We Reject the Muslim Ban!

Speech by Christine Hauschildt at the Anti-War Committee protest against the #MuslimBan on October 10, 2017

Hello everyone, thank you for coming out today and standing with us against the Muslim ban. It’s newest version still unconstitutional, still racist, still xenophobic, and will still have a real impact on all of us.

On September 24th a third version of the Muslim ban was introduced and it will go in to effect on October 15th. A few notable changes in this third version of the ban are the introduction of new countries, removal of others, and a violation of the Supreme Court’s order to allow those with bona fide relationships to travel to the United States. These two changes are pathetic smokescreens for the actual reasoning behind them. They are trying to shake the label of the travel ban being a Muslim ban by adding North Korea and Venezuela to the list, and removing Sudan. Their intentions are underwhelmingly transparent and do not fool us into thinking that this ban is anything but an attack on and stigmatization of Muslim people around the world. Six of the countries listed are majority Muslim. This new version of the ban is even worse than previous versions and will go in to effect without the Supreme Court allowing arguments to be made around it’s legality.

This ban is completely unconstitutional – violating our First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, by not allowing people from eight targeted countries to travel to the United States. It discriminates based on national origin, which is something that is in direct conflict with our ideals as a nation. Unless you are indigenous, we were all immigrants by ancestry at some point in time. This is not our land and we cannot forget that. We need to be kind to others, and allow those displaced by the US’s foreign wars to seek refuge, join their loved ones, and be welcomed to a place that until now, valued immigration to our shores.

War creates refugees! It is important to connect the Muslim ban to the US’s wartime activities in the Middle East. Since 2001 the US has attacked country after country using the excuse of terrorism to destroy and destabilize significant parts of the Middle East and Southern Asia. The very countries that the US has bombed are the countries that are on the Muslim ban. The Trump administration is labeling entire countries as “terrorist havens” when in fact the US has caused years of terror in them.  US warfare has created an international refugee crisis and this ban is an attempt to blame the very victims of these wars for their own trauma. It is immoral and outrageous to deny refugees an avenue to flee to the US when our country was responsible for creating the wars they are running from.

The reasoning behind the countries that are banned is weak at best. If the real reason to ban travel to the US was to keep us safe from so-called “terrorists”, the list would look VERY different. The ban fails to tie the nationals of those eight countries to terror attacks in the United States, ever. If we wanted to avoid putting Americans in danger, we should start by stopping The US’s own acts of terror in other countries. As long as the US continues to bomb, kill, and occupy abroad, there will be a cycle of violence. In February, the Department of Homeland Security concluded in an internal report that “country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity.” The Cato Institute found that since 1975, no Americans have been killed on US soil by acts of “terrorism” from any of the eight countries covered by the new ban. Even within government agencies, they know that this ban is unfounded on any truths justifying its need. The biggest threats to our safety as Americans are home grown. The argument that we need to keep ourselves safe from foreign nationals traveling to the US to commit atrocities is meaningless when the most recent attacks on Americans have been carried out by other Americans, the majority of whom are white.

Thank you again for being here today and bringing this issue to the forefront. This is real, this is happening, our actions in January were just the beginning of the fight, and people need to keep showing up. Keep fighting. Keep standing up for our friends and neighbors. When they are under attack – so are we. When the Muslim community is under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back.