LONDON — British athlete Mo Farrah has described Donald Trump’s ban on people from certain Muslim countries from entering the USA as a policy of “hate and isolation” after learning that he is one of the thousands of people affected by the contentious executive order.
On Saturday the US President signed an order banning people from seven countries with predominantly Muslim populations from entering the country for at least 90 days.
It has left thousands in a state of legal limbo, with people who were already in transit detained in US airports overnight amid nationwide protests.
The countries blacklisted are Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
The executive order also extends to those with dual citizenships and, as a result, some British people are currently banned from entering the US. One of these is Conservative Party MP Nadhim Zahawi, who was born in Iraq, and British gold medal winner Mo Farrah, who was born in Somalia before moving to Britain aged eight.
Farrah, who was knighted earlier this year after becoming the most successful track athlete in Britain’s Olympic history, released a statement that condemned the US President in strong and moving terms. It said:
“On 1st January this year, Her Majesty The Queen made me a Knight of the Realm. On 27th January, President Donald Trump seems to have made me an alien.
“I am a British citizen who has lived in America for the past six years — working hard, contributing to society, paying my taxes and bringing up our four children in the place they now call home. Now, me and many others like me are being told that we may not be welcome. It’s deeply troubling that I will have to tell my children that Daddy might not be able to come home — to explain why the President has introduced a policy that comes from a place of ignorance and prejudice.”
“I was welcomed into Britain from Somalia at eight years old and given the chance to succeed and realise my dreams. I have been proud to represent my country, win medals for the British people and receive the greatest honour of a knighthood. My story is an example of what can happen when you follow policies of compassion and understanding, not hate and isolation.”
An online petition has since been launched calling on Donald Trump’s planned state visit to the UK to be cancelled. If a petition receives 100,000 signatures or more then it must, by law, be considered for parliamentary debate. This petition — titled Prevent Donald Trump from making a State Visit to the United Kingdom — has nearly 150,000 at the time of writing.
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