I was asked the strangest question recently.
Is it a problem for Malaysian Muslims travelling to the US and planning to live there for a short medical residency?
It was a genuine question from a friend back home since I live here. First, I was a little shocked because never in my mind would I think the US is not a safe place for anyone. Second, it was a little insulting that people think my adopted home is intolerant of Muslims.
Here is the truth folks – don’t believe everything that you read in the media about the president, race relations and Islam in the US. The thing about living in DC is that national news is my local news and I work in the city where the thick of the political debate happens.
Depending on what your preferred news sources are and the company you keep, you are either pro or anti-Trump. The media here are all mostly anti-Trump, so if you only read the wires, New York Times and Washington Post, then I’d highly recommend Breitbart, Quillette and Washington Examiner to balance it out.
This whole “Muslim ban” is misunderstood and the list of countries was drafted during Barrack Obama’s tenure. If you don’t know the history and only read misleading headlines, it is not a Muslim ban at all.
Executive Order 13769 merely restricts the issuance of visas to nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen until further background visa checks are conducted and proposes a 90-day delay. It also suspends the US Refugee Admissions Program for at least 120 days and the complete implementation of biometric entry-exit tracking system for all travellers. Addendums to the EO added North Korea and Venezuela to the list of “countries of particular concern”.
Take 10 minutes and slowly read through the EO and make an independent judgment on it. A Muslim ban would include the world’s largest Muslim nation – Indonesia. Maybe even Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan or Egypt.
But alas – politics is all about optics.
Race and religious relations continue to be used by politicians, interest groups and certain media to fuel power, funding and ideology.
If Muslims really want to talk about a ban, take a closer look at the re-education camps in Xinjiang province in China. That’s actually happening and I don’t see anyone protesting at the Chinese embassies.
I find that the US truly welcomes everyone who comes in legally, respects her laws and contributes to society positively. Just like any other country.
And the answer to my friend’s question was a firm “no” and a pro-tip to stop watching CNN International’s coverage of the US because it really is fake news.
This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.