SAALT Applauds the 4th Circuit Ruling Against “Muslim Ban 2.0”


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 —