Hopes that Donald Trump might be tempering his approach to Muslim immigration turned out to be ill founded yesterday, after Trump’s statement on banning Muslim visitors from entering America resurfaced on his website.
The statement inexplicably disappeared for a brief window after Tuesday’s election victory, leading to speculation that Trump might be softening his hardline stance. However, after questions over its reappearance on his website, the controversial statement’s temporary absence has been attributed to a “technical glitch.”
Other policy statements, including a breakdown of possible Supreme Court justice nominees and details on economic, defense and regulatory plans also disappeared during the interval, Reuters reported.
Influential leaders, apparently unaware that the change was simply due to a technical malfunction, commended Trump for seeming to soften his divisive stance on the issue of Muslim immigration.
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, previously a harsh critic of the Trump, congratulated him on Twitter after his victory, and praised him for what he thought to be a breakthrough policy development during an appearance on CNBC on Thursday.
The billionaire Prince has yet to comment after Trump’s immigration statement was reinstated.
Responding to the statement’s temporary absence, President of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Samer Khalaf said he was discouraged by the development: “False hope just came over us,” he said.
“He’s elected, he said some horrible things, now we have to see what his policies are.”
For months, Trump’s Muslim ban has been one of the most contentious topics of his campaign, widely condemned by both Republicans and Democrats alike.
“It’s just foolishness,” said Republican Senator John McCain about the proposal. “It’s been a long series of statements like this that have been just foolish.”
“It goes against everything we stand for as a nation founded on religious liberty,” said former Democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton.
The details of his policy, however, have been the subject of much debate and confusion, with the president-elect releasing conflicting statements on the topic over the course of his turbulent campaigning.
After first proposing an outright ban on all Muslim immigration, Trump has since backtracked, suggesting the policy could be “temporary,” “negotiable,” and potentially more nuanced.