If he had intended to impose a “Muslim Ban,” barring travel from North Korea but not Pakistan was a remarkably inefficient way to go about it.

What led to the grouping of countries in the Trump “Muslim Ban” was not that they were Muslim at all. The travel bans were on countries that could not or would not provide adequate information about who was entering. It was a national security move from start to finish. But now Obama’s dotty old puppet and his handlers have made sure that any consideration of national security issues in connection with mass migration will be dismissed as “racist” and “Islamophobic.”

And so now the reminders of why we needed Trump’s travel bans will start coming. Here is a preview: Somali Muslim migrant Mohammad Barry in February 2016 stabbed multiple patrons at a restaurant owned by an Israeli Arab Christian; Ahmad Khan Rahami, an Afghan Muslim migrant, in September 2016 set off bombs in New York City and New Jersey; Arcan Cetin, a Turkish Muslim migrant, in September 2016 murdered five people in a mall in Burlington, Washington; Dahir Adan, another Somali Muslim migrant, in October 2016 stabbed mall shoppers in St. Cloud while screaming “Allahu akbar”; and Abdul Razak Artan, yet another Somali Muslim migrant, in November 2016 injured nine people with car and knife attacks at Ohio State University.

Seventy-two jihad terrorists had entered the U.S. from the countries listed in Trump’s initial immigration ban before it was instituted. But once the travel bans came into effect, suddenly we didn’t see as much of this as we had before. Yes, this was no coincidence.

There are warning signs from Europe as well. All of the jihadis who murdered 130 people in Paris in November 2015 had just entered Europe as refugees. Numerous other Muslim migrants since then have committed “lone wolf” jihad attacks on the streets of several European countries.

But to consider such matters is now officially “racist” and “Islamophobic.” The problem with virtue-signaling by our moral superiors in Washington, however, is that they never have to deal with the consequences of their actions; ordinary Americans do. Anyone who is the victim of a crime or a jihad attack perpetrated by a migrant from one of the countries on Trump’s travel ban list can expect no sympathy from Biden’s handlers. Their constituency has been served, and it isn’t the Americans who have to deal with criminal migrants. As a nation, we are no longer “racist,” at least in this particular, and that’s all that matters.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.