Donald Trump and his executive order banning the entry of nationals from seven Muslim countries into the United States on the pretext that they are potential terrorists marked, in a worrisome way, the last Summit of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government that was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Jan. 30 and Jan. 31.
The official speeches were somewhat restrained, seeking to convey the idea that the measures taken by the president of the largest funder of the United Nations were only temporary. However, behind the scenes, there was no lack of voices accusing the Trump administration of in reality, promoting a policy of global indifference by prohibiting the entrance of refugees fleeing wars, which had at their genesis, the tentacles of the “American friend” and the other well-known great powers.
Blocking the entrance of terrorists into the United States and making America strong and great again, as Trump argues, is a false argument, as many of the African politicians and commentators present in Addis Ababa said. The truculent manner in which Trump is conducting his American immigration policy is seen by them as being not just segregationist, but also as a concerted action, which has as its objective in the long run stopping the entrance of ethnic minorities into the United States. Sadly, it seems the administration of the multimillionaire Trump wants to apply the old Charles Darwin theory of natural selection to the economically and socially less advantaged.
Africa and its thinking masses, who saw the complete degradation of a stable and prosperous country such as Libya, hope to have more restraint from Trump, and more than that, greater understanding. They think that the United States, a nation with a history of immigration, should not repeat the errors of history, and that Trump, as a son and grandson of Scottish and German immigrants, should be a top guardian of this historic legacy.
Banning the entrance of Muslims on the pretext that they are potential terrorists is neither just nor politically correct when there are millions of American Muslims. Terrorism will not be combatted with the globalization of indifference to the suffering of others. It can be combated with immigration policies of social inclusion and a requirement that in the relations between states, a reciprocity of treatment exists with relation to religion. For example, if building mosques in America is permitted, building churches should also be permitted in Saudi Arabia.
Also, the best path to stopping terrorism will never be by blocking the entrance of citizens from countries whose economic, political and social chaos has, as its genesis, I repeat, the hand of the “American friend.” It is necessary to not transform the dream of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. into a nightmare. American must not put aside that it is only a great nation today because it received, with open arms, talent coming from every corner of the world. Proof of this is shown in the Nobel Prizes that have been awarded. The numbers speak for themselves. More than a third of the American scientists who have won the Nobel Prize were born outside of the United States, and today about 17,000 foreigners study in American institutions, in master’s and doctorate programs. To stop all those talents from entering the United States is dealing a hard blow to science and will delay the development of humanity.
As António Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations, said at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, it is important that the United States of America, of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, continues to be the good host that it always has been. Do not fail to be generous to the refugees. Open the borders for those who flee from war, from hunger, and need protection.