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ICC Note: Egyptian minority advocates are concerned that Trump’s anti-Muslim, pro-Christian rhetoric in regards to asylum seeking could do more harm than good. According to Mina Thabet, program manager for minorities at the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, conservative Muslims will use this ban and Trump’s claim to prioritize Christians as an excuse for further abuse in Middle East countries. You cannot fight discrimination with discrimination.

01/31/2017 Egypt (Albawaba): US President Donald Trump’s willingness to prioritize refugee claims from members of persecuted religious minorities could actually rebound against Middle Eastern Christians, according to a prominent rights activist from Egypt’s Christian minority.

“[A]ll the time extremists here are accusing Christians of being affiliated with the United States,” said Mina Thabet, programme manager for minorities at the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms.

“This will make conservatives believe it more. It will make the lives of Christians more difficult in Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries,” he added.

Providing asylum for members of minority communities should be a “last resort,” Thabet argued.

“It’s not the answer to take people from their countries, from their homes… We have to think about how to end discrimination and you can’t fight discrimination with discrimination.”

Trump’s executive order barring the entry of citizens of seven mainly Muslim countries also suspended the processing of refugee claims.

The US president said that when they resume, priority should be given to claims of religious persecution from minority groups.

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