Across the country and globally, people are denouncing President Donald Trump’s decision to put an immigration ban in place that has shut borders for refugees and others in seven predominately Muslim countries.
The controversial executive order Trump signed on Friday has prompted protests nationwide and affected thousands of people, including many black Muslims, who say they want to be included in the conversation.
Here are five perspectives from people who identify as black and Muslim, explaining what President Trump’s ban means to them:
Anu KMT is a civil attorney who lives in Bowie, Maryland. While his family grew up practicing Christianity, he is Muslim who prides himself on having what he calls a deep abiding and long-standing interest in helping the poor, disadvantaged and immigrants. When asked about Trump’s recent travel ban, he told theGrio.com:
“Trump is who we thought he was. He is divisive, he is discriminatory, he is attacking and he is supporting and voicing a white supremacist agenda upon America. Ultimately, what Trump seeks to do is to treat everybody, every group, as lesser than white people. People who are not used to that treatment, they are not used to being openly treated this way, they’re shocked and surprised.”
KMT goes on to say, “He [Trump] is revoking white privilege or the appearance of white privilege for various groups, and he’s systematically attacking and trying to reestablish the white male as an alpha male in this country, in an uncontested, unconditional way. You can see that in the appointment of his cabinet; you can see it in his policies and procedures.”
Su’ad Abdul Khabeer is an anthropologist and professor at Purdue University. She was born and raised in America and is Muslim. Disheartened by the immigration ban, she told theGrio.com:
“What we see is this kind of increasing vulnerability and violence, both psychological and emotional, and also just kind of ripping people apart at the same time. Donald Trump is making good on his promises, he’s delivering. I think as a Muslim, black Muslim person, it hits close to home because there are folks that I know from those seven countries who are going to be affected, and some of those folks are also black people. ”
Khabeer went on to say,”I think a lot of the folks who claim to support Donald Trump, who do so in the name of democracy, in the name of liberty, in the name of what they think America is, yet the very thing that they claim what they want America to be, he’s actually undermining with an order like this.”
Kameelah Mu’Min Rashad is African-American and Muslim. She is the founder and president of the Muslim Wellness Foundation. The foundation attempts to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, addiction and trauma in American Muslims. She says the organization is in the process of helping many families during this time.
“My perspective as a mental health professional: I think we’re still trying to come to terms with [the psychological impact of this ban] because there are many. Whether they are directly impacted, as those individuals who are from those seven counties, or vicariously or indirectly impacted, [they] are feeling a real fear, a vulnerability, and this is sort of a threat to not only physical safety but emotional as well.”
“Given how vague and ambiguous the language is in the executive order, there is a lot of anxiety about how this will expand and who is included and who is not included.”
Rashad continued to say, “There’s also a sense of ‘Should we prepare for this to intensify in a way that would be even more negative, in terms of the implications?’ So we have a sort of rapid response for immediate mobilization.”
Asha Mohamood Noor is Somali-American. Her family fled Somalia when she was 3 months old and spent time in a refugee camp. Noor is now a U.S. citizen and works in advocacy and civic engagement for an organization called Take on the Hate, which focuses on combating Islamophobia and racism. She told theGrio.com:
“I feel like this ban is very dehumanizing; it’s not looking at actual impact on lives, and I think that it’s under the guise of national security but that it’s really just racist inherently. It just reinforces the fears that are inaccurate, and so I think that this ban is just a first step in the promises that Trump has made to his base that are specifically targeting people of color, Muslims and other minorities — and he’s delivering on them.”
Jeyone Muhammad is African-American, and his parents converted to Islam, so he was born into the faith. He believes there will be a positive impact of the ban. He tells theGrio.com:
“I actually think that it’s going to have a reverse effect on what Trump’s plan is. In other words, it will cause people to accept Muslims even more, and it will actually cause people to look into the religion itself and you’ll see that there’ll be a lot of converts as a result of it.”
“[Trump] thinks he’s doing something. He thinks he’s getting the backing of American people, but people will sympathize with Muslims and begin to be curious as to what Islam is all about and look into and read into it and figure out that it’s really something that’s beneficial for their lives.”
Do you have reactions to the immigration travel ban or stories about how you or your family has been affected? Tweet us at @thegrio to share your story.