On January 24, 2017, President Donald Trump passed an executive order which bars citizens of seven Muslim countries from entering the United States. As soon as President Trump made this executive order, protests began popping up across the nation. What exactly does this mean for America? An executive order is an official statement from the president to an executive branch of the United States Government, and the order has the power to force the law into effect.
This “Muslim Ban” bars citizens from Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq and includes those with dual citizenships as well. While there have also been people with green cards turned away at the United States, all permanent U.S. citizens are able to come in freely. These refugees from those listed countries will be suspended for a period of 90 days from entering the country, and the refugee system itself has been suspended for a period of 120 days. While some are calling the executive order a “Muslim Ban”, Trump doesn’t believe it truly is a ban. On January 20th, Trump released a statement stating that the ban will only be in effect for a few months to protect the U.S. from foreign attacks, and that President Obama has done similar in the past.
This Muslim Ban is extremely relevant to our Brenau community. I was very concerned personally with this, since Brenau’s Student Government Association President, Sara Hubashi, is a Muslim. I had the chance to sit down with her to ask a few questions about her views regarding the executive order. This was her response:
Q: How is the Muslim ban affecting you as a Muslim student here at Brenau?
Hubashi: It’s really disheartening. I cried most of the weekend, because I felt like people in this country did not want me here. It’s really hurtful to read some of the comments and reactions to the ban, but it’s also very uplifting to see people standing with Muslims. I’ve felt like an outsider for some of life, but since this ban I’ve felt un-American.
Q: If you could meet President Trump and talk him about this ban, what would you tell him?
Hubashi: Well, I’d have a lot to say. I’d ask him why he hates Islam. I’d ask why he’s okay with turning his back on refugees. I’d ask him if he truly thinks Islam is a hateful religion. I’d probably ask him why he ran for President too since I have the opportunity to speak to him.
Q: How has the Brenau community responded to the Muslim ban, either to you personally or what you have witnessed?
Hubashi: I feel like Muslims, including myself, have a lot of support from Brenau. I’ve had friends, classmates, professors, and faculty members ask me if I’m okay. I’ve even had Brenau Alumni and friends of Alumnae asking me how I am. It’s really encouraging to know that there are people out there who don’t hate you for your beliefs. In the same token, there have been people on campus who have said nothing. I know that it’s a hard time to speak up, but I feel weird towards some of my classmates. I feel weird that certain groups and sororities openly supported Trump, but now they have nothing to say. I feel weird that certain groups and organizations have nothing to say, or are continuing to support him. I think it’s hard to smile in someone’s face and to be nice to them when you know that all you are to them is a Muslim that’s lucky she has an American citizenship.