Legacy Of Travel Ban Will Be Hard For Biden To Erase

President-elect Biden has pledged to quickly end the Trump administration’s travel ban on Muslim-majority countries. But immigrant advocates say the lasting effects of policy will be harder to undo.

NOEL KING, HOST:

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to sign a bunch of executive orders when he takes office tomorrow, including one rolling back the so-called travel ban on immigrants from majority-Muslim countries. But that policy’s legacy won’t be easy to erase. Here’s NPR’s Joel Rose.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: After fleeing civil war in Syria, Haitham Dalati and his wife made it to the U.S. in early 2017. They hoped their daughter and her family would soon follow. But when I talked to Haitham Dalati a year later, the rest of the family was still stuck in Lebanon.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

HAITHAM DALATI: This is so horrible for us. So I don’t know now whether America is good or bad.

ROSE: Dalati and his wife got into the U.S. during a brief window when the first version of President Trump’s travel ban was put on hold. In the months that followed, legal battles raged until the Supreme Court ultimately upheld a slimmed-down version of the ban. It wasn’t until November of last year, though, that Dalati’s daughter, son-in-law and four grandchildren were finally allowed in as refugees.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: (Non-English language spoken).

ROSE: The family hugged and wept at the airport gate in Pennsylvania. When we spoke again this month, Dalati said he sees America with new eyes.

DALATI: Much better than before when my daughter is with me with her children and husband. Really, it’s another America.

FULL TRANSCRIPT AND AUDIO INTERVIEW FROM NPR FOUND HERE

President Biden’s executive order ends Trump’s Muslim travel ban, outlines what’s next

Among the flurry of executive orders signed by President Joe Biden on Wednesday was one ending the ban on travelers from several majority-Muslim countries, which was first issued by Donald Trump in January 2017.

“Beyond contravening our values, these Executive Orders and Proclamations have undermined our national security,” Biden’s executive order rescinding the ban reads. “They have jeopardized our global network of alliances and partnerships and are a moral blight that has dulled the power of our example the world over. And they have separated loved ones, inflicting pain that will ripple for years to come. They are just plain wrong.”

Instead of a ban, the White House says it will improve the screening of visitors by strengthening information sharing with foreign governments and other measures.

The so-called Muslim ban went through multiple iterations before it was finally upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018. The original ban affected refugees from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

But the list of countries changed over the course of a protracted court battle that wound all the way to the Supreme Court. While the high court allowed the order to take effect in December 2017, the legal fight didn’t end until the following June. By then, the list consisted of five majority-Muslim countries – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen  – and two that are not: North Korea and Venezuela.

FULL ARTICLE FROM USA TODAY

Muslim Americans ‘Thrilled’ Ahead of Travel Ban Being Lifted

It’s being hailed by advocacy groups as a day of hope, one after which families may once more be able to reunite with loved ones, marking the end of a “dark legacy”. Muslim Americans are anticipating the end of a travel ban President Trump imposed on predominantly Muslim countries, a ban President-elect Biden has vowed to repeal on his first day in office.

According to a memo sent by Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain to senior staff, Biden is planning to sign a raft of executive orders on his first day as President to mark a clean break with his predecessor, including an order to rejoin the Paris Agreement on the climate and the reversal of the travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries.

Labeled a Muslim ban by critics, an executive order was signed by President Trump in January 2017 barring entry into the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries from traveling to the country for 90 days. It also banned the admission of Syrian refugees and suspended the U.S. refugee admissions program for 120 days.

President Trump said the travel ban was necessary in order to keep America safe from terrorism and that it was not a ban against Muslims. During his campaign for president, Trump had called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” Justifying the imposition of his ban by executive order, Trump said: “Making America safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet.”

During his campaign, Biden promised to “end the Muslim ban on day one” of his time in office. Biden told attendees of the Million Muslim Votes Summit, an online conference hosted by Emgage Action, a Muslim-American political group: “Muslim communities were the first to feel Donald Trump‘s assault on Black and brown communities in this country with his vile Muslim ban. That fight was the opening barrage in what has been nearly four years of constant pressure and insults, and attacks against Muslim American communities.”

