| 16.7°C Belfast

Barack Obama 'heartened' by scale of protests against Donald Trump's Muslim travel ban

Protests held around the world against Donald Trump's 'Muslin travel ban' [Photos] Close

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: A placard is held aloft as crowds listen to a speaker at the Mound as demonstrators march to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, in the UK a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: A placard is held aloft as crowds listen to a speaker at the Mound as demonstrators march to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, in the UK a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Getty Images

People demonstrate during a protest at Downing Street in central London against US President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban on refugees and people from seven mainly-Muslim countries. Victoria Jones/PA Wire

People demonstrate during a protest at Downing Street in central London against US President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban on refugees and people from seven mainly-Muslim countries. Victoria Jones/PA Wire

PA

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: Placards are held aloft as crowds listen to a speaker at the Mound as demonstrators march to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, in the UK a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: Placards are held aloft as crowds listen to a speaker at the Mound as demonstrators march to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, in the UK a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Getty Images

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: Placards are held aloft as crowds listen to a speaker at the Mound as demonstrators march to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, in the UK a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: Placards are held aloft as crowds listen to a speaker at the Mound as demonstrators march to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, in the UK a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Getty Images

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: Demonstrators hold up placards during a protest outside Downing Street against U.S. President Donald Trump's ban on travel from seven Muslim countries on January 30, 2017 in London, England. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven Muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, in the UK, a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: Demonstrators hold up placards during a protest outside Downing Street against U.S. President Donald Trump's ban on travel from seven Muslim countries on January 30, 2017 in London, England. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven Muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, in the UK, a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Getty Images

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: Placards are held aloft as crowds listen to a speaker at the Mound as demonstrators march to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, in the UK a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: Placards are held aloft as crowds listen to a speaker at the Mound as demonstrators march to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, in the UK a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Getty Images

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: Placards are held aloft as crowds listen to a speaker at the Mound as demonstrators march to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, in the UK a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: Placards are held aloft as crowds listen to a speaker at the Mound as demonstrators march to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, in the UK a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Getty Images

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: A placard is held aloft as crowds listen to a speaker at the Mound as demonstrators march to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, in the UK a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: A placard is held aloft as crowds listen to a speaker at the Mound as demonstrators march to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, in the UK a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Getty Images

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30:  Crowds listen to speakers at the Mound as demonstrators march to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and today, a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: Crowds listen to speakers at the Mound as demonstrators march to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and today, a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Getty Images

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: Demonstrators hold up placards during a protest outside Downing Street against U.S. President Donald Trump's ban on travel from seven Muslim countries on January 30, 2017 in London, England. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven Muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, the UK.  A British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: Demonstrators hold up placards during a protest outside Downing Street against U.S. President Donald Trump's ban on travel from seven Muslim countries on January 30, 2017 in London, England. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven Muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, the UK. A British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Getty Images

People demonstrate during a protest at Downing Street in central London against US President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban on refugees and people from seven mainly-Muslim countries. Victoria Jones/PA Wire

People demonstrate during a protest at Downing Street in central London against US President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban on refugees and people from seven mainly-Muslim countries. Victoria Jones/PA Wire

PA

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30:  Crowds listen to speakers at the Mound as demonstrators march to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and today, a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: Crowds listen to speakers at the Mound as demonstrators march to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and today, a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Getty Images

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: Demonstrators march from the Mound to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: Demonstrators march from the Mound to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Getty Images

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: Crowds listen to a speaker at the Mound as demonstrators march to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: Crowds listen to a speaker at the Mound as demonstrators march to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Getty Images

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: Demonstrators hold up placards during a protest outside Downing Street against U.S. President Donald Trump's ban on travel from seven Muslim countries on January 30, 2017 in London, England. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven Muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, the UK.  A British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: Demonstrators hold up placards during a protest outside Downing Street against U.S. President Donald Trump's ban on travel from seven Muslim countries on January 30, 2017 in London, England. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven Muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, the UK. A British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Getty Images

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: A young Muslim man speaks passionately to the crowd at the Mound as demonstrators march to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, the UK. A British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: A young Muslim man speaks passionately to the crowd at the Mound as demonstrators march to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, the UK. A British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Getty Images

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: Demonstrators holding placards attend a protest outside Downing Street against U.S. President Donald Trump's ban on travel from seven Muslim countries on January 30, 2017 in London, England. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven Muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, the UK.  A British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: Demonstrators holding placards attend a protest outside Downing Street against U.S. President Donald Trump's ban on travel from seven Muslim countries on January 30, 2017 in London, England. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven Muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, the UK. A British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Getty Images

