Political Leaders around the world reacted in strong terms to the closing of the United States Borders to certain immigrants.
These are just some of the international reactions to the President’s recent Executive Order closing down access to the US from citizens of specific Muslim countries. It is important that US citizens understand how this extraordinary situation is being greeted by people outside of the US.
The Muslim Council of Britain. (The Guardian, 29th January 2017)
The respected Council talks about mutual respect and tolerance.
The Muslim Council of Britain condemns the Executive Order by US President Trump to initiate a ban on people from a select few Muslim majority countries. It calls on our British government to speak out much more forcefully and stand up for the British values it supposedly seeks from others. For all intents and purposes this is a Muslim ban designed not to confront terrorism but to placate the most hateful sections of American society.
This ban on Muslims is not only an inconvenience, it is downright dangerous to our values of equality and non-discrimination. We are told that British values include the rule of law and ‘mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.’ Our government should express in no uncertain terms how daft this policy is to its US counterparts, and press home how counter-productive it is in its professed fight to confront terrorism.
Sir Mo Farah. (The Guardian, 29th January 2017)
Farah, who is a Somalia-born four-time Olympic champion, lives and trains in the US, while being a UK citizen. He speaks about his own situation.
On 1 January this year, Her Majesty the Queen made me a knight of the realm. On 27 January, President Donald Trump seems to have made me an alien. I am a British citizen who has lived in America for the past six years – working hard, contributing to society, paying my taxes and bringing up our four children in the place they now call home. Now, me and many others like me are being told that we may not be welcome. It’s deeply troubling that I will have to tell my children that daddy might not be able to come home – to explain why the president has introduced a policy that comes from a place of ignorance and prejudice.
I was welcomed into Britain from Somalia at eight years old and given the chance to succeed and realise my dreams. I have been proud to represent my country, win medals for the British people and receive the greatest honour of a knighthood. My story is an example of what can happen when you follow polices of compassion and understanding, not hate and isolation.
Steffen Seibert, spokesperson for the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. (The Guardian, 29th January 2017)
The spokesperson emphasises the responsibility of the international community under The Geneva Convention.
The chancellor regrets the US government’s entry ban against refugees and the citizens of certain countries. She is convinced that the necessary, decisive battle against terrorism does not justify a general suspicion against people of a certain origin or a certain religion. The Geneva refugee convention requires the international community to take in war refugees on humanitarian grounds. All signatory states are obligated to do this. The German government explained this policy in their call with the US President yesterday.
UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. (The Guardian, 29th January 2017)
Jeremy Corbyn says the Britain expects, and deserves, that the State Visit of the US President should be cancelled.
Donald Trump should not be welcomed to Britain while he abuses our shared values with his shameful Muslim ban and attacks on refugees’ and women’s rights. Theresa May would be failing the British people if she does not postpone the state visit and condemn Trump’s actions in the clearest terms. That’s what Britain expects and deserves.
Tim Farron, leader of the UK Liberal Democrat Party. (The Guardian, 29th January 2017)
Farron agrees that, in the current situation, The President should not be welcomed to Britain on a State Visit. He criticises the British Government for its inaction in dealing with this crisis.
Downing Street has finally distanced itself from President Trump’s appalling ban on Muslim people after Theresa May failed to do so. By then the damage to Britain’s reputation had been done. The British people were waiting for a Love Actually moment, instead they saw our prime minister behaving like Trump’s poodle.
Any visit by President Trump to Britain should be on hold until his disgraceful ban comes to an end. Otherwise Theresa May would be placing the Queen in an impossible position of welcoming a man who is banning British citizens purely on grounds of their faith.
Still Boris Johnson’s Foreign Office is dithering and has provided no travel advice to British citizens who could be caught up in the ban. When will Theresa May’s Conservative Brexit government stop cozying up to unsavoury leaders and get a grip of this mounting crisis?
London Mayor Sadiq Khan. (The Guardian, 29th January 2017)
The London Mayor, who is a Muslim, insists that we cannnot just shrug our shoulders and say, “It’s not our problem.”
President Trump’s ban on refugees and immigrants from certain countries is shameful and cruel. The USA has a proud history of welcoming and resettling refugees. The President can’t just turn his back on this global crisis – all countries need to play their part. While every country has the right to set its own immigration policies, this new policy flies in the face of the values of freedom and tolerance that the USA was built upon.
I’m pleased that the Prime Minister has now said she and the government do not agree with President Trump’s policy, which will affect many British citizens who have dual nationality, including Londoners born in countries affected by the ban.
As a nation that, like the USA, values tolerance, diversity and freedom, we cannot just shrug our shoulders and say: ‘It’s not our problem’.
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. (Twitter 28th January 2017)
Trudeau emphasised that Canada is still open and welcoming refugees.
To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength.
Image Credit: Flickr/Fibonacci Blue (Creative Commons)