Saturday, March 25, 2017

Stop Saying It’s a Muslim Ban

I try to avoid politics. Yet every once in a while I feel the need to speak up. In this case it is about the use of the phrase “Muslim ban.”

The United States is a melting pot of residents with differing backgrounds. We have citizens, permanent residents, and visitors from all over the world. We welcome diversity of race, culture, and religion. I fully support the preservation of our way of life, which includes the right to assemble. Our forefathers fought hard to keep the Government from establishing a national church. We have the “free exercise” of religion, and Congress cannot pass a law “abridging the freedom of speech.” [Amendment I, Constitution of the United States of America, 1789].

However, the President of the United States has issued an Executive Order delaying the processing of visa applications from six countries, and increasing scrutiny for a seventh. Yes, these country’s dominant religion is Islam, which appears to some people to breach that commitment to freedom of religion and right to assemble. But the Executive Order is not a “Muslim ban.”

Read the Executive Order. It specifically states, “Executive Order 13769 did not provide a basis for discriminating for or against members of any particular religion. While that order allowed for prioritization of refugee claims from members of persecuted religious minority groups, that priority applied to refugees from every nation, including those in which Islam is a minority religion, and it applied to minority sects within a religion. That order was not motivated by animus toward any religion, but was instead intended to protect the ability of religious minorities – whoever they are and wherever they reside – to avail themselves of the USRAP in light of their particular challenges and circumstances.”

There are many other countries in the world who have Muslim citizens. Like India, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia. These countries are not listed on the Executive Order. Saying that the Executive Order is a “Muslim ban” is like saying countries that ban travelers from the United States have a “Christian ban.” Continuing to call it a “Muslim ban” does not make it true.

So please, stop saying it’s a Muslim ban.                 

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