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30:  Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump's ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries entering the US on College Green on January 30, 2017 in Bristol, England. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven Muslim countries.  This led to protests across America and, today, the UK.  A British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump's ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries entering the US on College Green on January 30, 2017 in Bristol, England. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven Muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, the UK. A British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Getty Images

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30:  Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump's ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries entering the US on College Green on January 30, 2017 in Bristol, England. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven Muslim countries.  This led to protests across America and, today, the UK.  A British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump's ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries entering the US on College Green on January 30, 2017 in Bristol, England. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven Muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, the UK. A British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Getty Images

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30:  Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump's ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries entering the US on College Green on January 30, 2017 in Bristol, England. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven Muslim countries.  This led to protests across America and, today, the UK.  A British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump's ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries entering the US on College Green on January 30, 2017 in Bristol, England. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven Muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, the UK. A British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Getty Images

A protest against US President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban on refugees and people from seven mainly- Muslim countries takes place in Dortmund Square, Leeds. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday January 30, 2017.  See PA story POLITICS May Protests. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

A protest against US President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban on refugees and people from seven mainly- Muslim countries takes place in Dortmund Square, Leeds. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday January 30, 2017. See PA story POLITICS May Protests. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

PA

Demonstrators protest outside Downing Street against US President Donald Trump in central London on January 30, 2017. 
President Trump signed an executive order on January 27, 2016 restricting immigration from seven Muslim countries. / AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators protest outside Downing Street against US President Donald Trump in central London on January 30, 2017. President Trump signed an executive order on January 27, 2016 restricting immigration from seven Muslim countries. / AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators protest outside Downing Street against US President Donald Trump in central London on January 30, 2017. 
President Trump signed an executive order on January 27, 2016 restricting immigration from seven Muslim countries. / AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators protest outside Downing Street against US President Donald Trump in central London on January 30, 2017. President Trump signed an executive order on January 27, 2016 restricting immigration from seven Muslim countries. / AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators protest outside Downing Street against US President Donald Trump in central London on January 30, 2017. 
President Trump signed an executive order on January 27, 2016 restricting immigration from seven Muslim countries. / AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators protest outside Downing Street against US President Donald Trump in central London on January 30, 2017. President Trump signed an executive order on January 27, 2016 restricting immigration from seven Muslim countries. / AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

People demonstrate during a protest at Downing Street in central London against US President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban on refugees and people from seven mainly-Muslim countries. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday January 30, 2017. See PA story POLITICS May Protests. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

People demonstrate during a protest at Downing Street in central London against US President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban on refugees and people from seven mainly-Muslim countries. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday January 30, 2017. See PA story POLITICS May Protests. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

PA

People protest against US President Donald Trump's executive immigration ban on January 30, 2017 in Brussels. 
US President Donald Trump faced fresh protests on January 30 over his ban on travelers from seven Muslim countries entering the United States, a backlash that poses an enormous test for his administration. / AFP PHOTO / Belga / THIERRY ROGE / Belgium OUTTHIERRY ROGE/AFP/Getty Images

People protest against US President Donald Trump's executive immigration ban on January 30, 2017 in Brussels. US President Donald Trump faced fresh protests on January 30 over his ban on travelers from seven Muslim countries entering the United States, a backlash that poses an enormous test for his administration. / AFP PHOTO / Belga / THIERRY ROGE / Belgium OUTTHIERRY ROGE/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Israeli settlers gather infront of the Knesset (Parliament) on January 30, 2017, to protest against the evicition of those living in the settlement outpost of Amona, which was established in 1997 and built on private Palestinian land.

Israel's parliament began discussions on the final adoption of a bill retroactively legalising thousands of homes on private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank. / AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEXTHOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images

Israeli settlers gather infront of the Knesset (Parliament) on January 30, 2017, to protest against the evicition of those living in the settlement outpost of Amona, which was established in 1997 and built on private Palestinian land. Israel's parliament began discussions on the final adoption of a bill retroactively legalising thousands of homes on private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank. / AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEXTHOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Israeli left wing activists from the Peace Now movement protest outside  the Knesset (Parliament) on January 30, 2017, to protest in support of the evicition of those living in the settlement outpost of Amona, which was established in 1997 and built on private Palestinian land.