Ahead of the expected repealing of the ban on Wednesday, Iman Awad, deputy director of Emgage Action told Newsweek that she was “thrilled.” She said: “From the first time we heard President-elect Biden say that he was going to end the Muslim ban on day one, the community was definitely thrilled because that to us is a validation of how poor of a policy the Muslim ban was from the beginning.

“The fact that the Biden administration is upkeeping that promise, we’re very hopeful because again when somebody’s running a campaign and when President-elect Biden was stating he was going to rescind the ban there were still some questions around it but we are incredibly grateful that he’s upholding that campaign promise.”

Travel ban protest
Muslim Americans say they are “thrilled” a travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries will be lifted by BidenGETTY

FULL ARTICLE FROM NEWSWEEK

Faith on the Hill

The religious composition of the 117th Congress

When it comes to religious affiliation, the 117th U.S. Congress looks similar to the previous Congress but quite different from Americans overall.

While about a quarter (26%) of U.S. adults are religiously unaffiliated – describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” – just one member of the new Congress (Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.) identifies as religiously unaffiliated (0.2%).

Nearly nine-in-ten members of Congress identify as Christian (88%), compared with two-thirds of the general public (65%). Congress is both more heavily Protestant (55% vs. 43%) and more heavily Catholic (30% vs. 20%) than the U.S. adult population overall.

Members of Congress also are older, on average, than U.S. adults overall. At the start of the 116th Congress, the average representative was 57.6 years old, and the average senator was 62.9 years old.1 Pew Research Center surveys have found that adults in that age range are more likely to be Christian than the general public (74% of Americans ages 50 to 64 are Christian, compared with 65% of all Americans ages 18 and older). Still, Congress is more heavily Christian even than U.S. adults ages 50 to 64, by a margin of 14 percentage points.2

FULL ARTICLE WITH CHART FROM PEW RESEARCH

Biden to reverse Trump’s Muslim ban on inauguration day

Memo by Biden’s incoming chief of staff shows president-elect is looking to quickly reverse several Trump policies.

On his first day in office, US President-elect Joe Biden plans to issue a number of executive orders, including one rescinding the controversial travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries.

According to a memo circulated on Saturday by Ron Klain, Biden’s incoming White House chief of staff, the new US administration will launch a spate of reversals on policies implemented by US President Donald Trump over its first 10 days in office.

These also include new coronavirus prevention efforts, rejoining the Paris climate change accord, and immigration legislation allowing for millions to gain citizenship.

Shortly after taking office in 2017, Trump issued an executive order that banned travellers from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States.

That order was, however, reworked several times amid legal challenges and a version of it was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2018.

‘Poison of hate’

Analysts say the ban could easily be undone as it was issued by executive order and presidential proclamation, though lawsuits from conservative opponents could delay the process.

FULL ARTICLE FROM AL JAZEERA

Jets make history, hiring Robert Saleh to become NFL’s first Muslim head coach

The San Francisco 49ers’ defensive coordinator designed one of pro football’s most elite units.

The New York Jets hired San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to be their new head coach, making him the first Muslim to run an NFL sideline, the team announced Thursday night.

“We’ve reached an agreement in principle with Robert Saleh to become our head coach,” the Jets said in a statement.

Saleh has spent the past four years in Santa Clara, California, transforming the 49ers’ defense from a onetime laughingstock to one of football’s most elite units.

He’ll take over a team that won just two of 16 games this past season and hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2010-11 campaign. The Jets have just one Super Bowl title in franchise history, the famed Joe Namath guarantee of Jan. 12, 1969.

Before Saleh, 41, a native of Dearborn, Michigan, was hired by the Jets, no Muslim had ever been an NFL head coach, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, a Muslim civil rights advocacy group.

FULL ARTICLE FROM NBC NEWS

Faith leaders react to mob at Capitol with prayers, calls for end to violence

From prayers to calls for Trump to halt rioters, some statements react to a sign of a divided nation with cries for peace.

(RNS) — As a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday (Jan. 6), American religious leaders reacted quickly to a chaotic and unprecedented scene.

