banned from the united states

The debate over the legality of President Trump’s Executive Order banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States continues in the courts. In the meantime,  many refugees are uncertain about their futures and many Americans are uncertain about their nation’s reputation for welcoming immigrants from all walks of life.  

Tumblr and the International Refugee Assistance Project have convened refugees, advocates and policy experts to discuss the potential impact of such laws and policies and test the assumptions on which they are based.

Ibrahim, aka Sham Hasan was born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq. He served as a linguist and cultural adviser to the U.S. Army in Iraq. He arrived to the US through the Special Immigrant Visa program in 2014. Sham is a LGBTQ and refugee rights advocate.

Betsy Fisher is the Policy Director at the International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center. An attorney and passionate Michigan fan (go blue!), she advocates for refugees and for individuals at risk who worked for the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bader is an LGBT refugee who fled from his home country and, after a long journey, now lives in Lebanon. Bader is an LGBTIQ activist and a human rights supporter, and also has a blog where he writes and sings songs inspired by his experience. For reasons of security and privacy he is not using his real name or photograph.

Jen Smyers serves as the Director of Policy and Advocacy for the Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program, and has been with CWS for more than ten years.  A graduate of American University with a B.A. in Law and Society, B.A. in Public Communication, and Masters in Public Policy, Ms. Smyers has previously worked with Border Action Network in Tucson, Arizona and the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.

The Ask Box is now open.  Ask our panelists a question!

 Our panelists will start responding on Tuesday, February 14th.


4 (And maybe 5) Grounds to Impeach Trump

By my count, there are now four grounds to impeach Donald Trump. The fifth appears to be on its way.

First, in taking the oath of office, a president promises to “faithfully execute the laws & the constitution.” That’s Article II Section 2. 

But Trump is unfaithfully executing his duties as president by accusing his predecessor, president Obama, of undertaking an illegal and impeachable act, with absolutely no evidence to support the accusation.

Second, Article I Section 9 of the Constitution forbids government officials from taking things of value from foreign governments. But Trump is making big money off his Trump International Hotel by steering foreign diplomatic delegations to it, and will make a bundle off China’s recent decision to grant his trademark applications for the Trump brand – decisions Chinese authorities arrived at directly because of decisions Trump has made as president.

Third: The 1st Amendment to the Constitution bars any law “respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” But Trump’s ban on travel into the United States from 6 muslim countries – which he initiated, advocated for, and oversees – violates that provision.

Fourth: The 1st Amendment also bars “abridging the freedom of the press.” But Trump’s labeling the press “the enemy of the people,” and choosing who he invites to news conferences based on whether they’ve given him favorable coverage, violates this provision.

A fifth possible ground if the evidence is there: Article II Section 3 of the Constitution defines “treason against the United States” as “adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

Evidence is mounting that Trump and his aides colluded with Russian operatives to win the 2016 presidential election.

Presidents can be impeached for what the Constitution calls “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The question is no longer whether there are grounds to impeach Trump. The practical question is whether there’s the political will.

As long as Republicans remain in the majority in the House, where a bill of impeachment originates, it’s unlikely. Another reason why it’s critically important to flip the House in 2018.


Uber drivers want their CEO to step down from Trump’s advisory council

  • Uber CEO Travis Kalanick joined Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, which means he will “frequently” share “specific experience and knowledge” with Trump as he shapes his economic agenda.
  • Following Trump’s executive order banning the entry of visa holders from seven Muslim-majority countries to the United States, Uber drivers — nine out of 10 of whom are immigrants, according to the Independent Drivers Guild — have a message for Kalanick: Step down.
  • The IDG launched a petition urging Kalanick to exit Trump’s advisory council.  It also asked Uber to donate to nonprofit organizations that are fighting the ban, publicly declare it will not punish drivers protesting the ban and show its support by allowing users to tip through the app. Read more

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“If you haven’t heard, this is what happened over the weekend on Friday. The president gave an order banning people from seven countries from entering the United States, including people with green cards. Then on Saturday, the president screened Finding Dory at the White House. I don’t get political, but I will say that I am against one of those two things.

