This installment of the Faith In the Valley Justice Interview Series is a conversation about political violence in California's Central Valley. Participants think through political violence as not reducible to white-nationalist protest violence, but rather political violence as constitutive to the structural reality of America itself.
Fresno, CA 6/26/18 – Community-based groups, civil rights organizations, and faith institutions in the Central Valley denounce the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow the Muslim Ban to remain in effect. In a 5-4 decision, the court reversed an injunction that had — until December 2017 — prevented the Trump administration from using the Muslim Ban 3.0 as a basis for denying visas to foreign nationals from eight affected countries. Although the Court acknowledged that President Trump and his advisors have made a number of anti-Muslim statements and comments, they concluded to uphold the decision.
In powerful dissenting opinions by Justice Sotomayor and Justice Ginsburg they argued that “Ultimately, what began as a policy explicitly ‘calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States’ has since morphed into a ‘Proclamation’ putatively based on national-security concerns,” the justices wrote. “But this new window dressing cannot conceal an unassailable fact: the words of the President and his advisers create the strong perception that the Proclamation is contaminated by impermissible discriminatory animus against Islam and its followers.” Justice Sotomayor highlighted how her colleagues “ignored the facts” and that “a reasonable observer would conclude that the Proclamation was motivated by anti-Muslim animus.”
Reza Nekumanesh, Executive Director of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, stated “Policies driven by hatred and fear are destructive to families and this nation as a whole. We pray that lawmakers and citizens work to eradicate ignorance, for it gets in the way of our ability to be productive together.”
Basim Elkarra, Director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) California Sacramento Valley/Central California stated, “The Trump administration has an anti-family agenda – and the Supreme Court just endorsed it. This ban has already caused tremendous suffering for countless families and entire communities. By upholding it, the justices are keeping spouses apart from each other and separating children from their parents. They’re also depriving patients of life-saving health care and blocking access to education. The Muslim Ban is part of President Trump’s larger, un-American war on immigrant families, including his administration’s inhumane separation of children and parents at the border. We will continue organizing, mobilizing and defending Muslim communities from bigoted policies – whether they are endorsed by the Supreme Court or not.”
“It is ultimately the people of this country who will determine its character and future. The court failed today, and so the public is needed more than ever. We must make it crystal clear to our elected representatives: If you are not taking action to rescind and dismantle Trump’s Muslim ban, you are not upholding this country’s most basic principles of freedom and equality,” said Omar Jadwat, Director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.
Sukaina Hussain, Community Organizer, Faith in the Valley, stated “As a community, we will continue to fight to keep families together. This decision echoes the pain of families being torn apart at the border and across the country due to federal policies that detain, criminalize, deport, and block vulnerable immigrant and refugee communities. We will continue to stand in solidarity with our allies as we fight to reunite families from Muslim majority countries and protect all of our communities, “
We will continue to fight for Muslim and immigrant families and communities and ensure that every person has a right to live with dignity and be treated justly, regardless of race, ethnicity or religion. In order to continue organizing, mobilizing and defending Muslim communities, we will be holding a community forum and discussion in Fresno, CA on July 9th. Please contact Sukaina Hussain at email@example.com for more information.
For impacted communities, please visit CAIR California.
This statement has been signed by the following organizations:
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Northern California
- Imam Ali Shabazz, Masjid Al-Aqabah
- Basim Elkarra, Executive Director, Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), California Sacramento Valley/Central California
- Mahmoud Zahriya, Community Relations Coordinator, Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), California Sacramento Valley/Central California
- Reza Nekumanesh, Executive Director, Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno
- Sheraz Gill, MyDeen Islamic Center
- Shimraaz Ali, Masjid Fresno
- Sukaina Hussain, Community Organizer, Faith in the Valley
- Trena Turner, Executive Director, Faith in the Valley