The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in the Muslim ban case April 25. It’s a legal tussle that many American Muslims and Americans perceived to be Muslim are watching closely, and for good reason: The ban has extended beyond public policy and has also increased Islamophobic rhetoric, harassment and hate crimes. That’s why this month, we’ve been speaking to Muslims (and those targeted because they’re perceived to be Muslim) about how the current political climate is impacting their lives in the United States.
Aden Hassan is a Somali refugee who came to the United States in 2017, only to be separated from his family because of President Donald J. Trump’s Muslim and refugee ban.
“My mother and my family were supposed to follow, but because of the Muslim ban, my family has been unable to come,” Hassan said. “They are still not yet allowed to come.”
Sarah Faizy, an Afghan-American Muslim, said that while the ban doesn’t restrict her traveling or her family members’ traveling, the ban is hurting her sense of security in the United States.
“In a country that was founded on freedom of religion, it is ironic that the highest branch of government would impose such an absurd Muslim ban,” Faizy said. “My family and I have never felt more unsafe at any point of our lives living in the USA, until now.”
Faizy said that many people seeking refuge and immigrating to the U.S. are escaping wars and other horrors, adding that it’s shameful the same people often end up feeling unsafe in this country due to hate speech and crimes.
“Running away from a war zone, you would think that these types of security and safety issues would be in our past, but unfortunately that isn’t the case anymore,” she said. “I am constantly worried every time my mother steps out of the house. Since my mother has a very thick accent and has the typical Afghan look.”
Faizy reiterated that hateful rhetoric from the Trump administration should not be overlooked because it continues to marginalize the American Muslim community and other religious minorities.
“While the Muslim ban doesn’t affect some Muslim Americans directly, [Trump’s] rhetoric validates the racists’ and Islamaphobes’ hatred and violence against minorities,” Faizy said.
Huma Moinuddin, an American Muslim student, agrees.
“Mandating a ban against some Muslim-majority countries has had a finger pointing effect – as if Muslims are the problem,” Moinuddin said. “I’ve noticed this created an environment where people feel more comfortable in expressing their racism. It's disturbing to witness.”
We agree that the Muslim ban is discriminatory, hateful and targets Muslims based solely on their religion. We hope the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the right side of history by blocking the ban and ending this shameful policy.
Our country is at its best when people of all religions feel welcome here. For people of all religions and for people who don’t claim any religion at all – religious freedom means that the law treats everyone equally regardless of faith. Americans United will continue to protect this ideal no matter what discriminatory policies the Trump administration tries to implement.