An Orgy of Unnecessary Cruelty

The theme that unites all of Trump’s initiatives so far is their unnecessary cruelty.

1. His new budget comes down especially hard on the poor – imposing unprecedented cuts in low-income housing, job training, food assistance, legal services, help to distressed rural communities, nutrition for new mothers and their infants, funds to keep poor families warm, even “meals on wheels.”

These cuts come at a time when more American families are in poverty than ever before, including 1 in 5 children. 

Why is Trump doing this? To pay for the biggest hike in military spending since the 1980s. Yet the U.S. already spends more on its military than the next 7 biggest military budgets put together.

2. His plan to repeal and “replace” the Affordable Care Act will cause 14 million Americans to lose their health insurance next year, and 24 million by 2026.

Why is Trump doing this? To bestow $600 billion in tax breaks over the decade to wealthy Americans. This windfall comes at a time when the rich have accumulated more wealth than at any time in the nation’s history. 

The plan reduces the federal budget deficit by only $337 billion over the next ten years – a small fraction of the national debt, in exchange for an enormous amount of human hardship.

3. His ban on Syrian refugees and reduction by half in the total number of refugees admitted to the United States comes just when the world is experiencing the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

Why is Trump doing this? The ban does little or nothing to protect Americans from terrorism. No terrorist act in the United States has been perpetrated by a Syrian or by anyone from the six nations whose citizens are now banned from traveling to the United States. You have higher odds of being struck by lightening than dying from an immigrant terrorist attack.  

4. His dragnet roundup of undocumented immigrants is helter-skelter – including people who have been productive members of our society for decades, and young people who have been here since they were toddlers.

Why is Trump doing this? He has no compelling justification. Unemployment is down, crime is down, and we have fewer undocumented workers in the U.S. today than we did five years ago. 

Trump is embarking on an orgy of cruelty for absolutely no reason. This is morally repugnant. It violates every ideal this nation has ever cherished. We have a moral responsibility to stop it.

Donald Trump...

…wants to take Iraq’s oil.
…is making enemies lists.
…is calling his critics “enemies.”
…is keeping his own security force.
…wants the Army to target civilians.
…would make the Army target civilians.
…wants to expand domestic surveillance.
…wants to make it easier to sue the press.
…wants to cut back our intelligence agencies.
…thinks security takes precedence over privacy.
…is undermining the legitimacy of the court system.
…is threatening journalists for unfavorable reporting.
…is threatening to enact martial law in American cities.
…thinks the 1st Amendment offers too much protection.
…needs the names of people working on climate change.
…needs the names of people working on gender equality.
…offered to “destroy the career” of a Texas state Senator.
…is undermining and telling lies to delegitimize the media.
…only supports transparency when it’s working to his benefit.
…is banning a religion from immigrating to the United States.
…will prevent administration officials from appearing on CNN.
…is going to publish a list of crimes committed by immigrants.
…is appointing unqualified cronies to national cabinet positions.
…is seeking the ability to purge the government of non-loyalists.
…is freezing federal agencies from communicating through twitter.
…is dismantling anti-discrimination protections for at-risk students.
…is showing no regard for the handling of delicate classified information.
…his chief advisor is using her position to push Trump branded products.
…is using his position as President to make money for his businesses.
…needs the names of State Department employees working on extremism.
…is demanding apologies from news organizations that report on WH leaks.
…has fired the acting Attorney General for “betraying the State Department.”
…is completely ignoring communications from the Office of Government Ethics.
…is allowing his chief strategist to destroy or prevent a White House paper trail.
…is presenting “alternative facts” (lying) to the American people.
…is frustrated that he is unable to govern the same way that he ran his businesses.
…is only taking questions from pro-administration news agencies at press conferences.
…wanted to oust all inspectors general to remove ethics oversight over government agencies.
…his policy advisor is warning that the President’s national security policy “will not be questioned.”
…withheld important national security information from the Vice President and the rest of his team.
…his campaign may have been working with another nation to effect the outcome of a democratic election.
…has removed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s permanent seat on the National Security Council.
…has given Steve Bannon, an alt-right white nationalist, a permanent seat on the National Security Council.
…insulted Australia, an ally of the United States, and may have threatened to invade Mexico, also an ally of the United States.
…has planted hand picked supporters in his crowds.
…has given cabinet positions to his campaign donors.
…has undermined the legitimacy of protesters.
…fired advisors who don’t fully support his policies.
…considering quitting the U.N. Human Rights Council.
…rejected intelligence reports that don’t fully support his policies.
…went a full week without attending the Presidential Daily Intelligence Briefing.
…asked the FBI to undermine news reports on the administration’s ties to Russia.
…asked intelligence officials and key Republican lawmakers to counter Russia stories.
…has blocked CNN, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, BuzzFeed, the BBC and the Guardian from participating in a press conference.

