Interfaith Alliance president Rabbi Jack Moline released the following statement in advance of President Donald Trump’s announcement of a draconian executive order on refugees and immigration. The order, which has circulated in draft form, would temporarily halt the admission of refugees, ban Syrian refugees for the foreseeable future and block visas for many Muslim-majority nations. The order is expected to exempt religious minorities like Christians as well as U.S. allies in the region.
“President Trump’s forthcoming executive order banning refugees and Muslims would be deeply troubling on a regular day, but he is adding insult to injury by signing it on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This is a day where we honor the victims of the Nazis and reflect upon the actions of the United States during the Holocaust. Tens of thousands of Jewish refugees were refused entry to the United States – including the passengers of the St. Louis – due to fear, suspicion and bigotry. Trapped in Nazi Europe, they faced a grim fate.
“For decades, the United States has prided itself as a safe bastion for refugees around the globe escaping war and persecution. President Trump is poised to trample upon that great legacy with a de facto Muslim ban.
“Let’s be clear. This executive order is all about bigotry and scoring political points. Discriminating against millions of people on the basis of their religion does nothing to make Americans safer, and it serves the interests of enemies like ISIS who claim that America is at war with Islam.
“President Trump’s executive order harks back to dark chapters in our history and must be resisted by Americans of all backgrounds. We call on the President to reverse course immediately and embrace what really makes America great – our freedom and diversity.”
Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit www.interfaithalliance.org.