Today marks World Refugee Day, which, according to the United Nations, aims to “commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees” worldwide. Today and every day, Americans United opposes religious discrimination against refugees.
With the Donald J. Trump administration’s two attempts to implement a Muslim ban targeting immigrants from Muslim-majority countries and Trump’s talk of favoring Christian refugees over Muslim refugees, this year’s fight to protect refugees from religious discrimination is especially important.
That’s why AU is taking action. Today, AU and allies are sponsoring a rally scheduled for 5 p.m. (Eastern time) outside of the White House in support of the refugee community.
“This year, we will also use the occasion to denounce the discriminatory policies of the Trump Administration and urge our elected officials to join us in supporting refugees here in the U.S. as well as those abroad,” the description of this year’s rally proclaims. “As we witness the largest refugee crisis in recorded history, with over 65 million people displaced around the world, we urge the President and Congress to commit to resettling at least 75,000 refugees in 2018.”
With a significant refugee crisis at stake, it’s important to combat hateful rhetoric now more than ever, especially because anti-Muslim bias has played a big role in the recent political divide since many people seeking refuge in the U.S. are Muslim or come from Muslim-majority countries.
In March, AU invited Kristen Sekerci, a fellow at The Bridge Initiative, a multi-year research project studying Islamophobia based in Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, to a Facebook Live discussion about how to be an ally to the Muslim community.
“I think the most important thing you can do and the best place to start is education, education, education,” Sekerci said. “You’re more likely to have more favorable views about Islam and Muslims if you know a Muslim personally.”
Sekerci’s words still ring true, especially with the fight against the Muslim ban. No religion or religious group should be singled out for unfair treatment. That's why are fighting the Muslim ban in court and continue to combat hateful rhetoric against refugees and immigrants.
In AU’s lengthy legal fight against the Muslim ban, AU argued that restricting immigration and refugee intake based on religion is unconstitutional and un-American. Fighting religious discrimination in court and through rallies remains an immensely important combo.
AU staff members will be at the World Refugee Day rally tonight in Washington, D.C., and if you live in or near the nation’s capital, we hope to see you there. If you want a sign to take with you, download and print our “AU stands with refugees, immigrants & Muslims” rally sign here to bring with you.