[from Reddit; Source(s)]


Meet the Rutgers students who invented an eco-friendly transportation service for refugees

  • Trump wants to ban refugees from entering the United States. But these Rutgers University students want to help refugees live with dignity.
  • Rutgers Business School seniors Gia Farooqi, Hasan Usmani, Moneeb Mian and alumna Hana Lakhani — who are all Muslim — pitched Roshni Rides to the international social entrepreneurship competition Hult Prize for a $1 million prize.
  • The group won the regional finals of the competition in March, out of 50,000 applicants. The team beat out schools like Harvard, Yale and Purdue, and is one of five regional winners across the world, Umair Masood, Rutgers’ campus director for the Hult Prize, said in an email.
  • Roshni Rides is an eco-friendly rickshaw service, a two- or-three-wheeled man-powered passenger cart, that will allow refugees to travel with ease and without a financial burden.
  • If the team wins the $1 million prize, Roshni Rides would start its service in Orangi Town, Pakistan. Read more (3/9/17 3:14 PM)

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There's A Long, Ignominious Trail Of Bans, Registries And Forced Relocation
The travel ban imposed by the president a week ago on people from seven Muslim-majority countries is only the latest executive order through the years grounded in race, ethnicity or country of origin.

President Trump’s executive order limiting immigration from majority-Muslim countries, which ignited protests across the country last weekend, joins a list of controversial presidential decrees through the years that have been aimed at foreign or domestic racial and ethnic groups.

Trump’s executive order, titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” not only bans entry from seven countries — Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen — but also gives priority to religious minorities in those countries.

The order requires several federal agencies to conduct in-person interviews during the visa process and develop a way “to evaluate the applicant’s likelihood of becoming a positively contributing member of society and the applicant’s ability to make contributions to the national interest; and a mechanism to assess whether or not the applicant has the intent to commit criminal or terrorist acts after entering the United States.”

Whether popular or divisive, Trump’s hard-line move to restrict entry into the U.S. is only one more instance where such actions, based on race, ethnicity or nation of origin, have flowed from security concerns, fear or bigotry.

“Banning people with legal immigration status from the United States is xenophobic, unethical, inhumane and arguably illegal. This letter signals none of that. Instead, its biggest concern is Silicon Valley's ability to bring in the ‘best and the brightest.’ Pointing out a person's economic value is not opposition to the inhumanity of the ban — it's affirming Trump's own priorities.”

- Melanie Ehrenkranz, Silicon Valley’s opposition to Trump’s travel ban completely misses the point

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Federal agencies are still struggling to react to Trump’s policy announcements. That’s a problem.

