On Friday, Jan. 27, President Donald Trump imposed a temporary ban on immigrants entering the United States from seven predominately Muslim countries. Earlier Friday, Michigan State University had scheduled a presentation called “Race, Religion, and Immigration in America Today.”
Speakers included Salah Hassan, a member of the core faculty in Michigan State University’s Muslim Studies Program. Hassan said, “If you’re not worried about Muslim students, Muslim faculty, Muslim citizens and non-citizens residing in this country and what they’ll be subjected to under this administration, you’re missing a very major development.”
Trump’s travel ban covers Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. It is called “Protection of The Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into The United States.” The order appears to satisfy a campaign promise. As a candidate, Trump issued a “Statement on Preventing Muslim Immigration.”
His Friday order, signed in a ceremony at the Pentagon, banned the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely, and for the next 90 days, the admittance of citizens from those seven countries into the United States.
According to a Jan. 29 post on Trump’s Facebook account, “This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order. We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days.”
At Michigan State, panel moderator Najib Hourani said, “I think that the impetus has a tremendous amount to do with religion and political tactics on the part of the incoming administration. What’s really noticeable is the countries that aren’t on that list. If the concern is truly with the sponsorship of terrorism, or the funding of terrorism, or the flow of funds to radical Islamic roots, then you would think that a discussion with Saudi Arabia would be a top priority, but it’s not.” Hourani is assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and MSU’s Global Urban Studies Program.
Trump’s order stopped people at airports around the world and sparked protests across the United States.
The presentation was sponsored by more than 20 MSU colleges, departments and organizations.