President Trump’s Executive Order bans immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim Arab and African countries for 90 days, suspends all refugee admission for 120 days, and indefinitely bans refugees from Syria in particular.
American Muslims have consistently and will continually support efforts by government agencies to maintain our national security. However, this Executive Order does the following:
Discriminates on the basis of religion and further threatens our safety at home and abroad.
Stigmatizes Muslim refugees, legal immigrants and long term U.S. residents with a blanket ban that does not heed the current vetting system or respect the rights of legal and clearable individuals.
Has been applied in a draconian and inconsistent manner that calls into question the ethical and legal values of this nation, already proving counterproductive to domestic peace and stability and U.S. global credibility.
Makes evident that the President believes Islam and Muslims are an inherent threat to the US. Even as he denies it as a “Muslim Ban”, his other statements consistently seek to align Islam with organized, transnational violence.
Defies American values in requiring religious ideological clearance and therefore violating the First Amendment.
It Makes Us Less Safe
- Statistics show that no major national security threat warranting a blanket ban has ever materialized at the hands of refugees coming from the seven countries designated by the EO. If the EO is based on credible security threats, the Administration needs to provide ample evidence to citizens with a reasonable solution that does not separate families, jar lives and hamper prosperity.
- The U.S. already has a robust vetting system for immigrants and refugees. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) conducts interviews and screenings, including home country reference checks and biological screenings (as extensive as iris scans), before deciding if an applicant is eligible for resettlement in the U.S. Other international agencies participate in coordinating resettlement by collecting documents and conducting interviews with families. Once a refugee’s file reaches the U.S. government, at least nine security agencies - including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State, and the FBI - run through various databases to look for any informational discrepancies, illicit activities or terrorist links.
- Respected national security professionals from both sides of the political spectrum have substantiated that such measures based in religious identity makes us less secure by bolstering the extremist narrative that America is at war with an entire religion. This makes it more dangerous for our citizens at home and abroad. It also makes it difficult for our global allies in the war against terror to align their own national public opinions with shared strategic economic and political interests with the US .
It is Discriminatory
- Despite stating it is not a “Muslim ban”, the words of then President-elect in seeking a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” reflects a clear delivery of his campaign promise post election. By focusing on religion rather than extremist ideology, 1.7billion Muslims are seemingly the target and not just the extremists amongst them.
- President Trump’s chief strategists and closest advisors have called Islam a religion in which “rape culture” is inherent, published articles defaming and maligning American Muslims and portrayed the world as a paradigmatic clash of civilizations. The President has also been known to have sought advice on how to “do a Muslim ban ‘legally’ ”. This EO falls in line with perceptions of openly hostile and discriminating attitudes.
- By declaring that Christians will be given priority over Muslims, the U.S. loses credibility as a nation of compassion in judging human suffering through religious discrimination. The United Nations does not discriminate on the basis of religion and the U.S. Constitution does not allow a religious test to be eligible for entry into the U.S. The EO is therefore both divisive, inhumane, and illegal.
It is Un-American
- Ours is a nation founded by immigrants seeking the promise of liberty and justice. It guarantees freedom of religion and equal protection under the law. This EO clearly gives preference to one religion over another and seeks to vilify Muslims specifically, contrary to the spirit of the First Amendment.
- The EO fans an irrational fear of refugees and immigrants who are not of the Judeo-Christian tradition. By making references to imaginary massacres, focusing on talk of imminent threats and validating religiously motivated crimes as acts of terror typical only to Muslims, Muslim refugees and immigrants are made to feel unwelcome and somehow more prone to committing violence.
- This EO diminishes the credibility of the U.S. as a nation of goodwill. It is exclusionary and harkens to dark episodes of racism and bigotry in America. It goes against the founding principle of this country as a place of refuge for those fleeing persecution and danger.
It Damages our Economy
- Up to 120 major U.S. corporations have signed a petition against the travel ban. The EO is therefore already having major impact on the U.S. economy. By restricting the flow of intellectual capital, it disrupts the global marketplace and discourages researchers, scientists, and professionals of all skill sets from adding to the talent of our nation.
- Refugees are required by law to gain employment and be removed from welfare assistance relatively quickly. Many immigrants, including legal residents of the United States who have now been barred entry by the EO, are doctors, educators, engineers, and business owners. They pay taxes and contribute to their home state’s economy and to American society at large, earning them the right to call this country their own.
- Retaliation by global Muslim allies and trading partners could damage the U.S. economy. Since the EO presents a religious pretense and vague national security justifications, our allies and trading partners will find it hard to vet their own citizens and corporations to sustain engagement with the U.S. on trade and economic matters.
- The EO erodes the American entrepreneurial spirit by sparking defensive reactions and bringing down overall corporate morale. It discourages individuals (especially new immigrants) from starting businesses or pursuing long term opportunities. The free flow of ideas, knowledge and skills which make the U.S. a global leader is at risk of dissipating. This will make America less competitive and adversely affect the education system, which relies on youth as the future workforce.