  • When President Donald Trump this week announced that he will ban transgender individuals from serving in the United States military, he did so apparently without having nailed down important details about how the policy would work and how it would be implemented.
  • In her daily press briefing Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the implementation would be something the White House and Department of Defense would “work together” to determine — but could not answer questions about basic details of what that policy would entail.
  • “I think sometimes you have to make decisions,” Huckabee Sanders said the day Trump announced the ban. “And once he made a decision, he didn’t feel it was necessary to hold that decision. And they’re going to work together with the Department of Defense to lawfully implement it.” Read more. (7/30/2017 3:40 PM)

Tech companies are taking litigious action against Donald Trump’s immigration ban

  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sat four seats away from Donald Trump in December after accepting the president-elect’s invitation to a technology roundtable.
  • Now, less than two months later, Bezos has publicly declared his support for a lawsuit filed against Trump and his administration.
  • The lawsuit, filed Monday, says that Trump’s executive order banning the entry of visa holders from seven Muslim-majority countries to the United States will hurt both Washington state’s economy as well as its businesses.
  • Microsoft and Expedia, also based in Washington, are supporting the lawsuit as well.
  • But there’s more: Github, Google, Airbnb and Netflix are among a slew of other companies planning to meet on Tuesday to discuss filing an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit against the immigration executive order, CNBC reports.
  • Why only take action against Trump now? The bottom line. Read more

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comrade trump has slowly begun implementing the negative draft and soon everyone will be banned from joining the united states military

anonymous asked:

What did the founding fathers think of Muslims?

In 1739, Benjamin Franklin became involved with one of the earliest documented places intended for interfaith use in America. It was built on the idea of being inclusive of all religions, including Muslims. In his writings, Franklin made clear:

“Both house and ground were vested in trustees, expressly for the use of any preacher of any religious persuasion who might desire to say something to the people at Philadelphia; the design in building not being to accommodate any particular sect, but the inhabitants in general; so that even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”

The “preaching-house” was to be a meeting place open to people of all faiths, including those of the “Muslim world,”. He went so far as to “preach” Islam in America. In his Autobiography he wrote concerning the non-denominational place of public preaching above “so that even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”

And it being found inconvenient to assemble in the open air, subject to its inclemencies, the building of a house to meet in was no sooner propos’d, and persons appointed to receive contributions, but sufficient sums were soon receiv’d to procure the ground and erect the building, which was one hundred feet long and seventy broad, about the size of Westminster Hall; and the work was carried on with such spirit as to be finished in a much shorter time than could have been expected. Both house and ground were vested in trustees, expressly for the use of any preacher of any religious persuasion who might desire to say something to the people at Philadelphia; the design in building not being to accommodate any particular sect, but the inhabitants in general; so that even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service. “

Benjamin Franklin not want to ban Muslims from coming to the United States, on the contrary, he wanted to invited them. However, In a March 23, 1790, letter to the editor of the Federal Gazette, Franklin wrote:

“Nor can the Plundering of Infidels be in that sacred Book [the Quran] forbidden, since it is well known from it, that God has given the World, and all that it contains, to his faithful Mussulmen, who are to enjoy it of Right as fast as they conquer it.”

Records at Mount Vernon show that some of George Washington’s slaves were, Muslims or at least descendants of Muslims [x]. These slaves were able to retain their Muslim-sounding. One Muslim slave, Sambo Anderson, Sambo fathered six children with two different women, both of whom lived at the River Farm area of Mount Vernon. In an article entitled “Mount Vernon Reminiscence” that was published in the Alexandria Gazette on January 18th, 1876, “an old citizen of Fairfax County” contends that Washington and Sambo had a close friendship. It continued by stating that Sambo was a “great favorite of the master [Washington]; by whom he was given a piece of land to build a house on.” It contended that Washington allowed Sambo to keep a small boat to “cross over the creek in, and for other purposes,” a rare privilege for any slave. Sambo was also claimed to be excellent hunter and was given permission by Washington to own a gun and ammunition, which were also rare privileges for a slaveowner to bestow up a slave. According to notes recovered from Washington’s ledger, he used to visit Sambo to buy duck meat and honey.

