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The Muslim Ban

Late January, President Trump set an immigration ban barring people from seven countries – Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya. People from these countries were to not be allowed entrance into the US for 90 days. It also stopped Syrian refugee settlement for 120 days and banned them indefinitely. Families from the banned countries travelling to the US were being stopped at airports and were left in confusion as to why they were being blocked. The countries, quite obviously, were not chosen at random. Trump was hoping to eradicate Muslim immigration by banning those from Muslim majority countries. Surely, he was not expecting such an overwhelmingly negative reaction from both the Muslim and non-Muslim world. The outrage, protests and demonstrations displayed the immense amount of distaste Trump’s order was facing.

As Muslims, many of us began to pray, hoping for the best for our fellow Muslims. We know in the Quran that Allah SWT has stated that “We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient” (2:155). And in due time, around mid-February multiple judges denounced the ban and suspended it much earlier than Trump had planned with his 90-day term. Judges stated that there was “no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the order” had committed a terrorist attack in the US. Upon hearing the suspension was banned happiness overcame those who were standing up for justice.

However, less than a month later on March 6, Trump gave a ten day warning stating that a second ban against the same countries, excluding Iraq, was to go into effect on March 16. How thoughtful of Trump to give a ten day warning to the immigrants and exclude one of the seven countries unlike last time? Well…not exactly. Upon hearing the announcement, many were in uproar. This time, there was action taken before the ban could go into effect. Alhumdulillah on March 15, merely a few hours before the second ban was to go in effect, a judge in Hawaii blocked the order stating it was a violation of the First Amendment, which guarantees religious freedom. Rightly so, the ban was halted before it could come into effect.

But where does this stop? This is definitely not the end. Trump will stop at nothing to suppress Muslims and even stated that he would take the case “as far as it needs to go,” including to the Supreme Court. Discrimination against Muslims is inevitable with someone like President Trump in power and the ban is just the beginning. We cannot truly know how far he is willing to go to remove Muslims and their influence from America.

Our job, is not to view the blocking of the ban as the final resolution. As Muslims, we must continue to stand together and be aware of the problems our fellow Muslims are facing. Whether or not you reside in the US or plan to immigrate there, we have to understand that the ban was a Muslim ban. And that our many fellow Muslims around the world are always facing some form of oppression.

Recall that An-Nu’man ibn Bashir reported that the Messenger of Allah (SWT) said:

“The likeness of the believers in their mutual love, mercy and affection is that of the body. When one limb of it complains, the rest of the body reacts with sleeplessness and fever” [Bukhari & Muslim].

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