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March 30, 2017

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It is friendships and alliances that will protect the US from terrorism

The executive order "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States" signed last week by U.S. President Donald Trump suddenly came to the fore worldwide. Some interpreted the order as the first step of a strategy that will ban Muslims from entering the U.S., while some argued that the USA is naturally entitled to defend itself.

Each day, a new anti-government campaign is declared over social media, while Muslims are feeling uncomfortable about being caught up in an internal political quarrel that has caused a divide among the American people.

As a Muslim, I believe that Mr. Trump has his heart in the right place, and that his stance is not against Islam but radicalism. He himself has highlighted this fact many times in his speeches. However, the fact that his first move on such a delicate matter was to issue an executive order has brought with it many misunderstandings and speculations. Taking advantage of the situation, the anti-Trump front has begun to cause great uproar within the country. The street protests in particular, which are noticeably orchestrated from a single center, further heightened the tension. Yet it is not difficult to extinguish the unease sparked by these executive orders. Compensatory policies will defuse the artificial tension generated by the demonstrations, undermining the ability of the anti-Trump media to manipulate the masses.

It is time for the Trump administration to realize that international terrorism is no longer a simple security issue. Radicalism is impossible to counter with police or even military measures. While waging a struggle against an entity that wields worldwide influence, sociological, psychological, economic and political measures are necessary. The struggle against radicalism cannot prevail through rigid methods; it requires acute thinking and elaborate planning. Presuppositions, preconceived opinions, extreme prejudice and extrajudicial executions will do more harm than good. It is important to make a distinction between the right and the wrong, the innocent and the guilty. Each step taken in the opposite direction will only serve to foster radicalism and allow it to do even greater damage both to the U.S. and to world peace. In fact, the foreign policy based on military counter-terrorist measures pursued by the USA in recent years proved the inefficacy of this method.

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