Washington tolerated the presence of Muslims in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Bampett Muhammad fought for the “Virginia Line” between 1775 and 1783, and there was Yusuf Ben Ali. Ben Ali served as an aide to General Thomas Sumter in South Carolina. Sultain Sidi Muhammad ben Abdallah of Morocco, who showed interest in helping the Americans in their fight against the British Empire. Abdallah assisted Washington by listing the newly independent United States of America as a country whose trading ships would be welcomed in the ports of Morocco, a move which offered the potential for supplies to be shipped to Washington’s army. These early diplomatic relations between the United States  and Morocco showed in the ratification of the Treaty of Marrakech in 1786, which remains the longest standing foreign relations treaty in American history.

In a personal letter from 1783, he made it crystal that America would be “open to receive… the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions, whom we shall welcome to participation of all our rights and privileges … They may be Mahometans [Muslims], Jews, or Christians of any sect.” another letter written to Edward Newnham in 1792 he wrote that battles over religious differences were “the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be deprecated.” He was explicit to avoid religious disputes, feeling problems might “endanger the peace of society.”

Correspondence from Tench Tighman in 1784, Tilghman inquired as to what type of workmen George Washington would like at Mount Vernon. Washington wanted good work men and confirmed, “they may be of Asia, Africa or Europe. They may be Mahometans [Muslims], Jews, or Christians of any sect, or atheists.”

At Mount Vernon, Despite Washington’s views, there were challenges to anyone practicing the Islam faith. Pork was a traditional and often breakfast for slaves [x]. The standard work week stretched from Monday through Saturday, making traditional Friday Islamic prayers nearly impossible to continue at the plantation since Friday was a work day.

John Adams referred to Islam when discussing religious freedom, typically referring to Muslims as Mahometans. It is untrue that Adams passed into act the Treaty of Tripoli to keeps Muslims out of America. The treaty was because of the American ships who were being acted by such pirates who happened to be Muslim–but just because they were Muslim. Article eleven of the treaty explicitly states:

“As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, – as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen [Muslims], – and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan [Muslim] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

In translation, America was not against their religious beliefs nor were they ever and that even if those attacking American vessels were Muslim there would be no ill feelings towards others of the religion. The language indicates the United States of America was merely neutral on religion in a treaty that was all about protecting U.S. ships. 

President John Adams wanted to secure commercial shipping rights, and the countries he wanted to negotiate with happened to be Muslim, and happened to justify piracy by declaring war on Christian nations. Adams addressed that declaration by claiming that the United States was not Christian, and was not at war with Muslims. 

Adams named the Prophet Muhammad one of the world’s great truth seekers alongside Socrates and Confucius. He said that Prophet Muhammad was a “Sober inquirer of the truth.” He helped to write the Massachusetts constitution, which indicated “the most ample liberty of conscience for Deists and Mohometans.” 

During the Election of 1800 another of the claims thrown at Thomas Jefferson was that he was secretly Muslim. Jefferson owned a Quran which he bought as a twenty-two year old law student and he had previously stated that a Muslim, with rights ensured to them by the Constitution, could indeed become the President of the United States. Jefferson did not leave any notes on his immediate reaction to the Qur’an, he did criticize Islam as “stifling free enquiry” in his early political debates in Virginia, but this is a charge he also heaved against Catholicism. He thought both religions combined religion and the state at a time he wished to separate them.

A few months after authoring the Declaration of Independence, he returned to his home in Virginia to draft legislation about religion for his state. Writing in his private notes a paraphrase John Locke’s 1689 “Letter on Toleration”:

“[he] says neither Pagan nor Mahometan [Muslim] nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the commonwealth because of his religion.”

This claim, Jefferson incorporated into the legislation:

“(O)ur civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions.”

Jefferson believed strongly in the separation of state and church as well as that religious liberty and political equality would not be exclusively Christian meaning. The original legislative intent had been “to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination.” as he stated in his autobiography. 

In 1805, at the White House, President Jefferson welcomed the first Muslim ambassador. Because it was Ramadan, the president moved the state dinner from 3:30 p.m. to be “precisely at sunset,” a recognition of the religious beliefs.

I can find nothing on John Jay and Muslims. 

