Fighting for the right to worship

February 9, 2017



From New York to Atlanta, from Detroit to Los Angeles, hundreds of thousands of Americans of every color, faith tradition and national origin have spontaneously self-organized to stand up against President Donald Trump’s executive order banning Muslims from seven countries from entering the United States. I was one of the many standing up, but I have to do more.


The order was hastily conceived and poorly executed. It initially banned legal U.S. residents with green cards from re-entry into their home country. It locked out refugee families that were midair when the order was signed, families fleeing horrific bloodshed and who had spent up to four years being rigorously vetted by U.S. authorities. More than 50 percent of Muslim refugees come from just two of the banned countries, Syria and Somalia. Iraqis and other interpreters who risked their lives and their families’ lives to save the lives of U.S. soldiers were denied entry as well.


The majority of people at the protest were not Muslims, but the protesters recognize bigotry in Trump’s order that bans people based on faith.Our Constitution strictly forbids religious tests and that’s what this order created. Trump promised in his campaign to ban all Muslims from entering the United States. His confidante, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, has said that Trump asked him about a way to “legally” ban all Muslims from the United States. The question alone shows a brutal disregard for and ignorance of the U.S. Constitution and human life.


I have decided to take Trump to court. His executive order is textbook bigotry, castigating an entire group of people based on a generalization — in this case, their religion. It targets my right to practice my faith in America and to go overseas at the same time, “traveling while Muslim.” It happens to be my faith, this time. But the lawsuit is designed to protect everyone’s right to worship.


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