From succinct prayers to calls for Trump to ask the rioters to halt, the faith leaders’ statements mostly appealed for unity. But some who have affirmed the current president expressed their support for protesters they considered to be peaceful or made unsubstantiated claims that members of the mob might be related to far-left leaning militants of the antifa movement.

“Disobeying and assaulting police is a sin whether it’s done by Antifa or angry Republicans,” tweeted the Rev. Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas. The Rev. Franklin Graham speculated, apparently without substantiation, that those who invaded the Capitol building were related to antifa.

For his part, Trump, in a brief video posted on Twitter but later removed by the platform, empathized with the mob but also asked them to leave.

FULL ARTICLE FROM RELIGION NEWS

Creating a Culture Rooted in Human Rights in Muslim Societies.

An organization that is dedicated to restoring the progressive values of Islam to societies around the world.

OUR MISSION

Muslims for Progressive Values envisions a world that reflects Islam as a
source of dignity, justice, compassion, and love for all.

“I follow the Way of Love, and where Love’s caravan takes its path, there is my religion, my faith.”

— Ibn Arabia

WHAT WE DO

MPV establishes and nurtures vibrant progressive Muslim communities. We do this by creating opportunities for religious discourse, volunteer and community activities, and cultural events bringing together the arts, spirituality and social activism.

Since our inception, we have secured DPI and ECOSOC Special Consultative Status at the U.N., and a founding member of Alliance of Inclusive Muslims, or AIM, an umbrella organization spanning 13 countries and 17 cities.

MPV is a progressive Muslim voice on contemporary issues. We voice our perspectives with policy briefs, by participating in civil discourse, engaging with the media and government entities, and by partnering with both Muslim and non-Muslim progressive organizations.

MPV promotes theologically-sound frameworks for Islamic liberalism. We seek to reinvigorate the Islamic tradition of ijtihad (critical engagement and interpretation of sacred texts) and intellectual discourse. We do this by collaborating with religious scholars and developing position papers on theological issues that are accessible to a wide audience.

CLICK HERE FOR ACCESS TO MORE INFORMATION ON THEIR WEBSITE

Suburban religious leaders hosting interfaith prayer service Sunday

Suburban faith leaders will come together to host a virtual interfaith prayer service for World Peace Day at 2 p.m. Sunday, January 17.

Eboo Patel, founder and president of the nonprofit Interfaith Youth Core, will deliver the keynote address. Patel is a noted Muslim community leader and speaker on issues of religious diversity, civic engagement, and the intersection of racial equality and interfaith cooperation.

The event is organized by the Naperville Interfaith Leaders Association, Congregation Etz Chaim and Congregation Beth Shalom and co-sponsored by various faith communities.

For more information, visit napervilleinterfaith.org/worldpeaceday or mail WorldPeaceDay@NapervilleInterfaith.org.

FULL ARTICLE FROM DAILY HERALD (CHICAGO)

What if crowd who swarmed U.S. Capitol had been Black or Muslim?

On CNN Wednesday, as a mob of Trump supporters stampeded through barricades and broke through windows and stormed the U.S. Capitol in a violent insurrection, commentator Van Jones voiced the thoughts crashing around in so many of our minds.

“I have heard people looking at small protests in Portland, Oregon, where people were tear-gassed, beaten, kidnapped, and they said, ‘No, no, no. Whatever you do to those protesters is OK because we have to have law and order. We have to have law and order,’” Jones said, even as the chyron below his head reported a woman in critical condition after being shot on Capitol grounds and an armed standoff in the House chamber. (The woman later died.)

Law and order?

“This is rebellion,” Jones continued. “It is treason. It is lawlessness. It is unacceptable.”

He continued: “I’m calling on all of my conservative friends, my Republican friends to say, ‘What would I do if Black Lives Matter dropped 30,000 Black people on the nation’s capital and laid siege to the seat of power in the middle of a joint session of Congress and broke in? What would I say if Black Lives Matter did that? If Muslims did it? If Muslims dropped 30,000 Muslims on the seat of government in the middle of a joint session of Congress and ran in there and there was blood on the floor and tear gas? What would we be saying?’

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE GRAND ISLAND INDEPENDENT