US Muslims React to Supreme Court’s Approval of Travel Ban

WASHINGTON – The US Supreme Court ruled on June 26 in favor of President Donald Trump’s travel ban, stirring swift reactions from Muslims and non-Muslims across the American society.

In the 5-4 opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court found that Trump’s executive order, restricting travel from several Muslim countries to US, fell “squarely” within the president’s authority, CNBC reported.

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The court rejected claims that the ban was motivated by religious hostility because “The order’s text says nothing about religion. Though the ban applies to five countries with Muslim majority populations, that fact alone doesn’t support an inference of religious hostility; noting that those five countries amount to only 8% of the world’s Muslim population.”

Roberts wrote in the ruling which concerned the third version of Trump’s ban: “The order is expressly premised on legitimate purposes: preventing entry of nationals who can’t be adequately vetted and inducing other nations to improve their practices.”

While the court upheld Trump’s travel restriction, Roberts noted that the ruling didn’t reflect the court’s judgment on the “soundness” of the policy.

A new study by the Social Science Resource Network has found compelling evidence that President Trump’s Islamic-related tweets including the travel ban ones are highly correlated with an increase in Islamophobic terrorist crimes.

“Our findings are thus consistent with the interpretation that Trump’s presidential campaign aided an unraveling of social norms that made people more willing to express views that were previously deemed socially unacceptable,” the study’s authors informed Science Alert.

Responses to Court

The attorney for the challengers, Neal Katyal, said in a statement: “Now that the Court has upheld it, it’s up to Congress to do its job and reverse President Trump’s unilateral and unwise travel ban.”

One of the leaders of the American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC), Zulfat Suara, expressed to WSMV that “Trump Administration is doing what they can to keep Americans separated.”

Tennessee Muslim leaders joined by Nashville Mayor David Briley marched at an AMAC rally protesting the court’s decision.

“The case joined other immoral Supreme Court decisions that supported slavery and upheld a decision to place Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II,” said Sabina Mohyuddin, AMAC Middle Tennessee program manager.

According to FreeP, a hastily organized protest brought together more than 100 Michiganders — including candidates for office and a Dearborn Heights imam — who are opposed to a travel ban.

“They made it legal, but that doesn’t mean it’s moral. It’s an aggression on American integrity. It’s absolutely immoral,” said Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights.

Stephanie Teatro, co-executive director of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, pledged to continue to push back against the ban through protests and community organizing.

The executive director of Sacramento’s chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Basim Elkarra, informed Fox40 that: “CAIR Sacramento plans to lobby elected officials to push legislation to try and block the ban and encourage people to go out and vote.”

The representatives of Minnesota’s Muslim community gathered to condemn the court’s ruling. Members of CAIR’s Minnesota chapter and other community groups called for increased public activism in response to the ruling.

DGlobe reported that the the hour-long demonstration included members of the Muslim, Jewish and Christian clergy of the St. Paul city.

Direct Impacts

For those at the Huntsville Islamic Center, the court’s ruling is much more personal and they fear unintended consequences.

An Iraqi immigrant to Nashville, Bnyad Sharef, saw the court’s surling as “a green light for discrimination against Muslims like me.”

Karla McKanders, a Vanderbilt University professor and expert on immigration law, explained to Commercial Appeal that: “People were waiting for this decision to determine whether or not the court would limit the president’s (executive order) based upon the campaign statements.”

Misbah Siddiqui, a physician and the vice president of the Huntsville Islamic Center explained to Rocket City Now that: “The American Medical Association sent a letter of concern about its impacts of the travel ban on health care. A lot of the professional physicians are Muslims.”

The Huntsville Islamic Society released a statement that reads:

“This decision sets a dangerous precedent by upholding a government policy directed against adherents of a specific religion — a policy that targets Muslim-majority countries for religious discrimination.”

Saleh Sbenaty, who serves on the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro’s board of trustees, agreed by saying “I don’t think this is a policy that would make this country safer nor will it make our country better.”

Sbenaty, immigrated to USA from Syria 36 years ago and he works as an engineering professor at Middle Tennessee State University.

Trump’s travel ban has directly impacted Sbenaty’s family as the Muslim professor isn’t able to see his ailing 83-year-old mother.

Another Muslim immigrant, Efran Mohammadi, a PhD Iranian student at the University of Illinois and member of the Muslim American Society of Urbana-Champaign sadly expressed to Fox Illinois: “It’s just like you’re Iranian? You’re ban. That doesn’t really make sense to me.”