Israel's parliament began discussions on the final adoption of a bill retroactively legalising thousands of homes on private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank. / AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEXTHOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images

Israeli left wing activists from the Peace Now movement protest outside the Knesset (Parliament) on January 30, 2017, to protest in support of the evicition of those living in the settlement outpost of Amona, which was established in 1997 and built on private Palestinian land. Israel's parliament began discussions on the final adoption of a bill retroactively legalising thousands of homes on private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank. / AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEXTHOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

TOPSHOT - A man holds a Romanian national flag during a demonstration to protest against controversial decrees to pardon corrupt politicians and decriminalise other offences, on January 29, 2017 in Bucharest.
Around 40,000 demonstrators took to the streets of Bucharest and other Romanian towns on January 29, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ANDREI PUNGOVSCHIANDREI PUNGOVSCHI/AFP/Getty Images

TOPSHOT - A man holds a Romanian national flag during a demonstration to protest against controversial decrees to pardon corrupt politicians and decriminalise other offences, on January 29, 2017 in Bucharest. Around 40,000 demonstrators took to the streets of Bucharest and other Romanian towns on January 29, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ANDREI PUNGOVSCHIANDREI PUNGOVSCHI/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Simon Helberg, left, and Jocelyn Towne display protest signs against the U.S. policy of temporarily barring refugees and citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries, at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Simon Helberg, left, and Jocelyn Towne display protest signs against the U.S. policy of temporarily barring refugees and citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries, at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 29:  Demonstrators protest President Donald Trump's executive order which imposes a freeze on admitting refugees into the United States and a ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority countries at the international terminal at O'Hare Airport on January 29, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Similar protests have been staged at airports nationwide over the past two days.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 29: Demonstrators protest President Donald Trump's executive order which imposes a freeze on admitting refugees into the United States and a ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority countries at the international terminal at O'Hare Airport on January 29, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Similar protests have been staged at airports nationwide over the past two days. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Getty Images

People chant slogans at the Indianapolis International Airport, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, during a protest against President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily suspending all immigration for citizens of seven majority Muslim countries for 90 days. (Kelly Wilkinson/The Indianapolis Star via AP)

People chant slogans at the Indianapolis International Airport, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, during a protest against President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily suspending all immigration for citizens of seven majority Muslim countries for 90 days. (Kelly Wilkinson/The Indianapolis Star via AP)

AP

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: Demonstrators gather outside of the Trump Hotel International during a protest on January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. Protestors in Washington and around the country gathered to protest President Donald Trump's executive order barring the citizens of Muslim-majority countries Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from traveling to the United States.  (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: Demonstrators gather outside of the Trump Hotel International during a protest on January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. Protestors in Washington and around the country gathered to protest President Donald Trump's executive order barring the citizens of Muslim-majority countries Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from traveling to the United States. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Hundreds of demonstrators gather on the roadway during a protest against President Donald Trump's executive order banning travel to the United States by citizens of several countries at Los Angeles International Airport, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)

Hundreds of demonstrators gather on the roadway during a protest against President Donald Trump's executive order banning travel to the United States by citizens of several countries at Los Angeles International Airport, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)