The government, James Madison reasoned, has no more right to tolerate someone’s religious beliefs than it does to interfere with them. Madison also believed specifically in the inclusion of religious voices in a democratic system: “In a free government, the security for civil rights must be the same as that for religious rights. It consists in the one case in the multiplicity of interests, and in the other the multiplicity of sects.”

He worked on the same legislature as Jefferson, see above for more details. 

I can find nothing on Alexander Hamilton slavery, nor does he have any letters pertaining to the subject. 

When Muslim Barbary Pirates committed terrorist attacks, under President James Monroe, he refused appeasement and instead deployed the U.S. Navy, as he stated, March 5th, 1821:

“Our relations with the Barbary Powers are preserved…by the same means
that were employed when I came into this office. As early as 1801 it was
found necessary to send a squadron into the Mediterranean for the
protection of our commerce.”

In his State of the Union speech on December 3, 1822, President James Monroe expressed regret that the “gloomy despotism” of the Muslim Ottomans had spread over much of the world. For Monroe and his audience, this Islamic despotism was a threat to Western civilization and American democracy. As with Adams, the pirates still placing attacks were mean’t to be seen as terrorists and not just for their religious beliefs. His were closely in line with James Madison and Thomas Jefferson (above). 

(If anyone wants to add anything, go ahead I am away from my bookshelf currently so there may be things missing.)
These white Christians believe they are more discriminated against than Muslims
A majority of white evangelical Christians believe they face more discrimination than Muslims in the US, a new poll has revealed. The Public Religion Research Institute study found 57 per cent of white evangelical protestants believe Christians face “a lot of discrimination” in the US today, while just 44 per cent believe Muslims faced the same level. The survey of 2,000 US adults found radically different views depending on religious orientation.

Of course! It’s so obvious!

  • Trump signed two executive orders banning people from predominantly Christian countries from entering the United States!
  • So many prominent politicians have been unfairly complaining about “radical Christian terrorism”!
  • Every time some far-right nut commits a crime supposedly in the name of Christianity, everyone blames all Christians for it!
  • The number of hate groups specifically targeting Christians has nearly tripled in the past year!
  • There has been a rash of hate crimes against Christians, including vandalizing and burning down Christian churches!
  • Business are demanding the right to refuse to serve Christians!
  • People unfairly call Christianity a religion of war, dedicated to the extermination of every other religion, and they misquote the Bible out of context to “prove” it!
  • Christians can’t safely wear crucifixes, priest collars, or any other apparel or hairstyle reflecting their religious beliefs in public!
  • Hell, they’ve even blamed Christians as a group for the 9/11 attacks!

Why didn’t I see it before?

With all the crazy stuff going on about Trump’s insane executive orders I thought I might just give some of my own input.

Of course, I was already shocked when I heard about the “Muslim ban”. But my cousin, a conservator at a museum who is rather well known in the art world, called recently because she was so distraught.

So many art conservators and people who are very important to her job are now either banned from entering the United States or can’t return home and be able to come back. So many people can’t come here and bring their knowledge. So many people can’t come and bring their art. The United States has now completely ostracized itself from the art world because we won’t be able to hold museum conferences unless we exclude all the representatives from Islamic countries.

Isn’t that horrible? It hurts so bad. I absolutely love art, and I love all art - and I love Islamic art too. And it hurts so horribly that idiot Donald Trump hasn’t really considered the implications of his rash decisions. And of course, this is only one effect … it hurts so bad that we exclude so many people - not to mention all the refugees and immigrants who seek refuge here from their countries at war, but also the people who help to expand our knowledge and promote beauty. It hurts.

We have to change it.

by the skin of your teeth (part 4)

in a shockingly unrealistic and out of character move, Ford actually sits down and explains something. 

Keep reading

3 examples that show the difference between Obama's 2011 Iraqi Visa Policy and Trump's Muslim ban.

A member of the Iranian opposition — let’s call him Mehdi — flees Iran to avoid being arrested after organizing a demonstration in Tehran. Trump’s policy bans Mehdi from entering the United States, whereas Obama’s would not affect Mehdi at all.

