Trump's Muslim Ban is appalling and Theresa May's refusal to condemn it is outrageous. Organising against both is critical.
Donald Trump's executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries entering the US has caused worldwide shock and outrage. Theresa May's refusal to condemn the decision - just a day after the Prime Minister met the new US president - has generated a powerful backlash here in the UK.
Trump's extremely draconian 90-day ban applies to anyone from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Trump has also banned refugees from entering the country for 120 days and those seeking asylum from Syria have been banned indefinitely.
It is understood to apply even to those with dual nationality. This has prompted Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi, who was born in Iraq, to tweet: 'Sad to hear I’ll be banned from the USA based on my country of birth'.
The ban is with immediate effect and has already caused chaos. Airport authorities in the US have already held passengers for interrogation. There have been reported instances of people boarding flights before the announcement was made being detained on arrival in the US. This has prompted emergency protests at some airports by anti-racist campaigners.
May's refusal to criticise the ban is despite some of her own backbench MPs condemning it. It is out of kilter with the concerns expressed by Germany and France.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said:
President Trump’s executive order against refugees and Muslims should shock and appal us all. Theresa May should have stood up for Britain and our values by condemning his actions. It should sadden our country that she chose not to.
Corbyn also reiterated his support for welcoming refugees to the UK, commenting that it is now more important than ever. The 'refugees welcome here' message will also be central to a protest in London next Saturday, initiated by Stop the War Coalition and anti-racist groups. This ought to be a focus for everyone appalled by Trump's Islamophobia and by May's complicity in it.
The Prime Minister had already prompted widespread condemnation by using her American trip to announce a state visit to the UK by Trump. A coalition of campaign groups has already announced it will organise mass protests to greet the president's state visit, taking a stand against his racism, sexism and warmongering.
Protests targeting Trump will be a big priority for the anti-war and anti-racist movements in the UK. They are an opportunity to oppose the threats to migrants and the anti-Muslim racism in this country, as well as showing solidarity with protests in the US.
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