ICCNC: The Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California (ICCNC) has published Statement on Executive Order to Ban Muslims and Refugees. The full statement is below:
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
ICCNC’s Position on President Trump’s Executive Order to Ban Muslims and Refugees
The Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California (ICCNC) is stunned and dismayed by President Trump’s Executive Order (EO) to ban the entry of visitors and refugees from seven Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen to the United States. We find this order be un-American, immoral, illogical, unjust, and damaging to the national interest of the United States.
- This Executive Order is un-American. The order undermines the freedom of religion, a principle that is among the core value of our American democracy and has elevated our nation above others. It is also un-American because America is a nation that was founded by immigrants fleeing religious persecution. Thus, banning anyone based on their faith, or ethnicity runs contrary to our nation’s founding values, our Constitution, and our basic notion of human rights, which America has championed.
- This Executive Order is immoral. The order targets some of the most vulnerable people in the world–refugees who are fleeing the unspeakable violence. The U.S. has particular moral obligation to help people from Syria and Iraq since failed U.S. policies in the Middle East region have contributed to the current situation As a result of the war in Syria, 4.8 million Syrian refugees now live in neighboring countries. The United States, which has a population of 325 million, has accepted only 12,500 Syrian refugees in 2016. This is a paltry figure when compared to the 39,000 refugees taken in by Canada, a country with a population of only 36 million. The U.S. has abandoned its moral obligation and is now completely shutting the door of hope on these refugees.
- This Executive Order is illogical – The EO has little relevance to its purported goal of preventing terrorists from entering the United States. Experts on terrorism tell us that since the horrific events of 9/11, no one in the U.S. has died in a terrorist attack perpetrated by individuals from these seven Muslim countries. There have been only three non-deadly cases in which the perpetrators were lone wolves of Iranian or Somalian descent. Moreover, the U.S. currently has a rigorous vetting process for all refugees and some visitors from these seven countries, who are subject to the highest level of multi-agency security checks of any traveler category to the United States.
- The Executive Order is unjust – The order punishes refugees and citizens from these seven countries that had already received their visas. These individuals have already gone through the existing, rigorous vetting process and spent considerable time, money, energy, and emotion to obtain their visas. For many refugees especially, their lives have been on hold up to three years to receive their visas, a written promise by the U.S. government to allow them to enter America. Now the promise and hope of building a new life have all been erased by this Executive Order. Additionally, those individuals already residing in the States on a legal visa who were unfortunate to be outside of the U.S. at the time of the EO are being turned away from from the place they have come to call their home, where many have families, children, friends, homes, jobs, etc. Many students pursuing higher education in the US have also been affected by this ban. This has inflicted enormous harm to these people without any benefits to national security.
- This Executive Order damages the national interests of the United States. This order damages the national interest of the U.S. It makes the U.S. looking small, afraid, unjust, and hostile to foreign visitors and immigrants. The EO has alienated allies, including Iraq, provided propaganda fodder for terrorist networks that frequently portray U.S. involvement in the Middle East as a religious crusade, and endangered critical information exchange with Muslim allies. Moreover, it damages American leadership in higher education. An open letter signed by more than 18,000 academics and counting, including 50 Nobel laureates warns that Trump’s order “significantly damages American leadership in higher education and research” and calls it “inhumane, ineffective, and un-American.”
What is ICCNC doing in response to this executive order?
- ICCNC is working collaboratively with civil rights advocacy organizations, Islamic organizations, interfaith partners, and other organizations to better inform the community about the implications of this EO and to develop an effective response this and future EOs that impacts us all.
- For those who need immediate legal help or want to report an incident, please go to these websites listed below to seek help or email us at email@example.com so we can connect you to an appropriate organization or lawyer. For additional information, please see:
- The Council on American-Islamic Relations – San Francisco Chapter
- Muslim Advocates, especially their community guidance on the EO.
- One of the most impactful steps that you can take is to call your U.S. senators and congresswoman/man and express your disapproval of this EO. Please go to the following webpages, which provide representatives’ phone numbers and guide you how to place a call and what to say.
- National Iranian American Council
4. ICCNC is working with the local officials and Congresswoman Barbara Lee to convey the damaging impact of this EO to the Muslim community and the nation.