Trump is the ‘best caller to Islam’, says pro-Islamic State post
Sunni radicals claim US president’s ‘blessed ban’ will prompt US Muslims to join jihadis
Syrian families waiting to register at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon. Mr Trump’s order puts an indefinite hold on a programme resettling Syrian refugees. Photograph: Hassan Ammar/AP
Radical groups have celebrated Trump’s ban on entry into the US of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, arguing the bans demonstrate the US is at war with Islam.
Postings on pro-Islamic State media outlets claim President Trump’s decree could prompt US Muslims to join jihadis.
One post dubbed Mr Trump the “best caller to Islam”, while another said Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi should “inform Trump that banning Muslims from entering America is a ‘blessed ban’.”
Shia Iran – a country with no diplomatic relations with the US since 1980 – was the first country to react. Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif agreed with the Sunni radicals by calling the ban “a great gift to extremists”.
“Collective discrimination aids terrorist recruitment by deepening fault lines exploited by extremist demagogues to swell their ranks.”
He said Tehran would take reciprocal measures, but would not exclude any US citizen holding a valid visa. His ministry called the US decision “an obvious insult to the Islamic world and in particular to the great nation of Iran” as its citizens had been singled out for exclusion.
Ali Akbar Velayati, foreign policy adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said “Iranians were proud [because Iranians] don’t need acceptance from an unbalanced individual like Trump”. Parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani condemned the decree as “racist”.
War on terrorismIraqi lawmakers voted on Monday to ban for 90 days US visitors to their country. Before the vote they issued a statement saying “ Iraq is in the frontline of the war on terrorism . . . and it is unfair that Iraqis are treated in this way”.
Iraq’s nationalist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr urged the government to deport US citizens. Addressing the US administration, he said “it would be arrogance for you to freely enter Iraq and other countries while barring [their citizens] entrance to your own country”.
Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation units comprised largely of Shia militias agreed, al- though there are at least 5,000 US troops in Iraq bolstering Baghdad’s battle against Islamic State.
War-torn Yemen’s rebel foreign ministry said the US ban supported “extremists and sows divisions. All attempts to classify Yemen and its citizens as a probable source of terrorism and extremism is illegal and illegitimate.”
Sudan called the ban “very unfortunate” at a time Khartoum and Washington had decided to lift a 20-year package of economic sanctions on Sudan in exchange for its co-operation in the battle against terrorism.
RegretIndonesian foreign ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir expressed regret over the ban which would “negatively affect the global fight against terrorism and the management of refugees . . . It is wrong to link radicalism and terrorism to one particular religion.”
The ban covers citizens from Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Sudan whose visas and visa applications require “extreme vetting” before they are admitted, and all Syrians and refugees, whose entry is barred for three months until new procedures are in place for the admission of 50,000, down from 110,000 set by the former administration.