The Trump administration is back at it again, putting another controversial motion in place. This past week, the Trump administration has begun cracking down on the use of electronics on major commercial flights from several Middle Eastern countries. Items such as laptops, tablets, gaming systems and any other device larger than a smartphone are no longer allowed on the cabin and must be checked with luggage. Gone are the days when Middle Easterners traveling to the U.S. could spend time glued to their laptop screen on these lengthy flights.
Specific countries affected by the ban include Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Many have seen this electronics ban as a subtle attack on the Middle East by the brash President Trump, who has been known for slamming Islamic culture. However, U.S. officials have justified this ban, claiming that this is a preventative measure to keep explosive electronic devices from making their way onto U.S.-bound flights. So this begs the question, is this an attack on Islam, or is this an attack on terrorism?
President Trump has been known for his stark opposition against terrorist activity from the Middle East and the need to put the protection of Americans first. The intelligence community has confirmed within recent weeks that members of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have begun to craft explosives that can be hidden within battery compartments in electronic devices. Alongside AQAP, al-Qaida in Syria and ISIS have been cited as potential threats as well.
The influence of our electronics ban has extended to the United Kingdom, where they have enacted a similar electronics ban on several Middle Eastern countries. Although this demonstrates that the United States isn’t the only country that feels this way towards radical Islam, this cannot be seen as a demonization of Islamic culture as a whole. The goodness in Islam far outweighs the bad, but we cannot succumb to the whims of terrorist pressure from the Middle East.
While people have been clamoring against President Trump’s blatant disregard of tact when it comes to political correctness and the Middle East, I believe that Trump and the Department of Homeland Security are completely right in enacting this electronics ban.
While this may seem like a trivial pursuit, we must remember the technological age we live in today. You can look in any lecture here at Hofstra and the majority of students will be in possession of a laptop. Most travellers rely on these electronic devices as a means of entertainment, or a way to keep their entire lives in balance while away from home. However, Qatar Airways has developed a workaround the ban in which they provide safe, complimentary laptops for on-flight use. Perhaps this shall set a precedent for other airlines affected by the ban.
In the grand scheme of things, the majority of countries affected by the electronics ban are at the highest risk of terrorist activity. Like it or not, the concept of radical Islam is currently public enemy number one in the eyes of Americans and it is a top priority to not let these ideas spread onto U.S. soil and endanger our citizens. Is this electronics ban perfect? No. Can the list of countries be refined? Yes. But for now, this is a step in the right direction in preventing future terrorist attacks and saving American lives.
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