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Opinion: Trump, Iran and Mixing Issues - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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We have wasted many years by not differentiating between our interests and those of Iran and by not differentiating between true causes and fake ones. Iran’s regime has succeeded in exploiting our issues; the Palestinian issue and Arab and Muslim issues, and it has used them to achieve its aims.

Many only understood this fact when it was too late, especially after they saw the crimes that Iran has committed in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain. Now we will see Iran and those in its camp repeating their actions and launching campaigns to confront the new American administration and other governments that stand against them. For this reason, we must not mix facts with interests and let Iran and its allies fight for themselves.

What is the aim of all these loud confrontations that President Donald Trump is involved in? In my opinion, his aim is to build his presidential popularity by confronting his opponents, and there are many, in the media, the Democratic Party and Congress.

For example, due to complaints made by citizens that foreigners are taking their jobs, Trump decided to build a wall with America’s neighbour Mexico to prevent more than 700,000 people immigrating illegally yearly. Due to concerns about terrorism, he banned the citizens of 7 Muslim countries where there is chaos and terrorism from entering the country for three months. As trade unions are against US companies that open factories outside the United States, he has pledged to impose fines on their imported goods.

In order to convince people who criticise government contracts that he is against corruption, he sent two large contracts for review, including a contract for building his presidential airplane. As there are conservatives who are against abortion, he ordered that government spending on abortions is stopped.

We cannot say that Trump is against Muslims considering that he is building a wall to prevent his Mexican neighbours, most of whom are Christians, from illegally immigrating. He promised that he would deport 11 million illegal residents in the United States, most of whom are non-Muslims. Amongst the 57 Muslim countries in the world, Trump only imposed a ban on seven of them because of the wars, unrest or weak central authorities there.

Most countries in the world are reluctant to grant visas to the citizens of these countries due to the lack of central authorities that they can coordinate with on security issues. Terrorism is not exclusive to these countries; it is present in the countries of Central Asia, in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other Muslim countries. It is even present in western countries such as Belgium, France and Italy. The reason why Trump did not ban the Muslims of these countries is because they have central governments and security apparatuses that he can coordinate with and therefore decrease dangers.

Trump’s battle is not with Muslims or Mexicans but it is on the American street. He feels that he promised his voters and will try his best to fulfil the promises that people elected him for. Despite his insistence, he may not be able to win his battles because of popular protests and legal obstructions. In any case, this is an internal American matter.

The United States has benefitted from migrants, refugees, naturalised citizens and even illegal immigrants more than any other country in the world. They have managed its economy which is the biggest in the world. The American experience of absorbing others is inspirational for many countries that seek economic competition. They have changed their standards which are now relevant to the gains and benefits which labourers bring to the state and the market.

It is natural that unemployed people and those who are less fortunate in society reject these foreigners. This happens in all societies as a result of competition for job opportunities and rivalry between political parties that use these issues in their electoral campaigns, like Trump did.

The new enthusiastic president, with all his authority, will not be able to prevent terrorism, deport all illegal immigrants or prevent people from entering the US through Mexico. However, he will try and do what he can inside the US and likewise, he will not be able to win every battle on a foreign level. Perhaps the most important decision that he made is not to cooperate with Iran- a matter that will anger Tehran. Tehran will then direct its puppets in Gaza, Iraq, Syria and Yemen and extremist groups which falsely operate in the name of Islam against him.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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