01-Feb-2017 @ 18:00
The European Parliament today debated the recent travel restrictions imposed by the Trump Administration.
Conservative MEP Syed Kamall, leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists group, said the arbitrary restrictions risk playing into the arms of extremists like Daesh. However he cautioned that hot heads of protest risk not only the new Administration ignoring its allies, but also risk exacerbating those people within Europe who have concerns about the ability of mainstream politicians to respond to their legitimate concerns.
Dr Kamall said: "According to a study by the Cato Institute, the widely-respected US think tank, since 1975, no American has been killed on US soil by a national from any of the seven countries listed on President Trump’s executive order.
"Those who believe that laws should be fair, that there should be equality under the law, that the primary functions of law should be enforcement of
contracts and social order, will rightly be concerned by this arbitrary ban.
"It affects not only Muslims but also affects Christians fleeing persecution and war. And sending a message that there is some inherent contradiction between being a good Muslim and a being a good citizen of a Western democracy simply plays into the arms of Daesh and other extremists who make exactly the same claim when recruiting disillusioned and disconnected young Muslim men and women as terrorists.
"But whatever we in this chamber may think, the fact is that Americans voted for a candidate that said what he thought, and now find they have a President
that does what he promised to do. So we must also accept that this President, his promises, these policies, are the consequence of a growing tide
of discontent, to be found not only in middle America but also in many of our countries.
"Electorates that have lost faith in mainstream politicians on both sides of the Atlantic. Electorates that have lost trust in politicians' ability to listen and act upon their legitimate concerns. Electorates attracted by simplistic solutions offered by politicians on the edges of the political spectrum.
"And while we express our concerns over President Trump’s executive orders, we must also realise that as long as the gains from globalisation are seen only in the portfolios of company directors and not in the pay packets of workers; as long as our migration and asylum policies are seen as more about compassion, diversity and political correctness and less about ensuring integration, we will find politicians pursuing similar policies. Making electoral gains in France, the Netherlands and elsewhere in the EU.
"For every time mainstream politicians dismiss those that disagree with the direction of political travel in Europe and America as racists or populists, it demonstrates an inability to offer a credible alternative.
"In the meantime, no matter how strongly we feel about the current policies of the new US President, let us ask what is more effective: The hot heads of protest, or the cool head of diplomacy?
"Let us make it clear to our American allies that decisions of the new US administration, which lack the support of Congress, are arbitrary, have been poorly planned without preparation for the consequences, will not make America great again. They will not strengthen but only weaken our transatlantic relationship.
"And let us remember that friends are more likely to pay attention to friendly words of reason, not raised voices of anger."« Back