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Discriminatory policies like travel bans fail without public support
The Supreme Court allowed the third version of President Trump’s travel ban to take full effect yesterday until deliberations in the lower courts are complete. Since January, the travel and immigration systems of the United States and the world have been roiled by these bad policies. But where do they come from and what can we do about them? We must change the attitudes that inform discriminatory policies. I wrote about this in October when the courts dealt another temporary defeat to the ban.
My recommendations — to increase religious literacy and interfaith engagement — still stand. Related to this is community organizing, or “showing up”, that Stanford University law professor Shirin Sinnar spoke to in a USA Today article:
“The public should know what lawyers readily acknowledge: The law often lacks clear answers, and judges decide uncertain legal questions against the backdrop of appeals to conscience in their time. For those who believe in immigrants’ rights and racial equality, it’s time to head back to the airports — and the public squares, legislative offices and social media platforms where the moral narrative of the travel ban will ultimately play out.”
The work we need to do to inform better policies
Through ING’s work since its founding in 1993 and its expansion to 45 states around the country through our online content, and affiliate organizations and adult and youth speakers that use our content, we’ve reached tens of thousands of leaders, as well as millions of ordinary Americans who support Muslims and resist bigotry against them.
This is the work that we need to do and build upon for our future generations.
The images below show some of the programs we provide on a daily basis to improve public understanding of Islam and Muslims and of all religions and their followers.
Social science research confirms that perceptions of a people improve when you interact with them and learn something about them. In fact, all it takes is a 10-minute, non-confrontational conversation to reduce prejudice. And each day, our speakers and staff engage in countless conversations just like that.
We can’t do it without your help. Please consider a gift to ING as we confront ignorance and Islamophobia through education and interreligious engagement.