As an Arabic linguist who has lived in the Middle East, I read with concern the hysterical articles describing President Trump’s order blocking immigration from countries such as Syria and Somalia as “anti-Muslim.”
The most populous Muslim countries aren’t in the Middle East, rather they are Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria — not one of those banned.
Each state blocked was in various forms of failure and a hotbed of terrorism. And given the failure of these states, it is very hard to sort out bad from good since documentation is so lacking (and easily forged). Was his order the best way to deal with terrorism? Perhaps not. Am I anti-refugee? No, I’m much more comfortable than most as I have lived in majority-Muslim places. But his order wasn’t automatically anti-Muslim, nor was it the act of a crazy person.
Nathan Butler, Friday Harbor