Muslim ban 3.0

by Mustafa Nizam

The Trump administration wanted the Supreme Court to strike down the hold on the Muslim Ban of people coming from six countries: Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia. A person from these countries, seeking entry, must have a personal or ongoing relation with a US citizen or Green Card holder or a business entity. The Supreme Court refers to this as a “bonafide” relationship. They are saying that anyone who doesn’t have immediate family, has an ongoing relation with an organization or entity or is a student is banned from entry if they are from one of the six countries. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, even a fiancée trying to enter the country are included in the ban. This is up for further discussion when the Court reconvenes in September.

The Muslim Ban was written with a clause to put a hold on Syrian Refugees from entering for 90 days. The Supreme Court sadly, increased this to 120 days. What does this mean? It means that a refugee family who has been displaced for years and has an approval letter for entry into our country, or someone who gave up their spot at the refugee camp or sold their apartment, or someone who has sold or given away everything and kept only the stuff they can take on the plane, now receive a devastating letter saying that their status is on hold.

This now means they have to start over again. They have to reapply because in those 90 or 120 days, their approval letter will have expired. They have to be re-vetted and reprocessed and intensely scrutinized once more. Who knows if this time they will be approved?

The Muslim ban causes a ripple effect to not only folks from these countries, but also anyone who has brown skin, anyone who has the name Mohamed, Hassan or Khadijah, or a Muslim sister who is wearing a hijab. The Muslim ban casts suspicion on my community by creating suspicion, fear, hatred and misunderstanding. The White House has given its approval by staying silent when our brothers and sisters are being executed in the streets, our mosques or set on fire, and defaced and our holy book being desecrated. The silence is deafening.

They are telling people it is okay and it has become the new normal. Islamophobia does not affect just Muslims, it affects minority communities. A bigot has so much hate, he will direct it at anyone who looks different than himself. Like the two Indian engineers who were shot to death inside a bar in Kansas City, or the Sikh man in Kent, WA who was executed in his driveway while he was washing his car. They were all told “go back to your country.”

Since 2003, there have been more than 800,000 refugees admitted into our country, mostly from Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. According to the department of Homeland Security, there has not been one case of a refugee being arrested or suspected of terrorism. Despite this fact, the media continues to fan the flames of Islamophobia. Hate groups have spawned, like “Act for America”, who organized Anti-Sharia rallies across the country including Oceanside.

Don’t be fooled, it is not Anti-Sharia, it is anti-Islam. This is not isolated; Islamophobia is a $500 million industry. People like Sam Harris, David Horowitz, Ann Coulter, Robert Spencer, Janet Levy or Pam Geller, have become millionaires spreading lies through book deals, YouTube videos and speaking engagements.

The victims of this are the most vulnerable, the refugees. Helping the disenfranchised is what our country was built on. Denying human rights is not what makes America great again.

Mustafa is a long time Vista resident and lives there with his wife and daughter. He is an advocate for human rights has organized many rallies and protest in North County.


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