FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a national South Asian racial justice and civil rights organization, applauds today’s ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit to uphold a nationwide injunction on President Trump’s “Muslim Ban 2.0” executive order.
“SAALT and our allies nationwide have called for a total and complete shutdown of the ‘Muslim Ban’ since day one, and today the Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit answered that call,” stated Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director of SAALT. “Through his divisive policies and rhetoric, the President and other irresponsible elected and appointed officials have amplified an appetite for discrimination and hostility we’ve seen borne out in surges in hate violence against our communities nationwide. Today’s ruling reaffirms our place in this country, that we are not going anywhere, and no one, not even the President, can negotiate that truth away.”
Cosmetic changes to the President’s original “Muslim Ban” did not beguile the 13 judges of the 4th Circuit. The court stated that the evidence “creates a compelling case that [the President’s second travel ban’s] primary purpose is religious” and that the President’s anti-Muslim campaign rhetoric “provides direct, specific evidence” of “President Trump’s desire to exclude Muslims from the United States.”
While the President’s anti-Muslim orders continue to be blocked, SAALT continues to be deeply concerned these policies fan the flames of violence against our communities nationwide. From tragic shootings in Kansas and Washington State to ongoing arson attacks and vandalism of mosques, businesses, and homes across the country, South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu communities continue to experience a rising tide of hate and fear throughout the United States that only appears to continue growing.
In January SAALT released “Power, Pain, Potential,” a report documenting over 200 incidents of hate violence and xenophobic political rhetoric against South Asian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Arab, and Middle Eastern Americans during the 2016 election cycle. While we know this number accounts for only a fraction of actual incidents aimed at our communities, 95% of the incidents documented were motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment. President Trump was responsible for 21% of the xenophobic rhetoric we tracked. Even as Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric energized his base during his campaign, it has stymied his administration’s efforts to enact and defend the “Muslim Bans” as evinced by several federal court rulings.
Today’s judgment nullifies, at least temporarily, one of this administration’s openly discriminatory policies targeting our communities. Despite this ruling, the struggle continues to ensure our communities enjoy the rights, freedoms, and protections we all deserve.
CONTACT: Vivek Trivedi — firstname.lastname@example.org