Protesters gathered Saturday night at JFK International Airport in New York.Getty Images

It’s not a Muslim ban. It’s just a ban on Muslims.

Got it?

Now go explain that to the Lady in New York Harbor, who needs to dim her lamp now and edit the Emma Lazarus poem at her feet. “Beat it, you huddled masses yearning to breathe free!”

Thousands more anti-Trump demonstrators made that point quite eloquently yesterday.


If you doubt that America’s new un-welcome mat is all about religion, consider the Muslim percentage of the seven countries singled out by Donald Trump: Iraq (95 percent%), Iran (99.4 percent), Libya (97 percent), Somalia (99.8 percent), Sudan (97 percent), Syria (93 percent) and Yemen (almost 100 percent).

Now, compare that to the percent of terrorists in America who came from the same seven Middle Eastern and African lands: Zero. And Saudi Arabia, the 9/11 motherlode of anti-American terror, isn’t even on the new president’s stay-out list.

Yes, Trump’s “extreme vetting” was hardly vetted at all.

Apparently, Rudy Giuliani is the brains behind the de facto ban, along with senior White House strategist Steve Bannon. The former New York City mayor said Trump “called me up” and requested: “Show me the right way to do it, legally.”

Rudy may have miscalculated this time. After flash mobs of outraged protestors stormed JFK, Dulles and other American airports and U.S. allies went bonkers around the world, a federal judge in Brooklyn pulled an emergency brake on the whole fiasco. None of the airport detainees should be sent back to their dangerous homelands, District Court Judge Anne Donnelly ruled.

What does America stand for? Freedom or fear?

The surprising part was how ineptly the whole thing was done. No one outside a narrow White House circle was consulted beforehand. Not Homeland Security secretary John Kelly. Not CIA director Mike Pompeo. Not the legal staff at the Justice Department.

This was, “Let’s wing it! We won the election! Let ’me howl!”

Now, get ready for more. Kelly and Pompeo, two actual pros, were both pink-slipped off the National Security Council. They’re making room there for Bannon, Rudy’s partner in sneaky bans and former executive chairman of Breitbart alt-News.

What else could possibly go wrong?

Ellis Henican is a seasoned observer of the nation’s political and social landscape. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. He is a former columnist at Newsday.

Originally published January 30

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