Muslim Ban Decision and the Corrosion of the First Amendment

One week ago today, on Tuesday, June 26th 2018, the United States Supreme Court ruled to uphold President Trump’s travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries. As an organization in solidarity with Palestinians, and in opposition to Israeli occupation and domination, Claremont Students for Justice in Palestine stands with the victims of state-sanctioned repression around the world. The Supreme Court’s decision amplifies the need for such action and solidarity against injustice. When multiple branches of our government are actively allowing for the oppression of Muslims, people of color, and asylum seekers, we must fight back.


Aptly dubbed “The Muslim Ban”, this piece of legislation that the high court ruled on was fueled by Trump’s blatant islamophobia. During his campaign, Donald Trump called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”. Just months later, he proclaimed in an interview: “I think Islam hates us… there’s a tremendous hatred there… we can’t allow people coming in to the country with that hatred”. This past Tuesday, the Supreme Court condoned these discriminatory statements by the sitting President in deciding that his logic in banning Muslim-majority countries, for no evidence-based security threat, was reasonable. Unfortunately, by deeming this policy constitutional, the highest court has promoted the criminalization of Muslim communities in the U.S.


The decision sets a dangerous precedent in that entire categories of persons can be discriminated against on account of their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or other protected classes under a thinly veiled agenda of racial and ethnic exclusion. This decision reinforces the world order that Mr. Trump seeks to protect: one with strict borders and further corrosion of democracy. A world fueled by misinformed prejudice, one that channels military prowess towards imperialist aims, with abject disregard for human life.


The Muslim ban is completely in line with the brutal trends of this administration as we’ve seen the denial of basic humanity and dignity to families at the southern border, refugees, transgender people, and other historically marginalized communities. The First Amendment in the United States’ Constitution has been, and continues to be, a fallacy for repressed communities. When students are questioned by the FBI for supporting Palestine, we have no freedom of speech, assembly, and press. When Congress introduces a bill which criminalizes BDS, we have no freedom of speech and petition. When Muslims are barred from entering the country, we have no freedom of religion.


We must stand together in the face of this affront to our lives.