Al Qaeda, Isis and other jihadi groups are thrilled with US President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration targeting Muslim countries, describing it as proof that the US is at war with Islam.
Extremist social channels are calling this new ban “blessed” for fuelling growth in anti-western sentiments, much like the invasion of Iraq.
Nobody should be surprised. Islamic extremists have always perpetuated the idea that the west is at war with all of Islam, as a method of fueling recruitment and radicalisation.
After 9/11, President Bush recognised this, and made it clear the US was at war with terrorism, not Islam. Obama did the same. They refused to play into the hands of the extremists.
Unfortunately, Trump doesn’t share the same tact.
“[The ban] plays into this clash of civilisations idea, which is something that global jihadis need as fuel, to claim Americans are against them, that the West is against them,” Dr Renad Mansour, a fellow from the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House, told The Independent. “Trump is seen to be validating what they already claimed was happening.”
While both Bush and Obama had flawed foreign policy, it’s clear that ISIS and extremism will not be defeated under President Trump.
Javad Zarif, the foreign minister of Iran, one of the countries affected, tweeted that the travel ban “will be recorded in history as a great gift to extremists and their supporters”.
What a mess.