On December 4, the Supreme Court ruled that an executive order to block travelers from eight countries, many of which are majority Muslim, could take effect while lower courts examined its legality. While previous iterations of President Donald Trump’s travel ban have sparked mass protests, the latest ruling didn’t inspire people to take to the street as they had in the past. Still, legal action against the ban, which will restrict travelers from Iran, Chad, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Yemen and Somalia — along with Venezuelan government officials and their immediate families — from entering the United States, is in process.
Five young Muslim activists with Advocates for Youth and Advocates for Youth’s Muslim Youth Council told Teen Vogue exactly why they think the latest travel restrictions imposed on mostly Muslim-majority countries are dangerous and harmful.
Hana, 17, Wisconsin
“The Muslim ban proves just how dangerous anti-Muslim rhetoric is. The videos the President tweeted several days ago were just one example of how his rhetoric maintains a pervasive fear and hatred of Muslims and immigrants. The president’s bigoted agenda will not go unchecked.”
Hamna, 20, Connecticut
“As a young woman born in Pakistan and studying in the United States, the Muslim ban could mean an end to all opportunities for me. I came to this country to learn, to experience diversity and understand opposing opinions. However, I can’t do this if I’m being constantly marginalized on the basis of my religion. I’m always receiving ‘alert’ emails from my college, updating me on new additions to the ban. Why do I have to go through this strenuous process but not other students? Everything about this ban is nonsensical and unfair. Discrimination is rampant in college campuses because people think that the government has made it okay for them to say whatever they want. This is NOT ok.”
Khadija, 22, Washington, DC
“The Muslim ban is a painful reminder of how deep Islamophobia runs in not only [the] American government but also in our culture. It dehumanizes Muslims. It says that the highest court in the land and the public are OK with Muslims being separated from their family, suffering systematic discrimination and violence, and having no safe place to call home.”
Dalia, 19, Pennsylvania
“The muslim ban shows that there is no safe place for us. We are turned away at the gates of this country that has been built on the notion of it as a place of refugee. Our home countries have been tormented by Western imperialism. Where is home? Where is our home? Where is my home?”
Emad, 18, Colorado
“The Muslim Ban means that some people simply cannot be American because of their religious beliefs. In a country where the highest legal document explicitly says that no religious practices shall be prohibited, the exclusion of people because of their religion is accepted. And for me, the Muslim Ban means that my family members in Iran cannot stand alongside me at my graduation. It means that because of their country of origin, they’re separated from the people they love the most. This is a legal division between people to the fullest extent: it normalizes fear, separated families, and makes exclusion acceptable.”