Kiwi Iraqi slams Donald Trump's 'us-and-them mentality'

Demonstrators gather at Washington Square Park to protest against US President Donald Trump in New York (Reuters)
Demonstrators gather at Washington Square Park to protest against US President Donald Trump in New York (Reuters)

An Iraqi-born New Zealander says anti-Muslim actions by the US government are casting a long shadow.

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order barring citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Somalia from entering the United States. The ban covers not just visitors, but green card holders and refugees.

Auckland-based lawyer Faisal Halabi says Mr Trump's actions are extremely unsettling.

"I think for me, the biggest concern is that, walking down the street or talking to people from around the world, the moment I say my name is Faisal they instantly say, 'Oh - that's a Muslim name.'

"With something like an executive order that says 'Muslims are there and everyone else is here', it makes me worry a little bit because you instantly fall into 'the other'."

Mr Halabi says people need to keep speaking out against Mr Trump's actions before they are accepted.

"I've been in New Zealand for 20-odd years, but I still think something like that impacts me living in the corner of the world because it's just that us-and-them mentality.

"If someone like me is feeling that in New Zealand, I can imagine how worried an American Arab must be, or anyone else closer to what's going on."

Newshub.