by Naureen Shah, senior director of campaigns at Amnesty International USA
Last night, the Trump administration issued a third version of the Muslim ban. Here’s how you can fight back.
1. Join Protests — and Make Sure the Whole World is Watching
Across the country, groups will be holding vigils, demonstrations, and rallies on October 18 to demonstrate public outrage against the Muslim and refugee ban, including White House rally. (The Supreme Court had scheduled a hearing on the ban that day, but it’s just been canceled).There is a plan to protest in front of the White House on September 26th as well.
Join us in raising your voice against the administration’s hateful policies and say We Welcome!, and register your local event.
Before joining in any protests that could potentially put you at risk, please be prepared. Read our protest safety tips.
2. Organize at your school
Get a prominent school figure (dean, president, board, alumni association) to make public statement or resolution opposed the ban and welcome refugees. President Trump and our elected officials need to hear from a multitude of voices and community influencers — such as your school leaders — that banning people, including refugees, is not fitting of the America we believe in.
· Start by requesting meetings with school leaders and figureheads to inform them about the attack on our rights.
· Share Amnesty materials, and urge them to take a public stance. This is a relationship-building process; start with a meeting request, and keep returning. Persistence is key here.
· Ramp up campus awareness so that your school head and other school leaders will see that students across the campus want this, too. Some tactics to consider:
· Organize a teach-in or solidarity action, such as a vigil;
· Submit an op-ed or letter to the editor to your school and community newspaper;
· Meet with the editorial board of your newspaper to ask them to write an editorial supporting refugee rights;
· Get a student body resolution introduced and passed.
3. Don’t Be Fooled
We can’t let this be the new normal: A ban — indefinite, with no expiration date — on people based not what they’ve done, but on the crimes of a few. No matter how many versions, this ban is and has always been about demonizing people. The Muslim and refugee bans vilify not only people from Muslim-majority countries but refugees who are fleeing unsafe conditions in their home countries.
Much is being made about how the Trump administration’s new ban goes beyond the original countries to include Chad, North Korea and Venezuela. This is a bogus claim: The vast majority of people impacted by the ban come from Muslim-majority countries. Chad’s population is an estimated 53 percent Muslim. The US admitted only nine people North Korea last year. And the ban on Venezuela applies to certain government officials and their immediate family.
4. Know Your Rights at the Airport
We aren’t expecting chaos at the airports* but we do have concerns that people will continue to face inappropriate questions about their religious and political beliefs; inappropriate searches of yourself and your possessions; and even temporary detention at airports. Before you head to the airport, you can consult this Know Your Rights guide from the ACLU.
*The ban does not apply to lawful permanent residents, dual nationals who travel on the passport of a country that’s not on the list, people with visas and other travel documents that are valid on the effective date of the order (immediately for those already affected; October 18
for those who were previously not affected because they had a “bona fide relationship” with a person or entity in the U.S.).
5. Know How To Respond If You Face Problems
If you’re arrested or believe your rights have been violated, you should contact a lawyer (more on that below).
If you face improper questioning at the airport, here is what Muslim Advocates recommends:
- Politely object, saying that you do not consent to an improper search (but do not under any circumstances resist physically);
- Ask to speak with a supervisor to express your objection;
- Keep a record of the agents’ names and badge ID numbers and what transpired; and
- Report the incident to Muslim Advocates using this secure online form.
Muslim Advocates and partners are also hosting a community information call to update impacted individuals on the status of the ban and provide know your rights information.
6. Get Legal Help If Your Rights Have Been Violated
7. Show Up in Solidarity
As human rights activists working in solidarity with marginalized communities, we must show up in a respectful and responsible way. Reach out to local Muslim and Arab community organizers to find out how you can show up as an Ally. Our 10 tips for showing up in solidarity.
8. Talk to your friends and family about hate.
Ever since President Trump issued the Muslim ban, we’ve seen a reported rise in hate-based violence, harassment and discrimination. This new ban is a moment for us to engage our families, neighborhoods and social circles in a conversation about this tide of hate: Why each of us has a responsibility to speak out when it happens — whether it’s a casual slur or couched as a political opinion. Use our Reality Check on Anti-Muslim Hate. For thoughts on how to navigate tough conversations with your personal circles, and your community, download our guide.