One of the main questions on last night’s BBC Question Time was, as expected, around Donald Trump’s “immigration ban” and wether the Queen should revoke the invitation to him for a State visit.
Nick Hewer, presenter of Countdown and previous right hand man to Alan Sugar on the BBC’s ‘The Apprentice‘, went on a tirade about Trump’s policy indicating that the policy on Immigration will help galvanise terrorists against America.
He could not have got it more wrong despite quoting a man who is an “authority” on the subject. He said;
“I don’t know how many people here have read Patrick Cockburn’s piece, a great journalist, who is recognised as being an authority on all this and said that “Trump has turned himself into the greatest recruiting sergeant for ISIL, ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra” because, what he has done with that long winded signature of his is turn every Muslim in the world and questioned where they stand in the eyes of one of the greatest nations in the world and they think less of the States now and that inexorably leads to recruits joining (ISIS) rather than..fighting ISIS”
– Nick Hewer, TV presenter
Patrick Cockburn is a one time Middle East correspondent for The Independent and a one time correspondent for Moscow and Washington and more recently a book writer on modern Iraq. He has also won several journalistic awards.
It’s puzzling then how such a statement can come from someone apparently so informed. Not only this but Hewer is clearly someone in bias-awe of the US.
Perhaps Cockburn has mindlessly forgotten that US foreign policy has seen the US overthrow several foreign leaders over the years of predominantly Muslim countries including Iraq and Libya, to name just two, both of which have led directly to the complete destabilisation of the entire Middle East which ultimately has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims.
Perhaps he has forgotten that the US has illegaly targeted people in foreign nations using drones such as in Pakistan, or maybe he has forgotten that the US more recently decided to fight ISIS using other less evil Jihadist groups, through a proxy war in Syria, supplying them arms and providing them intelligence. Then gave up on them by admitting ‘defeat‘, as they see it, by Russia resulting in the defeat of the Jihadist rebels in Aleppo.
What do you think all of that does for Anti West sentiment? But of course, Donald Trump’s temporary block on people from some high risk Muslim countries is seen by Cockburn as the greatest threat to world peace. Clearly Hewer agrees. This couldn’t be further from the truth but it is popular to be seen to condemn Trump regardless of the facts.
This blog does not support Trump at all, but we also call out hyperbole when we see it, regardless who the hyperbole is against.
There is though one more point to make around Hewer’s statement. The second half of his statement clearly implies, wether he meant it or not, that every Muslim is now capable of turning to terrorism because of Trumps policy. What on earth does that say for Muslims?
We like to think that most right minded, sensible Muslims will respond in the right way, we don’t think that all Muslims will now consider terrorism as a response to a temporary block on travel. If you think that, it says more about your opinion of Muslims than anything.
We think they will respond the way the previous speaker to Hewer did. An Iraqi Kurd in the audience who stated that it’s ‘up to the US what policy they introduce’ but politely pointed out that innocent people would be caught up in the new restrictions.
That’s about the only response that should be given in the grand scheme of things, and it’s the only response we should expect.
The real issues regarding US policy are coming down the track and some of those policies will lead to greater problems for the wider global Muslim community, and when that time comes we should not bury our heads like we have done for at least the last 20 years.