CNN International Correspondent: Trump's Muslim Ban Alienates Muslim Allies And Harms The Fight Against ISIS
Clarissa Ward: People In Muslim Countries "Vexed" By "Divisive, Anti-Islamic Rhetoric," When US Is Relying On Them To Fight ISIS On The Ground
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From the August 15 edition of CNN's At This Hour With Berman And Bolduan:
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KATE BOLDUAN (CO-HOST): Clarissa, [Donald Trump's] original ban when we heard -- the original ban on Muslims that he described, first described back in December, that was roundly criticized by leaders outside of the United States. How is this lay out, when you hear him say, and Bob seems to agree with it in part, that going to ban people from coming into the country from countries with heavy terrorist activities. The problem is is he doesn't lay out exactly the extensive list of what those countries are. How is that likely to be received outside the U.S.?
CLARISSA WARD: Well, listen Kate, the only thing I would say is I just gave you a list of countries where there has been momentum in the fight against ISIS. I mentioned in the context of that Syria and Libya. The people who are fighting on the ground, yes, the U.S. is providing the air cover. Yes, I'm sure the U.S. is providing technology, expertise and funding. But the people fighting on the ground are Syrians and Libyans. So how do they feel when they hear this kind of Islamophobic rhetoric coming from the White House, being told that they can't even apply for a visa to visit the U.S., while meanwhile, they're the ones out there the on the battlefield shedding blood and dying to fight against ISIS? So I think that you're going to see definitely people will be vexed by this in Muslim countries. Whether or not the ban applies to their country or not, it's still the same idea that it feeds into this divisive anti-Islamic rhetoric, and, of course, it is Muslims that the U.S. is relying upon to fight these important battles, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Bob does it pose a bit of a mixed message? Because as Jessica Schneider was laying out, another bit of the plan that they've laid out is that any country, any nation that will fight ISIS is an ally of the United States. It seems, as Clarissa is laying out the realities on the battlefield, there's a bit of a mixed message here.
ROBERT BAER: Well, Clarissa is absolutely right. It's been Muslims that have been fighting this. They are the ones who are going to take Raqqa, not us, not our troops. They are the ones that are going to deal with Damascus, and they're the ones who are going to deal with Libya. Yes, we need those as allies and we need to bring them into the United States for training, for visits, and the rest, so a complete ban on Muslims is never going to happen. Plus you have 15 to 20 million Muslims in Europe that are European citizens. And who can you tell who's a Muslim, who's not when they put on their application? You can say you're a Christian. It's impossible to tell with the names. They can be changed.