It has been a little over two months since Donald Trump became the president of the United States. During this period, the world has seen bigotry at the highest level. After just a week in office, we saw a failed attempt by the most unanticipated president to keep nationals from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the country. Just when it was starting to seem like things could not get any more ridiculous, the Trump administration bans carry-on laptops, tablets, and other portable electronic devices on flights from ten airports in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The nine airlines affected are Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, EgyptAir, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Emirates and Etihad Airways.
Britain follows suit
It gets worse. Britain has decided to follow the United States. British Airways and EasyJet are among the airlines included in this ban but the choice of countries is still questionable. Canada is considering prohibiting personal electronics on board flights from the Middle East, Turkey and North Africa. They claim that it is an anti-terrorist precaution. The question is, what are they going to do about terrorists travelling from all the other airports not affected? Because unless this dubious ban affects every airport in the world, it cannot be treated as a security issue. Also, is it not possible to trigger an explosion using smartphones? It is just wrong in a lot of ways.
The ban on electronics is dubious
One theory is that this could be a commercial dispute.
The United States' three major airlines- American, Delta, and United- have accused the #Middle Eastern trio of Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Etihad of receiving unfair advantages in the form of subsidies provided by their governments. Over the past decade, the Middle Eastern airlines have moved into the United States market and started to compete with their award winning service and lavish jets. The new ban will clearly benefit American carriers while harming the businesses of the targeted airlines. For example, passengers travelling for business purposes are likely to rethink and choose a carrier they can work on using laptops and other devices. From their point of view, why pay for business-class or first-class if they cannot travel and work comfortably?
Needless to say, the countries affected need to retaliate and they need to do it now. Sulking is not the answer. They can cut ties with the world's bullies. They can put an end to Trump's businesses in the Middle East. Even an attempt at sweet revenge by banning electronics on board flights from the United States and Britain would be better than being victims of absurd decisions. Why stand witness?