How do you make a joke both political and funny?
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments for and against President Donald Trump’s proposed travel ban in October. Until then, parts of the ban are in effect, affecting travelers to the U.S. from six majority-Muslim countries.
Writer Wajahat Ali and attorney Rabia Chaudry are Muslim-Americans who have thought deeply on what this moment signals for the nation, both legally and morally. They weigh in on national security concerns, religious extremism and the rise in hate crimes against Muslims in the U.S.
- Wajahat Ali Playwright; lawyer; contributing writer to the New York Times and Huffington Post
- Rabia Chaudry National security fellow at New America; attorney; author, "Adnan's Story."
Chaudry on the sections of the ban going into effect Thursday at 8 pm ET:
I think the implementation is going to cause a lot of havoc and you know right now there isn’t clear guidance and I practiced immigration law for over a decade so I understand how arbitrary language can be used in a way, by border patrol officers, by adjudication officers, by visa personnel at consulates, to deny or grant visas. When you have such vague language it can really be abused. So I really see a lot of havoc happening. Imagine this, you have a visa, you’ve gone through the process—when you already have a visa and are entering the country, you arrive at the airport having bypassed all these different measures, you have to meet all these statutory requirements. And now you’ve got an officer, right there at the border, saying show me your bona fide relationships. How does a person prove that? That person has probably wrapped up their business back home, maybe they’ve sold their house, they’ve got nothing to get back to they’ve got their family in tow. It’s really going to cause a lot of problems.
Chaudry on what would be a smarter way to preserve national security:
A smarter way is to look at the data and statistics and to talk to national security experts who almost all agree that this is going to have absolutely no impact on keeping the homeland safe from terror attacks. The trends show that the greatest domestic threat we are facing really is white nationalists, is a different kind of militia than we’re talking about when we’re talking about Islamic-inspired terrorism or ISIS-inspired terrorism. At the end of the day, law enforcement has to fight crime the way they always have…this will have no impact on that at all, so it really comes down to just looking at the evidence and there’s just no evidence that this is tied to National Security.
Ali’s take on how Muslims feel about the ban:
It is a new chapter in the ongoing narrative that ‘Islam hates us,’ which is exactly what Donald Trump says. It’s a new chapter in the ongoing narrative (of white nationalism) that ‘fear them’, the black, the Mexican, the undocumented, the Muslim…the women. And that’s why we should be concerned, and we take President Trump seriously.
Ali on the effectiveness of the ban:
750,000 refugees have come here since 9/11. How many have been implicated in a terrorism act? There were only three cases, two of them, which took place in [outside of America] before they came here, and they were removed. Zero Americans were killed in acts of terrorism by refugees since 9/11, and of the six Muslim-majority countries, in the past 40 years zero Americans have been killed in acts of terrorism by foreign nationals.
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