Trump's anti-Muslim Order 'A Sign of Totalitarianism,' Says Israeli Arab Leader

MK Ayman Odeh says he was 'moved and proud to see large numbers of Americans taking to the streets against Islamophobia and racism.'

The head of Israel's Arab parliamentary bloc, Ayman Odeh (R), leads a demonstration by Arab Israelis against house demolitions carried out by Israeli authorities in Arab neighbourhoods, in front of the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in Jerusalem on January 23, 2017.
MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP

The use of national law to "oppress and discriminate" against parts of the population is a "sign of the rise of totalitarian regimes," head of the Israeli Arab party the Joint List said on Sunday.

Ayman Odeh, the head of the third-largest faction in the Knesset, was responding to the executive order issued by U.S. President Donald Trump barring the citizens of seven Muslim countries from entering the United States.

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"I am moved and proud to see large numbers of Americans taking to the streets against Islamophobia and racism," Odeh added.

"Going out into the streets together, without differentiating between races and ethnicities, is the hope for the future, both in the U.S. and here," Odeh said.

Trump's executive order will “confirm the fears many had of Trump escalating tensions with the Muslim world,” said Ibrahim Fraihat, a professor of conflict resolution at the Doha Institute, according to Bloomberg News.

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Fraihat added that extremists will use the ban as a recruiting tool, because it provides “just the right message” to bolster their argument that the U.S. is hostile to all Muslims."

Iran, one of the seven countries covered by the executive order, said that it was carefully studying the order and would take legal, political and reciprocal measures accordingly.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif didn't specify what those measures would be, but he affirmed in a tweet that anyone with a valid visa would be welcomed in Iran, CNN reported.

"Unlike the U.S., our decision is not retroactive. All with valid Iranian visa will be gladly welcomed," Zarif wrote.

Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Sunday that it was waiting for clarifications whether Trump's order would apply to Israeli citizens born in the listed countries.

“We are waiting for the details and the ramifications for Israeli citizens before deciding what our next move will be,” said spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, America’s largest civil rights group for Muslims, began issuing emergency guidelines on Saturday to address growing concerns over the order.

“What you need to know right now: If you are a non-citizen, even green card holders [lawful permanent residents], from one of the seven countries named above, and you are inside the U.S., please plan to delay all international travel for at least 90 days,” the Texas chapter of CAIR said in a statement.