President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump took to Twitter Thursday, hours before the start of Ramadan, to wish Muslim men, women, and children a “blessed Ramadan.” But something about the post rang a bit hollow given her father’s history of using wealthy Muslim figures but virtually banning those who didn’t fulfill a need of his. “Wishing Muslims, in the USA and across the globe, a peaceful and blessed Ramadan,” Ivanka Trump tweeted. “May this holy month be an opportunity to renew and strengthen your faith and find comfort in these challenging times through prayer, fasting and charitable deeds. Ramadan Mubarak!”
BuzzFeed News reporter Hamed Aleaziz wasted no time calling the family’s apparent insincerity out in a tweet of his own Thursday: “Less than two weeks into his presidency, Trump banned residents of 7 Muslim-majority countries from entering the US, causing chaos at airports,” he said. “The order came after he called for a ‘shutdown’ of all Muslims from entering the US as a presidential candidate in 2015.”
The president’s executive order restricted immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, and he followed that with an expansion to include Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan, and Tanzania. In the original order, Trump proclaimed in 2017: “Each of these countries is a state sponsor of terrorism, has been significantly compromised by terrorist organizations, or contains active conflict zones. Any of these circumstances diminishes the foreign government’s willingness or ability to share or validate important information about individuals seeking to travel to the United States. Moreover, the significant presence in each of these countries of terrorist organizations, their members, and others exposed to those organizations increases the chance that conditions will be exploited to enable terrorist operatives or sympathizers to travel to the United States.”
The ban conveniently excludes nations with Trump hotels, so it seems the president’s prejudices stop where he has room to profit. He even made a trip to Saudi Arabia the first foreign excursion of his presidency. It’s no wonder that he also accepted more than $270,000 from Saudi-backed lobbyists housing veterans at one of Trump’s hotels, according to The Washington Post. “Foreign countries understand that they can curry favor with the president by patronizing his businesses,” said Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff told the Post at the time. “It presents a real problem, in that it may work.”
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Apparently, not much has changed in Trump’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, with his first travel ban exempting nations where his hotels are located. In a broader showing of apparent anti-immigrant sentiment, Trump tweeted Thursday morning that an executive order banning immigrants for 60 days was “fully signed and ready to go.”
RELATED: Like the "Muslim ban," Trump's COVID-19 travel ban exempts countries where his resorts are located
“In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States,” Trump earlier announced. The order lays America’s economic losses from the coronavirus pandemic at the feet of other nations even though New York is currently the epicenter of the virus, and America’s COVID-19 death toll has long surpassed those in China and Italy. “I have determined that, without intervention, the United States faces a potentially protracted economic recovery with persistently high unemployment if labor supply outpaces labor demand,” Trump stated in a proclamation Wednesday.
RELATED: Trump to suspend immigration to the U.S. in a blatant attempt to distract from coronavirus failures
Although banning immigrants isn’t what I would call a respectful way to honor Ramadan, the president seems to have another interpretation of the holy month. And in his continued commitment to insincerity, this presidential statement on Ramadan was published on the White House website:
I wish all Muslims, both in the United States and across the world, a blessed and peaceful Ramadan.
For millions around the globe, this holy month is an opportunity to renew and strengthen their faith through rigorous fasting, devout prayer, reflective meditation, reading the Quran, and charitable deeds. These acts are closely aligned with the universal values that the Islamic faith promotes—peace, kindness, and love and respect for others.
Over the past months, we have seen how important the power of prayer can be during challenging times. Today, as the holy month of Ramadan commences, I pray that those who are observing this sacred time find comfort and reassurance in their faith.