By Cindy Boren – The Washington Post.
Mo Farah, a runner who was knighted after becoming the most successful track athlete in Britain’s Olympic history, condemned the executive order banning people from certain Muslim countries, saying that “President Donald Trump seems to have made me an alien.”
The president signed the order on Saturday, and it immediately triggered chaos and uncertainty at American airports. Later Saturday night, judicial rulings in several cities blocked enforcement of the ban to various degrees, but the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement early Sunday in which it said it would continue to enforce the president’s action.
[As dissent grows over travel ban, Trump shows no sign of backing down]
Refugees, migrants and even green-card holders from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen are affected, and the order extends to those with dual citizenships. Farah, a British citizen who came from Mogadishu, Somalia, has lived in the United States for the past six years and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at the start of 2017.
Farah, the 5,000- and 10,000-meter gold medalist in the London and Rio Olypmics, and his family live in Oregon, where he also trains. He presently is training in Ethiopia and wrote passionately on his Facebook page, saying he might have to tell his children “that Daddy might not be able to come home.”
“On 1st January this year, Her Majesty The Queen made me a Knight of the Realm. On 27th January, President Donald Trump seems to have made me an alien.
“I am a British citizen who has lived in America for the past six years — working hard, contributing to society, paying my taxes and bringing up our four children in the place they now call home. Now, me and many others like me are being told that we may not be welcome. It’s deeply troubling that I will have to tell my children that Daddy might not be able to come home — to explain why the President has introduced a policy that comes from a place of ignorance and prejudice.”
“I was welcomed into Britain from Somalia at eight years old and given the chance to succeed and realise my dreams. I have been proud to represent my country, win medals for the British people and receive the greatest honour of a knighthood. My story is an example of what can happen when you follow policies of compassion and understanding, not hate and isolation.”
Facebook reactions to Farah’s post were mixed. “Always welcome in the UK….you’re a fantastic man, and a great father, I don’t care what color, race or religion anyone is, we are ALL human, yes, there are bad people, but I have a friends from different religions, love them ALL,” Nicci Hart wrote.
Antony Crowe wrote: “He hasn’t blanket banned every single Muslim in the entire world from entering America, so stop it with your whinging propaganda. Next you’ll be telling us that every single Muslim is getting evicted too. The truth is, he’s tightening the immigration policies, like we should do in the UK.”
[NBA asks State Dept. for clarification on behalf of Sudanese players]
Farah, 33, moved to Portland, along with with his wife and four children, in 2011 to join the Nike Oregon Project, a distance training group coached by Alberto Salazar. Farah, who does not hold a Somali passport, is not scheduled to return to Oregon until March and Salazar had no comment when reached by The Oregonian. A representative for Farah said that he would have only the Facebook statement.
Farah made headlines when, during the Rio Olympics, he fell during the 10,000, got up and went on to win.
Mo Farah was one of countless people around the world whose lives were thrown into uncertainty this weekend by President Trump’s executive order banning refugees, migrants and others from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.