Feb 3 2017
The war on terror and the fight against extremist groups quite rightly continues to dominate foreign policy. I am a firm believer that groups such as ISIS need strong action taken against them. However I do not believe that banning the entire population of certain countries from entering your borders is an appropriate way to tackle the issue and could in fact have the opposite effect.
It’s frightening to think that the rhetoric that was used during the US presidential campaign is very much beginning to come true; and the reality of what the Americans have voted for in their election of president Trump is only now beginning to hit home.
It’s correct that Governments have a responsibility to defend their countries’ borders, however to persecute entire Muslim countries is a brash and irrational approach. Especially when the majority of people in these countries share the same disdain towards extremist groups and reject their ideology of hatred.
There have been calls this week to cancel President Trump’s proposed state visit until he lifts the ban, and the related petition has received a substantial amount of support. I share the concerns of those who have signed this petition and I think it is now only right that the Government seeks assurances from the President’s office that the signing away of basic human rights will not continue.
I think it is imperative that we maintain a good relationship with the United States of America – our greatest and most powerful ally. However we must not do this in a way that condones the illiberal acts that the President insists on introducing.
If we are to learn anything from history then it is populist figures challenging human rights need to be stood up to, as one of the leading Western democracies we have a moral duty to lead by example and stand up for those being prejudiced against.