A teenager born and raised in Germany — let’s call her Leila — has Iranian citizenship from her mother. If she wants to travel to the US on a school trip, Obama’s policy would mean that Leila could still enter the United States, but would need to acquire a visa before doing so. Trump’s policy would bar her from entry entirely.

A Lebanese Shia Muslim with a French mother — let’s call him Ahmed — travels to Tehran, potentially because he is a member of Hezbollah who was training with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Obama’s policy would subject him to heightened screening, because he recently traveled to Iran. Trump’s policy would not affect him at all, because he is a French-Lebanese national.

If Americans aren’t prioritized, then who is?

Donald Trump’s ban restricts citizens from the following countries entering the United States: Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq.

What we have recently seen in 2016:

In Columbus, Ohio, a Somali refugee, who had previously lived in Pakistan for seven years, “attempted to run over his fellow Ohio State students on campus. After his car was stopped by a barrier, he got out of the vehicle and began hacking at people with a butcher knife” (

In New York City and New Jersey, a man naturalized from Afghanistan decided to set off multiple bombs, which consequently resulted in the injury of thirty people.

In Minnesota, another Somali refugee began “hacking at people with a steak knife at a Minnesota mall” (

How are these three instances of incredible violence related? All three instances of violence were motivated by radical Islam. All three men believed they were doing justice by their god. All three men referenced “Allah” before attempting to murder innocent civilians. And to top it off, all three men were born outside of the United States, and then graciously welcomed into our country with citizenship, education, and civil rights.

Please let me know how I, as an American citizen, am supposed to feel about this. Should I shrug it off? Claim it’s simply a matter of coincidence? Or should I be scared to death?

I am scared to death. I’m scared for my family, my friends, my peers. Flying, as a result of 9/11, to this day makes me anxious. I’m fearful going about my daily life will soon bring me to the same level of anxiety if these terrorist attacks are to continue.

We, the United States of America, have lived through enough tragedy. President Trump’s ban is not a ban on the Muslim religion. It is a temporary ban on the travel of citizens belonging to seven different countries in the Middle East. These seven countries do have very high Muslim populations. This being known, there are plenty of other countries with high Muslim populations that are still free to travel to and from the United States. These seven countries just happen to pose credible terrorist threats to our nation that need to be taken more seriously. 

People are fuming; there has been great distress, great anger. How could we possibly close our borders? Turn our backs on the foreign world? To those who ask these questions, I must then ask this. When President Obama was dropping bombs on five of the seven countries that are currently banned under President Trump’s executive order, where was your anguish? Where were your protests? Where was your voice? Where was your outcry to save the innocent civilians then? Dare I even say these innocent civilians wouldn’t need to seek refuge if it weren’t for President Obama’s previous actions?

The Middle East is a rather large place, with a rather large population of Muslims, and Christians, and Jews. Why must those who seek refuge from war and hardship travel halfway around the world to find peace? Are there no neighboring states to provide them solace? Are those who share their faith, their God too busy to lend a hand, a dollar, a share of kindness. The Middle East is composed of some of the richest countries in the world. Surely there can be a solution a little bit closer to home.

I support the ban. 

I support protecting my family, my friends, my peers, my fellow Red, White, and Blue Americans. I support protecting American lives first. I support an end to the terrorist attacks that have occurred all too often around the world in the past year. I support the fight to eradicate Radical Islamic terrorism.

I do not believe I am Islamaphobic, I do not believe I am racist, but I do believe I am a Patriotic American, who would love nothing more than to see our country flourish the way it has previously, and the way it always should: with an end to attacks, and an end to fear. Let’s put America first again

Donald Trump’s Muslim ban blocks Oscar-nominated Iranian director Asghar Farhadi from awards show

  • On Friday, Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman started playing in theaters across the United States.
  • Friday is also when President Donald Trump’s executive order effectively banned the Oscar-nominated Iranian director from entering the United States. 
  • This will likely prevent Farhadi from attending the Oscars where his movie is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. Read more.