Washington: Across the Muslim world, the refrain was resounding: President Donald Trump’s freeze on refugee arrivals and visa requests from seven predominantly Muslim countries will have major diplomatic repercussions, worsen perceptions of Americans and offer a propaganda boost to the terrorist groups Trump says he is targeting.
Trump’s stance has been evident since the early days of his campaign, when he advocated a “complete and total shutdown” of all Muslims entering the United States.
Trump has since softened his language, casting his order Friday as a way to keep terrorists, not Muslims, out of the United States.
But in interviews with dozens of officials, analysts and ordinary citizens across Muslim-majority countries, there was overwhelming agreement that the order issued Friday signaled a provocation: a sign that the US president sees Islam itself as the problem.
“I think this is going to alienate the whole Muslim world,” said Mouwafak al-Rubaie, a lawmaker and former national security adviser in Iraq.