EDITORS’ NOTE: ThinkProgress will call Trump’s order a Muslim ban

A note from the ThinkProgress editors.

CREDIT: AP Photo/John Minchillo
CREDIT: AP Photo/John Minchillo

Last week, Donald Trump signed a Muslim ban.

The “Protection Of The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States” order bans nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States, for at least the next three months. The order also suspends all refugee admission and resettlement for the next four months, and permanently bans all Syrian refugees from the country until further notice.

At ThinkProgress, we will call this order a Muslim ban in our reporting.

Technically, the ban targets seven Muslim-majority countries that were labeled as countries of concern under the Obama administration. Trump doesn’t care about this. Those advising him told him this was simply the best way to do a Muslim ban “legally.”


There are many other Muslim-majority countries not targeted. But the order does not have to apply to every Muslim to be considered a Muslim ban. Banning approximately 200 million Muslims from the country, simply because of where they are from, should be enough.

President Donald Trump campaigned on “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” This promise is still up on his website. Many of those on Trump’s team have repeatedly referred to last week’s order as a Muslim ban. His aides have expressed interested in expanding the ban to other Muslim-majority countries.

The ban he signed last week also contains a specific exemption for refugees facing “religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.” In other words, non-Muslim refugees in Muslim-majority countries are the exception.

Calling it a Muslim ban recognizes the Islamophobia that motivated Trump, but it does not take away from the fact that all nationals of the countries targeted — be they Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian, atheist, or unwilling to have their spirituality limited to a label — are impacted by this order.

On the other hand, declining to describe this policy as what it is — an immigration ban targeted specifically at Muslims — means ignoring both the intent behind Trump’s order and the harm it is inflicting. It is the job of ThinkProgress to shed a light on that harm, and to accurately describe the actions that are causing it.