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Trump Ban Inspires Anger And Mixed Reactions Worldwide - Published January 31st, 2017

Dismay and fury, alongside support from right wing European parties, echoed across the planet on Sunday - as community figures, politicians and celebrities voiced their opinions about the entry ban American President Donald Trump introduced for citizens and refugees of certain Muslim countries. On Saturday, the Trump ban sparked big protests at airports in Washington, New York, Minneapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas and San Francisco. The demonstrations carried on during Sunday, with crowds gathering in Battery Park, New York and by the White House, to express their disapproval of this controversial policy.

On Sunday, the President made a statement defending the Trump Muslim ban, arguing that the measure shared similarities with previous president Barack Obama's policy in 2011 - where visas for Iraqi refugees were banned for half a year. Trump said that America would issue visas to all nations again, after the government ensured that the best policies were adopted over the following few months.

Nonetheless, many have commented that the ban is not enforced in numerous Muslim countries with terrorism problems, like Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Afghanistan and United Arab Emirates. Speculation is rife that this could be due to the President's business interests in these countries.

Far right parties hailed Trump's policy as a vindication. Marine Le Pen, the nationalist French politician who is a leading contender in the spring presidential elections, said that Trump's win will facilitate a new age in cooperation between countries. In Germany, the right wing National Democratic Party celebrated what it described as big limitations on "Muslims and pseudo refugees" entering the US.

Also, Matteo Salvini, leader of the Italian Northern League party (known for its' anti immigrant stance) voiced his approval. Salvini told the press that he would like to see Trump's policy implemented in Italy. In doing so, he made reference to the many economic migrants and asylum seekers brought to Italy recently, when attempting to cross the Mediterranean. Salvini described this as "an invasion" that ought to be stopped. He is lobbying for an early election, and trying to persuade other nationalist leaders to join forces with his party during the campaign.

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, who has been criticized for welcoming refugees into Germany under her government, expressed her regret about the Trump Muslim ban. On Saturday, Merkel spoke to Trump about this on the telephone, referencing the Geneva Refugee Convention of 1951, which requires participating countries to accept people who are escaping from war. According to her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, Merkel believes that fighting terrorism can not justify casting an air of suspicion over people of a specific faith or origin. Reportedly, the German government will now look at how Germans with dual citizenship are likely to be affected by the US government's policies. Then, if required, the Germans will articulate their concerns to the Americans.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister of Britain, has said that she disagrees with Trump's measures and will negotiate with his government, should they have a negative impact on British nationals. This official statement came after May commented, during a Saturday meeting with Turkish officials, that the decision was up to the US. Leader of the opposition party in Britain, Jeremy Corbyn, said that Trump should be forbidden from visiting Britain, unless he lifts the temporary travel limitations. The British Parliament website features a petition, with thousands of signatures, calling for Trump to be banned from a proposed meeting with the Queen, due to his vulgarity and misogyny.

Undoubtedly, the diverse reaction to this policy reflects the worldwide uncertainty about what Trump's presidency will involve -- as well as the polarised planet in which he operates.


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