There is so much about our well-traveled and highly connected planet that is still unheralded and unknown. And, just like all of the great ages of discovery, facts and new information have the ability to dispel fear and deliver insight that can bring humanity closer together. However, the opposite is also true: to ignore the facts is to be an obscurant and remain fearful of our neighbors.
In the last week we witnessed the rocky rollout of the “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” executive order signed by our two-week young president.
The executive order has not only caused massive confusion for the folks who are required to carry out the orders but also generated turmoil and trepidation for those affected by the “travel ban” and their sympathizers.
Only a week after the executive order was signed and implemented a federal judge called for a provisionary restraining order to block the ban nationwide. Regardless of the status of the executive order, there is still much to learn from its meaning as the embers still glow and the ashes settle.
The seven countries that were temporarily banned from traveling through our golden doors have common characteristics. The majority of the populations are Muslim and have been occupied, bombed or experienced some form of intervention by the American Military in the last few decades.
Additionally, not a single immigrant from these seven nations has killed anybody in a U.S. terror attack in the last 40 years, according to the CATO Institute’s 2016 report, “Terrorism and Immigration: A Risk Analysis.”
In fact, it’s a much greater likelihood to be murdered by somebody other than a foreign-born terrorist; 250 times more likely to be exact. The chances of being killed by a foreign-born terrorist in the U.S. are glaringly only 1 in 3.6 million or 0.00003 percent. The least threatening group found in the study were undocumented immigrants.
As for refugees of the last four decades, only three Americans have been murdered—all of which took place in the 1970s by Cuban refugees.
There are discrepancies to be found in any database and 9/11 accounts for the major blip in these graphs. The 19 men who took part in the tragic attack killed 2,983 Americans that day alone. That accounts for about 87 percent of the murders caused by terrorists in the U.S. between 1975 and 2015. Coincidentally, the countries of origin of the 9/11 attackers (the majority from Saudi Arabia) are not amongst the countries currently being persecuted by the executive order.
The White House and the “oppositional” media have disagreed on whether or not this executive order can be called a ban, or more specifically a “Muslim ban.” Truthfully, there are other Muslim-majority nations, like those mentioned above, that are not among the seven countries in question.
However, section 5(b) in the executive order is most revealing. It states that it will “prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution,” provided that they are not of the religious majority, or in this case, Muslim.
Our country has a habit of inflicting irreparable harm to others when we grow afraid of the huddled masses and build walls both real and imaginary to keep them out. The record shows that we chose “extreme vetting” and violence to solve our worldly issues on our way to the Golden Age. It is my hope that we can collectively choose compassion and cognition to ease the meteoric rise of fear and distrust in this new age that is all but decided.