Americans United joined members of Congress, allied organizations and faith leaders outside the White House Tuesday to protest Muslim Ban 3.0.
On Sunday, President Donald Trump announced new travel restrictions that indefinitely extend the ban on immigrants from the Muslim-majority countries of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, and extends the ban to the Muslim-majority country of Chad. The president also imposed travel restrictions on Venezuelan government officials and on North Korea – an incredibly small pool of potential travelers.
The addition of North Korea and Venezuela – two countries that have recently been the targets of Trump’s wrath – are simply a distraction. It’s still effectively only people from Muslim-majority countries who are being banned from the United States. This is still a Muslim ban.
Yasmine Taeb, a human rights lobbyist with the Quaker organization Friends Committee on National Legislation, led Tuesday’s rally: “We will not stand for a Muslim ban – ever. Trump’s most recent travel ban violates our core values of religious liberty and runs counter to American values. These executive orders and proclamations are unconstitutional, reprehensible and immoral. He can try to tweak and amend it all he wants, but let there be no confusion: This is still a Muslim ban.”
Americans United has been fighting the Muslim ban from the beginning. Just last week we joined allies in filing a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, explaining that the Muslim ban is un-American and unconstitutional because it singles out people for disfavor based solely on their religion.
Although the Supreme Court has temporarily canceled the Muslim ban arguments that were scheduled for Oct. 10, our message remains the same. Religious freedom is about fairness: We don’t treat people differently because their beliefs are different from ours. And we certainly don’t ban them from our country due to their religion. The Muslim ban spurns the fundamental American values of freedom and fairness.
At the rally, the Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, director of Refugee & Immigration Ministries for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), led the crowd in chants of “No hate, No fear, Muslims are welcome here” while carrying the image of the Statue of Liberty holding an immigrant.
She was followed by U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Hank Johnson (D-Ga.).
Nadler said of the Muslim ban: “You could not get a more pure example of contempt for the Constitution of the United States and for our traditions of religious liberty.”
AU joined allies outside the White House to affirm "No Muslim Ban Ever."
The speakers encouraged the crowd to keep protesting the Muslim ban and to stand in solidarity with the Muslim community.
Johnson called the crowd the “Foot soldiers who are making change in America as we speak. Don’t let it be thought that you aren’t making a difference out here.” Taeb noted that pressure from grassroots activists was once again able to defeat attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
You can join us in spreading the word about Muslim Ban 3.0. AU has teamed up with more than 130 allied organizations in the #NoMuslimBanEver campaign. You can join AU and our coalition partners at 1 p.m. EDT Thursday for a Twitter town hall using the #NoMuslimBanEver hashtag.
You can also take our “Religious Freedom Is About Fairness” Pledge “to speak out and tell others that religious freedom is about fairness.”
P.S. Also on Tuesday, AU joined more than 50 allied organizations in sending a letter to Congress urging members to denounce anti-Muslim Act for America’s upcoming conference in Virginia.
“We are deeply disturbed by ACT for America’s anti-Muslim agenda and its repercussions for the rights and safety of all Americans,” the letter states. “The organization’s speech and viewpoints are protected by the Constitution, but that does not mean we should stay silent in the face of intolerance and bigotry. The Constitution also protects the rights of people of all faiths to practice their religion – or no religion. Yet ACT consistently takes action built around suppressing this Constitutional right for Muslims.”
We urge members of Congress not to attend the conference to avoid legitimizing ACT’s anti-Muslim agenda, and to release a statement denouncing anti-Muslim bigotry and the discriminatory policies promoted by ACT.