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Muslim associations warn Trump’s immigration ban could foster terrorism

Thousands of people attend an anti-Donald Trump travel ban protest outside Hatfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia U.S., January 29, 2017.
Christopher Aluka Berry | Reuters
Thousands of people attend an anti-Donald Trump travel ban protest outside Hatfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia U.S., January 29, 2017.

Several Muslim groups across the world have expressed concerns over U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban.

The decision to ban people from seven-Muslim majority countries to enter the United States will give further arguments to extremist groups, such as the Islamic State, and will not guarantee national secutiry.

"The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expressed grave concern at the executive order passed by the U.S. president banning nationals of 7 OIC member states," the association of 57 Islamic countries said in a statement on Monday.

"Such selective and discriminatory acts will only serve to embolden the radical narratives of extremists and will provide further fuel to the advocates of violence and terrorism," the group added in the statement.

Other groups have expressed similar concerns. Oussama Jamma, secretary general at the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations said in a press release: "What this executive order amounts to is a "Muslim ban" on nationals who are trying to escape the same extremism and violence that Mr. Trump is claiming to protect the country from."

"USCMO calls on elected officials to reject the anti-Muslim rhetoric touted by the Trump administration in the name of national security," Jamma added.

According to the British Independent newspaper, Al Qaeda, ISIS and other extremist groups have begun using Trump's ban as evidence that the U.S. is at war with Islam. Such groups have used the word "blessed" to describe the ban for reigniting anti-U.S. sentiment in Muslim-majority countries.

Renad Mansour from the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House told CNBC that Trump's immigration ban feeds into the rhetoric of extremist groups. "When you have the west offering this kind of rhetoric it makes their (radical groups) job easier," he told CNBC over the phone.

According to experts, President Trump's order forgets that perhaps the biggest threat could be inside U.S. borders.

"The executive order restricting immigration that President Donald Trump signed Friday is unlikely to accomplish the goal its title suggests of protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the U.S., principally because the more serious threat the U.S. faces is from potential homegrown terrorists," Aaron David Miller, vice president at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, wrote in the Wall Street Journal.

"The order makes counterterrorism harder. It has already drawn severe criticism from the Iraqi government, whose forces are working closely with U.S. forces against ISIS, and from Iraqi politicians now threatening to impose travel restrictions on Americans entering Iraq," he added.