Friday, 28 February, 2020

Are Restrictions on the Movements of Peoples an Effectual Way to Combat Terrorism?

By: Abdolreza Ghofrani *

United States House of Representatives has passed a bill making more restrictions of granting visa for the citizens of some countries, among them Iran, to enter America.

It is worthy to note that US has mutual visa exemption agreements with 38 countries and naturally with this new bill, if passed by senate and the president, more nationals of those countries will be  deleted from the list  ,having restrictions for entry United States.

The intention of this short paper is not to detail the reasons or motives for putting forth this bill, because it is a quite separate matter that cannot be elaborated here.

Certainly the requisite of visas and the laws of immigrations of other nationals is an undeniable right of any sovereign government that should be observed.

Because it is a part of any government responsibility to serve the security and safety of its citizens.

However, we should not lose sight of the fact that the global conditions have thoroughly changed in the course of past several decades. Everything is going toward globalization, or in better words, the world has already become globalized.

Now, the matter is that the world is a “globalized village” where the free movements of all nationals disrespecting their ethnics, religions and traditions, can be possible in spite of existing legal boundaries of the countries.

There is no doubt that the behavior of US lowers House, though being a part of that country sovereignty, is reversing this unavoidable and historical global trend.

Now the question is, will restrictions on the movements of the people of the world or depriving them the right of choosing their habitat, and thus having ties with other nationals be a wise and justified way to fight the terrorism? Everybody knows well that in the course of past two decades US has been among the countries with toughest restrictions, though selectively, for granting entrance visas to the aliens.

We can see, nevertheless, that this country is still vulnerable to terrorism, and even has become more susceptible to these gloomy phenomena. The sad and fatal 11 September event is a good indication of this fact, and it is more regrettable that those who committed this catastrophic crime have been from among the nationals of friendly and allied countries of the United States.

Not even a single individual from the countries United States have unfairly charged have been found in those terrorist gangs.

It is a pity that US has put more restrictions on the citizens of the said countries. There is no doubt that in a globalized world, such a behavior on the part of a big power with a strong economy as well as extraordinary military muscle will leave it more isolated, with an unpleasant murky image in the world.

In fact such behaviors not only adversely affect the global trade, cultural, economic, and scientific and health relations, but United States itself will be the great loser.

Of course, the bill proposed and passed by lower house needs to be ratified both by Senate and the president in order to be executed as a law. It is also worthy to note that this behavior can possible be an election ploy at the beginning of campaigns in States.

With this budge on the part of US and House of Representatives, they repeat the mistake they have always made, and that is the lack of attention with no deep pondering of existing global realities.

It is now crystal clear for the whole world that in all terrorists’ actions inside the United States, no single Iranian citizens have been either involved or planned and masterminded those adventures.

The bill passed by lower house, however, unfairly has put restrictions on Iranian citizens. Whereas, Saudis and Pakistani citizens, so far largely involved in terrorists acts, have been exempted from these restrictions.

This is nothing but a blunt segregation and if you like apartheid. It seems that to combat terrorism and simultaneously shun her more isolation, it is the best time now for the United States that firstly, with the collective cooperation of other countries, to work out an international solution for this global dilemma; and second it does undertake an inclusive and deeply survey of the causes and roots of terrorism from sociology, psychology, political, economic and cultural standpoints.

Because there is no guarantee that with these tentative solutions such as restrictions on the movements of the people, terrorism be even prevented let alone uprooted. The experiences of the past decades have clearly proved this.

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