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29th Jan 2017

Sir Mo Farah posts stinging rebuke to Donald Trump’s Muslim ban

Powerful words.

Mike Wright

Sir Mo Farah’s story is a truly inspiring one.

He came to Britain after fleeing war-torn Somalia when he was eight. Here he was able to pursue his dreams and capitalise on his natural talent as a runner. He took that opportunity and went on to repay the sanctuary this country gave him by becoming one of our greatest Olympians.

But now the 33-year-old is faced with the uncertainty of not knowing whether he can return to his home in the US to see his family after Donald Trump issued his now infamous Muslim ban.

Yesterday the President signed an executive order that halted the US refugee programme. It has also put a 90-day travel ban in place for nationals, and those holding dual nationality, from Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Yemen.

The athlete, who has lived in Oregon for the last six years, has been training in Ethiopia, and although he is a British citizen and doesn’t hold a Somali passport, he is trying to clarify his situation with the US authorities.

Today Farah posted a statement attacking the Muslim ban, which has received condemnation from around the globe.

In the statement, the Olympian contrasted the opportunities Britain had given him as a young refugee with the policies of the Trump administration, which he said came from “ignorance and prejudice”.

In it he said:

‘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 polices of compassion and understanding, not hate and isolation.’

Powerful words from a man whose story tells its own powerful tale.

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