This Thanksgiving, American Muslims Are Thankful For Allies Publicly And Vocally Speaking Out, Showing Up

Two British Muslim Women Friends Meeting Outside OfficeThis Thanksgiving, I join millions of American Muslim families in thanking fellow Americans of all faiths and political affiliations who this year publicly and vocally spoke out and showed up again and again to stand up for our shared American values, and to educate millions by using media to talk about the lives, contributions, hopes, and dreams of their American Muslim neighbors.

Being an ally is done best when it’s public and vocal. The more public and the more vocal, the stronger the impact. After all, our voices have the power to change millions of hearts and minds for the better.

We all remember the afternoon when the first “Muslim Ban” was signed. We remember seeing live videos from an increasing number of airports nationwide showing tens of thousands of fellow Americans – Republicans, Democrats, and others – gathering at the airports. We were all united by our shared American values and our belief in the words of the Declaration of Independence, in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, in the 14th Amendment, and in the Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and equal treatment under the law.

We are thankful to the thousands of attorneys who volunteered their time to help those facing obstacles resulting from the Muslim Ban. Some of these attorneys also launched the web site www.airportlawyer.org to continue to provide services free of charge at airports nationwide.

We are thankful to the members of Congress and local lawmakers who held press conferences and joined demonstrators in solidarity. We are thankful to the civil rights organizations, attorneys general and corporations that legally challenged the Muslim Ban.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST 

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Religious literacy can fix the faulty foundation beneath Trump’s Muslim ban

Trump Travel Ban(RNS) — The judicial system has dealt a third legal defeat to President Trump’s travel ban targeting Muslim-majority countries, instituting a temporary restraining order and injunction to block its implementation. The courts brought up the question of intent by noting public statements by then-candidate Trump about a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

The real intent is still as clear today as it was nearly nine months ago when the current administration announced the first travel ban. The everyday Americans who turned out to spontaneous airport protests across our nation knew the ban was wrong. The courts have consistently agreed.

The organization I lead, Islamic Networks Group, has ample experience to show that increased religious literacy at all levels of society can weaken the foundation that supports discriminatory intent before it becomes policy.

Legal proceedings revolve around intent. Intent is the difference between involuntary manslaughter and murder. Intent is the difference between a harmless literacy test and robbing people of the right to vote. Intent matters because intent shows us the naked truth behind what people do and say.

The first executive order in January made its discriminatory intent crystal clear by providing that people from the banned countries could enter the U.S. if they were of “minority religions” — i.e., Christians — in their home country. Only people of the majority religion — Islam — were banned.

But where does this discriminatory intent come from? And why can politicians count on support for such discriminatory policies from a substantial segment of the public?

FULL ARTICLE FROM RELIGIOUS NEWS SERVICE

Trump’s travel ban and its culture of fear is a threat to us all

travelbanby LEVINE-RASKY AND GHAFFAR-SIDDIQUI

Cynthia Levine-Rasky and Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui are the Jewish and Muslim co-leaders of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, Toronto Circle.

On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court vindicated Donald Trump and his coterie by overriding two earlier judicial rejections of a proposed law to control entrance into the United States by travellers from some Muslim-majority countries. Criticisms are plentiful. Journalists, human rights advocates, educators, lawyers, faith groups, and countless others have rightly identified the discriminatory nature of the executive order and its affront to democratic rights and freedoms that we believe distinguishes us from countries like those identified in the ban. Most of the opposition dwells on legalistic questions, parsing the language of the order, and speculating on how it will be implemented.

But there is more to the executive order than its language. Language is abstract; effects are real. What does it feel like to be the object of a travel ban?

On the one hand, details are everything. If you are an American foreign national with a visa from Iran, you get the green flag. If you have a green card and are traveling back to your job in the United States, you are in. If you are visiting family (except if it is your sick grandmother) in the United States, it’s no problem. If you are returning to university classes or if you are a guest lecturer at an American university, you are good to go. If you’re neither a tourist from Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, or Yemen who wishes to see the Grand Canyon, nor a refugee who wishes to see safety in your lifetime, you should face no impediment. The details ensure your passage. Indeed, the executive order excludes only a limited number of people.

On the other hand, the details don’t matter. The ban, whatever its wording, affects all Muslims everywhere. It turns out that Mr. Trump’s decree against some Muslims from some countries for some period of time has a chilling effect on the quality of life for all Muslims in his country and elsewhere, and for an indeterminate period of time.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE GLOBE AND MAIL (CANADA)

 

WORLD TRUMP BAN: HOW TO HELP MUSLIMS AFFECTED BY TRAVEL BLACKLIST

trump-travel-banThe Supreme Court ruled Monday that Trump’s new travel ban—which bars citizens from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for a period of 90 days—is allowed to restart Thursday.

