Tories face backlash: Over one million people say Donald Trump not welcome for state visit

Nathanael Williams

Following an executive order banning Muslims from entry to the US, Trump finds himself a centre of campaign to block state visit

OVER A MILLION people from Scotland and the rest of the UK have signed a petition urging the UK government to downgrade its invitation of a State visit to US President Donald J Trump.

The petition began yesterday (Sunday 29 January), in response to Trump’s executive order banning entry of Muslims to the US from different seven countries, has obtained over 1,660,000 signatures and is the second biggest online petition in UK history. 

It follows a full condemnation of the policy by the Scottish Government, Scottish Labour, the Greens and Liberal Democrats after hundreds of people found themselves detained at US airports over the weekend.

Commenting on the chaos and heartache caused by the Muslim ban Stewart McDonald, MP for Glasgow South, said: “These actions run contrary to our values, our humanitarian obligations as signatories to the Geneva Convention, and play into the hands of hostile actors such as Daesh and will potentially undermine our national security and our wider interests.

“As such, I will be writing to the prime minister and urging her to suspend plans to welcome the United States President on an official state visit. Until the UK Government can achieve concrete assurances that the US will adhere to its Geneva Convention obligations in full, then now is not the time to be rolling out the red carpet to the president, allowing him to meet the Queen, or address both Houses of Parliament.”

The seven countries from which dual nationals and refugees are restricted from entering the US are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia. However, as analysts have pointed out only two of the countries Somalia and Libya have any have had connections to any terror plots planned or committed against the US homeland.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has faced heavy criticism for failing to condemn in the quickest and strongest terms the ban on Muslims, refugees and those who hold legal immigration and travel green cards.

“These actions run contrary to our values, our humanitarian obligations as signatories to the Geneva Convention.” Stewart Mcdonald MP

Those caught up in the travel ban included Hamaseh Tayari, a Glasgow resident who holds an Iranian passport was due to fly back to Scotland, where she works as a vet but was denied entry onto the flight; but who was able to fly an alternative route due to £2,000 being raised by the campaign group Women for Independence (Wfi).

Having met President Trump last week May later stated to the press that the actions undertaken by his administration were “for the US alone” to consider.

The petition, having surpassed 100,000 signatures, means it is eligible to be considered for debate on the floor of the House of Commons. MPs from the SNP, Labour and the Liberal Democrats pledge to follow the progress of the possible debate decision and to write letters to the prime minister.

It was also revealed that one of Theresa May’s own cabinet ministers, Nadhim Zahawi who was in charge of the UK’s trade brief and who was born in Iraq would be affected by the ban.

The seven countries from which those who also have dual nationality are restricted from entering the US are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia.

Mcdonald added: “These actions have already impacted on a number of UK citizens and residents whom the Prime Minister has a supreme obligation to. Her wider obligation to those fleeing persecution and war compel her not to just issue meek press statements, but show us she can tackle these issues head on.”

At airports across America, protesters gathered to oppose the ban and immigration lawyers went to terminals to find any detained persons in need of legal aid.

Yesterday, a ruling order from a federal judge has put a halt to the detention of some refugees and those with green cards for entry in the US. However, there were still report of customs officials not following through with the suspension of the Trump executive order ban.

Later today (Monday 30 January) there will be several protests of the Muslim ban in Scotland’s cities with one being held in Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow at 5pm and another in Edinburgh on the Mound at 6pm.

Picture courtesy of Matt Johnson

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