One Year into Trump Presidency and Muslim Ban, Muslim Civil Rights Group Reflects on its Work

We’ve proven that we can make gains and we can win. Now we have to keep it going.

Washington, DC – One year into the Trump administration and in advance of the Muslim ban anniversary, groups like Muslim Advocates are proving that, even in the most dire of circumstances, American Muslims can defend their rights to live, work, study, worship, and travel free from discrimination.

According to Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates, “There is little consistency or stability in the Trump era, but there is a clear theme throughout the past year: resilience. Each time the administration has proposed or enacted a hate-fueled policy, we have confronted it in the in the courts and in the hearts and minds of Americans, and we can win.  

“We have proven the strength of our coalition. We will remain united, prepared, and fired up. We have three more years ahead of us, and we will not rest.”

In the past year, Muslim Advocates:

Filed more lawsuits in the last year than in all of our previous years combined, including:

  • Filed seven lawsuits challenging the Muslim ban and its implementation, including the first major lawsuit against Muslim ban 3.0, Iranian Alliances Across Borders v. Trump; and a suit that ordered the State Department to turn over critically important reports about the development and creation process of Muslim Ban 3.0.
  • A defamation lawsuit against The Daily Stormer and its founder Andrew Anglin on behalf of Dean Obeidallah, an American Muslim comedian and political commentator. The lawsuit was filed in response to a defamatory post, published by The Daily Stormer, that falsely asserted that Dean Obeidallah was the “mastermind” behind the bombing of a concert in Manchester, UK this past spring. Read more about the lawsuit here.
  • A suit on behalf of the Islamic Center of Culpeper (ICC), which was wrongfully denied a permit to build its mosque in Culpeper, Virginia. This suit led to a settlement from the county allowing the ICC to build its mosque.





Held corporations accountable for their roles in promoting anti-Muslim bigotry:





Made clear to the nation that anti-Muslim hate is not the “new normal” in public life:

Equipped American Muslims to protect their rights:

We joined forces with diverse communities to fight back against anti-immigrant, anti-people of color, anti-woman, and anti-LGBTQ policies and bigotry:


  • We filed an amicus brief, in conjunction with Columbia Law School’s Public Rights / Private Conscience Project, in Masterpiece Cakeshop Supreme Court case arguing that overly-broad accommodations of religious liberty, such as that requested by Masterpiece Cakeshop, undermine not just LGBT rights but religious liberty itself.  
  • Following President Trump’s hateful decision to bar transgender soldiers, Muslim Advocates joined the bipartisan chorus calling for a policy reversal.
  • After President Trump’s ill-advised decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Muslim Advocates joined the bipartisan chorus calling on Congress to pass a clean Dream Act.

We grew to meet the demands put on our community:

  • We grew to our largest staff in our organization’s 12-year history, with more on the way.
  • We opened a new Washington, DC office in addition to our Oakland headquarters.
  • We joined forces with the Dulles Justice Coalition to defend individuals and communities who are unjustly targeted and to push back against unlawful and discriminatory policies.
  • We dramatically raised our profile, with hundreds of news clips and significant growth in our membership and social media following.

According to Khera, “our work has only begun. Muslim Advocates and our allies are in this for the long-haul to ensure that the voices of American Muslims are heard and that our rights are defended. We will not sit by and watch President Trump tread on the Constitution and our rights.”

Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.