Citizens from from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen must now prove they have a parent, sibling, or child in the United States in order to visit. Visas already issued will not be revoked.

The ban has been criticized by politicians, judges and foreign leaders of other countries. The Council of American-Islamic Relations, said the ban “ignores the Islamophobic origins of the policy and emboldens Islamophobes in the Trump administration.”

Journalists, students, workers or lecturers who have employment contracts in the United States are exempt from the ban. Existing visas have not been revoked, and there should be less chaos at airports this time.

During the last travel ban, immigration lawyers headed to airports to offer their services for free. Immigration lawyers who want to help can get in touch with the organizations below to offer their services free of charge once again. Anyone who needs help can contact the following organizations for legal advice.

FULL ARTICLE FROM NEWSWEEK 

Trump’s talk — ‘Muslim ban,’ ‘Islam hates us’ — comes back to bite him in court again

trump-immigrationGoing into the latest court battle over President Trump’s revised travel ban, government lawyers were well aware that the administration’s incendiary — many say bigoted — rhetoric about Muslims would be a liability.

Before the initial executive order was even issued, opponents had pulled together a list of public statements by Trump and his surrogates calling for a “Muslim ban” and blaming Islam for the nation’s problems. The states that challenged the order in court did the same, saying the remarks were evidence that the administration intended to discriminate against Muslims.

In response, the government’s lawyers asked a federal judge to, effectively, look the other way. Instead of focusing on Trump’s past remarks, they argued, the judge should only consider the plain language of the revised order in deciding whether it violated the Constitution.

But in his blistering opinion Wednesday freezing the new travel ban, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson said statements by Trump and his senior advisers were precisely what called its legality into question.

“These plainly-worded statements, made in the months leading up to and contemporaneous with the signing of the Executive Order, and, in many cases, made by the Executive himself, betray the Executive Order’s stated secular purpose,” Watson wrote.

FULL ARTICLE AND VIDEO FROM THE WASHINGTON POST 

Don’t Be Fooled, Trump’s New Muslim Ban Is Still Illegal

06khera-smithWeb-master768President Trump’s executive order barring immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries experienced nearly universal defeat in the federal courts. On Monday, he issued a revised version of that order, but it still suffers from a fundamental, and fatal, flaw: It constitutes unlawful religious discrimination.

On the surface, this revised order looks different from the first version. It explicitly exempts Iraq from the travel ban, thus reducing the number of affected countries to six, as well as lawful permanent residents (that is, green card holders) and people who have visas. It no longer categorically bars Syrian refugees or includes a religious test to determine which refugees may enter the country. And in a marked departure from the earlier order, it goes into effect in 10 days, so that the chaos that unfolded in airports around the world when the January order became effective presumably won’t happen again.

These changes are, no doubt, intended to address the due process concerns that led the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to affirm a lower-court ruling that put a hold on part of the original order. But while these changes are important, they do not fix the core problem with the executive order: The administration is waging an all-out assault on Islam and Muslims.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES

Forum: US Muslims’ defense: The Constitution

The night before, Reuters had reported that President Donald Trump would soon sign an executive order blocking visas for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and Africa. The move, an expression of the “Muslim ban” that Trump touted during his campaign, marooned Muslims legally working or studying in the United States and threatens to divide families who have relatives in their home countries.

Cochran is director of the Virginia chapter of Emerge USA, an organization founded in 2006 to help Muslims get involved in local politics across five states. It’s one of many organizations that American Muslims created in the aftermath of 9/11 to protect and advocate for their embattled community. That very morning, she was already set to travel to Richmond to meet with state lawmakers to communicate the concerns of Muslim Virginians.

If Trump keeps his campaign promises — and so far there’s every indication he will — the country may see a return to the excesses of the Bush era that saw American Muslims profiled, surveilled, harassed and marginalized. Trump’s administration is more openly anti-Muslim than any in history. Trump himself has stated that “Islam hates us”; his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, has called Islamism a “vicious cancer inside the body of 1.7 billion people”; his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, once operated Breitbart, an alt-right news site known for anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Sixteen years ago, many American Muslims didn’t know where to turn for help. There was no Emerge USA for them to email. They had almost no political, social or cultural capital. Now they are far better prepared. That’s because American Muslims have learned to arm themselves, not with weapons but with the freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution. In the crucible of American society after 2001, Muslims have fully embraced the democratic ideals, expansive religious freedom and rich civil society that truly make America great.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE NEW HAVEN REGISTER