For days, Iranians have been protesting in large numbers against a variety of oppressive economic, social and religious policies – marking the largest protests in the country since the Green Movement in 2009. This has sparked hypocritical response from the far-right, President Donald J. Trump and his administration.
Trump has been tweeting about his “support” for Iranian protesters – even though through his three attempts at Muslim bans, he didn’t deem them worthy of entering the United States. Iran is one of six Muslim-majority countries included in the latest indefinite Muslim ban.
Just yesterday morning, Trump tweeted, “Such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government. You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time!”
But experts say Trump’s comments are neither wanted nor helping the cause. Philip Gordon, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote in a Dec. 30 New York Times op-ed that he also wants “to see the government in Tehran weakened, moderated or even removed,” so Trump should “keep quiet and do nothing.”
“We can be fairly certain that high-profile public support from the United States government will do more harm than good,” he wrote.
If Trump really cared about Iranians, he'd end the Muslim ban.
Trump’s tweets are also empty given his attempts at a Muslim ban, which harms Iranians, especially the protesters he claims to support and respect. People of various backgrounds often immigrate to the U.S. in hopes for a better life. Trump tore that dream away from many Iranians simply because they come from a Muslim-majority country. If Trump really wanted to help Iranians, he ought to stop attempting to ban them and others.
That’s why Americans United, our allies at Muslim Advocates and the law firm Covington & Burling LLP, in consultation with the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), filed the first legal challenge against the Muslim ban 3.0. Our lawsuit, Iranian Alliances Across Borders v. Trump, was heard by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia on Dec. 8 and is awaiting a ruling. We're hoping the court agrees with us that the ban should be blocked.
We represent IAAB, a nonprofit that serves the Iranian diaspora community; Iranian Students’ Foundation, a student group at the University of Maryland, College Park; and six individuals, all of whom are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents with Iranian relatives who would be blocked from coming to the U.S. by Muslim Ban 3.0.
Trump’s Muslim ban is cruel. It separates families, hinders charitable and religious organizations from fulfilling their missions and it sends a message to all Muslims and people from Muslim-majority countries – citizens and non-citizens alike – that they are not welcome here. This ban violates not only the Constitution, but also our fundamental American values of religious freedom and fairness.