AP

Demonstrators gather outside the White House in protest of President Donald Trump's immigration policies on January 29, 2017 in Washington, D.C. / AFP PHOTO / Chet StrangeCHET STRANGE/AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators gather outside the White House in protest of President Donald Trump's immigration policies on January 29, 2017 in Washington, D.C. / AFP PHOTO / Chet StrangeCHET STRANGE/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: Demonstrators march down Pennsylvania Avenue during a protest on January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. Protestors in Washington and around the country gathered to protest President Donald Trump's executive order barring the citizens of Muslim-majority countries Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from traveling to the United States.  (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: Demonstrators march down Pennsylvania Avenue during a protest on January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. Protestors in Washington and around the country gathered to protest President Donald Trump's executive order barring the citizens of Muslim-majority countries Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from traveling to the United States. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: Demonstrators gather near the steps of the Trump Hotel International during a protest on January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. Protestors in Washington and around the country gathered to protest President Donald Trump's executive order barring the citizens of Muslim-majority countries Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from traveling to the United States.  (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: Demonstrators gather near the steps of the Trump Hotel International during a protest on January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. Protestors in Washington and around the country gathered to protest President Donald Trump's executive order barring the citizens of Muslim-majority countries Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from traveling to the United States. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: Demonstrators march down 15th Street during a protest on January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. Protestors in Washington and around the country gathered to protest President Donald Trump's executive order barring the citizens of Muslim-majority countries Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from traveling to the United States.  (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: Demonstrators march down 15th Street during a protest on January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. Protestors in Washington and around the country gathered to protest President Donald Trump's executive order barring the citizens of Muslim-majority countries Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from traveling to the United States. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: Demonstrators chant outside of the Trump Hotel International during a protest on January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. Protestors in Washington and around the country gathered to protest President Donald Trump's executive order barring the citizens of Muslim-majority countries Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from traveling to the United States.  (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: Demonstrators chant outside of the Trump Hotel International during a protest on January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. Protestors in Washington and around the country gathered to protest President Donald Trump's executive order barring the citizens of Muslim-majority countries Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from traveling to the United States. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: John Alfonso holds hands with Sarah Abbas during a protest in front of the Trump International Hotel Washington on January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. Protestors in Washington and around the country gathered to protest President Donald Trump's executive order barring the citizens of Muslim-majority countries Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from traveling to the United States.  (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: John Alfonso holds hands with Sarah Abbas during a protest in front of the Trump International Hotel Washington on January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. Protestors in Washington and around the country gathered to protest President Donald Trump's executive order barring the citizens of Muslim-majority countries Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from traveling to the United States. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: John Alfonso holds a black and white American flag during a protest in front of the Trump International Hotel Washington on January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. Protestors in Washington and around the country gathered to protest President Donald Trump's executive order barring the citizens of Muslim-majority countries Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from traveling to the United States.  (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: John Alfonso holds a black and white American flag during a protest in front of the Trump International Hotel Washington on January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. Protestors in Washington and around the country gathered to protest President Donald Trump's executive order barring the citizens of Muslim-majority countries Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from traveling to the United States. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Mayor Bill de Blasio (L) speaks as protesters gather in Battery Park and march to the offices of Customs and Border Patrol in Manhattan to protest President Trump's Executive order imposing controls on travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, January 29, 2017 in New York. / AFP PHOTO / Bryan R. SmithBRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images

Mayor Bill de Blasio (L) speaks as protesters gather in Battery Park and march to the offices of Customs and Border Patrol in Manhattan to protest President Trump's Executive order imposing controls on travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, January 29, 2017 in New York. / AFP PHOTO / Bryan R. SmithBRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

/

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: A placard is held aloft as crowds listen to a speaker at the Mound as demonstrators march to the Scottish Parliament to protest against President Trump's Muslim travel ban to the USA on January 30, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, in the UK a British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

In a blasting criticism of Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban, former president Barack Obama has said he “fundamentally disagrees” with discrimination that targets people based on their religion and was “heartened” by the protests that have been sparked across the country.

President Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country,” said a statement issued by his spokesman Kevin Lewis.

“In his final official speech as president, he spoke about the important role of citizens and how all Americans have a responsibility to be the guardians of our democracy - not just during an election but every day.”

Mr Obama has not weighed in on a political issue since leaving office on January 20 and making way for his successor - something that is usual for most presidents.

He has said he plans to give Mr Trump room to govern but has also said he would speak out if the New York tycoon’s actions violated basic US values. Thousands of protests across the country have taken part in demonstrations against the order, insisting that his Muslim travel ban does breach fundamental US values.

In the statement, Mr Obama said was pleased with those citizens who are exercising constitutional rights to assemble and “have their voices heard.”  He also drew a distinction between his policies and those of Mr Trump.

“With regard to comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the president fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion,” it said.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

On Monday, it had emerged that dozens of US envoys located around the world had prepared a “dissent memo”.

“This ban ... will not achieve its stated aim to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States,” says the draft, obtained by lawfareblog.com.

It also said that Mr Trump's “knee jerk” executive order was based on misguided notions about terrorism in the United States.

“Despite the order’s focus on them, a vanishingly small number of terror attacks on US soil have been committed by foreign nationals who recently entered the US on immigrant or non-immigrant visa,” it says. “Rather, the overwhelmingly majority of attacks have been committed by native-born or naturalised US citizens - individuals who have been living in the US for decades, if not since birth.”

It adds: “In the isolated incidents of foreign nationals entering the US on a visa to commit acts of terror, the nationals have come from a range of countries, (such as Pakistan or Saudi Arabia), which are not covered by the order.”


Top Videos



Privacy