September 11th, 2001. What does that date mean to you? I certainly know what it means to me. The terrorist attacks of 2001 cross my mind every day, but as time has progressed, I think Americans have begun to forget. President Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven contested countries in the Middle East has been sparking enormous outrage amongst Democrats and some Republicans as well. Here is some perspective: In 1986, Saddam Hussein launched the brutal Anfal campaign which triggered a global response to the region, and on August 7th, 1990, the U.S. placed troops in Saudi Arabia after Iraq invaded Kuwait, launching Operation Desert . Ever since then, we have had active and reserve duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces stationed in the Middle East. Why? Because there is a present and rapidly growing global threat of terrorism. The perpetrators of 9/11 were supposed “immigrants,” and when our security levels were not at full scrutiny, the Twin Towers were blown out of the sky and 2,996 innocent Americans were killed, and over 6,000 . And now, with the rising presence of terrorist groups like ISIS in the Middle East around the world, our national security is of high interest, and a travel ban from controversial Middle Eastern states in effect is smart until we can reform our vetting process.
One of the big issues according to the ban’s opposition is that it is “against American values.”. The previous statement is entirely subjective. The travel ban may seem to be against American values because it is excluding people from certain countries from entering the United States. This is a necessary measure for our safety. The ban is not against American values because it is in favor of our national security. Just like when millions of people from all across the globe immigrated through Ellis Island, New York, we had a screening process that vetted out those with criminal records and who would not uphold the values of freedom, acceptance, and democracy. We are a nation of immigrants, but we cannot accept any more immigrants from the listed countries: Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Syria, and . Why? Immigrants from these countries could be a possible threat to the safety and security of our people. Terrorist groups from the listed regions regions include ISIL (formerly Al-Qaeda in Iraq and commonly known as ISIS), Anshar al-Shari’a (in Darnah and Benghazi), Boko Haram, Jundallah, Kata’ib Hezbollah, Al-Shabaab, Kongra-Gel, Al-Nusra Front, and ISIL . Before admitting any immigrants from these war-torn countries, we must keep the travel ban in full effect and enforce a strict vetting system in which possible threats to national and or global security and deported, and victims of their circumstance are helped and nurtured into our great country, because that is the American way. Terrorism is a serious threat to our way of life, and you do not realize how much freedom you have until it is taken away from you. As ISIS promotes an atmosphere of fear around the globe, we must not be wary of our safety and security.
Another issue that the ban’s opposition takes is that the ban is a “Muslim ban.” The travel ban is not specifically targeting ethnic groups or religions; it is focused on the people. The ban is not specific to Islam. Other religions practiced in the banned countries include Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and . Also, the ethnic groups of the Assyrians and the Yazidis are present in the banned countries. As President Trump is consistently portrayed as a bigoted racist by leftist media like CNN, opposition of the ban has been amalgamating their perception of his personality with his policies. Liberal protesters all around the nation are calling the ban racist because they believe Trump is racist. Whether Trump is racist or not is something we will never know. But we do know the logistics of this ban, and the travel ban is not a “Muslim ban,” and is most certainly not racist.
That being said, we as Americans need to come together in this time of apprehensiveness, and understand what it means to be an American. Americans are accepting of all religions, faiths, and races. We all have hopes and dreams, and those of us who live in the U.S. are lucky because the standards upheld throughout our nation enable us to pursue our passions and have a world of information at the palms of our hands. We have access to education, healthcare, and shelter. As terrorism is a steady presence in our lives, we must we vigilant of our freedoms and we must protect ourselves. We must not forget the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and their devastating effect on our country. It could happen again at any time. And most importantly, we must not forget what it means to be an American. If you have an issue with something, you can speak with your local government. You can exercise your freedom of speech, religion, and peaceful assembly. So, be thankful for your freedoms and privileges, because they could be threatened if there was another terrorist attack on our soil. Remember, the travel ban is not trying to exclude, it is trying to protect us.