Former president of the U.S Barack Obama has condemned Donald Trump’s travel ban on Muslims, refugees, and nationals from certain predominately Muslim countries.
A spokesman said, “The president [Obama] fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.”
Kevin Lewis, spokesman for Obama said that Barack Obama was heartened to see the protests that emerged across America in wake of the ban. Lewis continued to say that in his final speech as president Obama spoke of the importance of citizens to stand up when American values are at stake, and to be the guardian of democracy.
Over the weekend Donald Trump signed an executive order that banned Syrian refugees and put in a 120-day ban on refugees from other parts of the world. It also banned nationals from countries in the Middle East and Africa from entering the U.S. for ninety days.
The official line is that this is a counter-terrorism measure.
Obama Rejects Trump Comparison
The former president rejected the notion that Trump’s ban is similar to the ban his administration imposed on Iraqis in 2011. In fact he rejected it was a ban at all. Lewis pointed out that what has been described as a ban was just a longer vetting process in wake of taking precautions against terrorism. There was not a single day during the longer vetting process when an Iraqi did not enter the U.S.
The ban has already prompted legal action. The Council on American – Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a lawsuit claiming the ban was unconstitutional and violates the first amendment which establishes the right to freedom of religion.
Another legal challenge has also been mounted by Jay Inslee, governor of Washington.
The Trump administration denies that the ban discriminates against Muslims and it is understood that the administration is going to target more countries with the ban and extend its remit.