(Overland Park, KS, 1/30/2017) -- Kansas Interfaith Action today joined with The Crescent Peace Society (CPS), a Kansas City area interfaith organization, and other area groups in opposing President Trump’s “Muslim Ban” Executive Orders halting the acceptance of Syrian refugees and restricting immigration and travel from several Muslim majority nations, including Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
“These Executive Orders focus on refugees, immigrants and visa holders from Muslim majority countries only. It is clear that this is the first step in implementing the President’s promised ‘Muslim Ban,’ effectively excluding people based on their religion,” said CPS President, Ahsan Latif. “Predicating travel, immigration and refuge from harm on the basis of religion, or a religious litmus test, is un-American. I grew up learning the American values of pluralism and freedom of religion. The enactment of t hese policies threatens to turn our long held Constitutional values into just another set of alternative facts.”
This policy harkens back to another dark time in our history when, during World War II, the United States turned away Jewish refugees seeking our protection and instead sent them back to Europe where many did not survive. “Refugees entering this country are already the most vetted of all people entering our borders,” said Latif. “They undergo several levels of screening by multiple national security agencies before they are even selected as refugees.”
These orders will adversely affect American Muslims seeking to host their family members from overseas. They would prevent citizens from aiding parents and grandparents seeking medical treatment and tarnish our image as a country that stands for the ideals of religious freedom and tolerance. “This ‘Muslim Ban’ does not make our country safer,” said Latif. "Instead, it will be a propaganda tool for our enemies who portray America as the perpetrators of a holy war against them."
The Executive Orders claim to focus on nations with some unspecified correlation to terrorism. However, the countries included do not have a record of committing terrorist acts in the United States (Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, for example, are not included on the list). Additionally, statistics show that over 116 times more Americans have died from gun violence compared to terrorism (CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/02/us/oregon-shooting-terrorism-gun-violence/). "It is important to address the issue of terrorism, but it should be based on evidence and hard data instead of faith, race or national origin,” said Latif.
The Crescent Peace Society is a Kansas City-area outreach organization seeking to enhance the understanding of Muslim cultures through educational and cultural activities involving the exchange of ideas and experiences among people of diverse cultures. Its mission is to build bridges among faith communities, encourage dialogue, and promote justice and mutual understanding.
Kansas Interfaith Action is a statewide, multi-faith issue-advocacy organization that “puts faith into action” by educating, engaging and advocating on behalf of people of faith and the public regarding critical social, economic, and climate justice issues.
Other groups joining in the call were the Center for Religious Experience and Study (CRES), KC For Refugees, and Hatebusters, Inc.,
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