Today, President Trump took a wrecking ball to the Statue of Liberty. All Americans can agree that our government should take steps to ensure that those who seek to do us harm are not allowed into the country, but the executive order issued today goes much further and relies on bigoted stereotypes of Muslims. It is the “Muslim ban” the President promoted during the campaign.
The President, among other things, suspends the refugee program, bars Syrian refugees, and bans immigrants and nonimmigrants from at least seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States for at least 90 days. The President claimed that he issued this order to honor the memory of the victims of 9/11 and the heroes of that day. Yet, none of the seven countries identified in his order – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen – are the countries of origin of the 9/11 hijackers.
The executive order relies on grotesque and bigoted stereotypes about Muslims and Islam perpetuated by hate groups. This bigotry will now be elevated to the level of official US government policy. We are deeply concerned that Muslim visitors and immigrants – and only Muslim visitors and immigrants – will be singled out and asked, for example, whether they harbor bigotry against LGBT communities or faith communities that are not their own – repugnant views, but a test, unfortunately, even many Americans would fail. We will be watching closely to understand how the Departments of State and Homeland Security operationalize and implement this discriminatory and disturbing order.
As a nation founded by immigrants fleeing religious persecution, banning anyone based on their faith is wrong, pernicious, and contrary to our nation’s founding values. Muslim Advocates remains committed to working with our allies and to using every legal and advocacy tool to challenge discriminatory and undemocratic laws and actions.