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Scores of experts warn Trump's 'Muslim ban' will backfire

Trump's original order was blocked by US courts [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 March, 2017

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Some 134 US foreign policy experts denounced Donald Trump's revised travel ban, stating it puts the country's national security at risk and could backfire against the US.

More than 130 US foreign policy experts denounced President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, suggesting it undermines the country's national security and interests just as much as the original controversial order.

Trump's ban targeting travellers from Muslim-majority countries and refugees could potentially put the US at risk, the experts suggest.

"To Muslims - including those victimised by or fighting against ISIS (Islamic State group) - it will send a message that reinforces the propaganda... that falsely claim the United States is at war with Islam," read the letter by former government officials and experts.

"Welcoming Muslim refugees and travellers, by contrast, exposes the lies of terrorists and counters their warped vision," added the document.

Among the 134 signatories were some who served in either or both Republican and Democratic administrations including former senior diplomat Nicholas Burns, ex-National Security Council counter-terrorism Director Richard Clarke and ex-Undersecretary of Defence Michele Flournoy.

However, most of the experts served under Democratic presidents, including former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, former Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano, ex-national security advisor Susan Rice and ex-National Counterterrorism director Matthew Olsen.

Their comments echo those being made in court by US states claiming the modified measures still  discriminate against Muslims and are detrimental to US interests, despite Trump's 'revisions'.

"Bans like those included in this order are harmful to US national security and beneath the dignity of our great nation," the letter read.

The executive order "weakens this country's ability to provide global leadership and jeopardises our national security interests by failing to support the stability of our allies that are struggling to host large numbers of refugees", it added.

The letter was also sent to Trump's Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defence Secretary James Mattis, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Homeland Security chief John Kelly and Acting Director of National Intelligence Michael Dempsey.

The revised directive temporarily closes US borders to all refugees and citizens from six mainly-Muslim countries. 

It denies US entry to all refugees for 120 days and halts for 90 days the granting of visas to nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The new order, unveiled on Monday, is due to go into effect 16 March and replaces the previous Trump directive that was blocked in federal court. 

The previously-blocked order included an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees as well as travellers from Iraq, however the new executive order excludes Iraq from the barred list.


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