In The South

Human Rights organisation speaks out on Trump ‘Muslim ban’

Besi Besemar March 11, 2017

Trump’s Executive Order will Lead to persecution of LGBT+ people globally says Jessica Stern, Executive Director, OutRight Action International.

Last Monday, March 6, President Donald Trump signed into power an Executive Order to block citizens of six majority Muslim countries from entering the United States.

This comes on the heels of President Trump’s directive on January 27, which received widespread criticism and was halted by a federal appeals court. The Order puts a 90 day ban on travel from citizens from Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, and Libya. The ban also halves the number of refugees to be allowed into the country to 50,000. The Executive Order which is being challenged by a Federal Court in Hawaii will take effect on March 16, 2017.

Jessica Stern, Executive Director, OutRight Action International, said: “President Trump has again sought to institutionalise xenophobic, anti-Muslim, anti-refugee, and anti-immigrant policies, continually putting at risk those who most need safety and security. Of course, these policies are also homophobic and transphobic because LGBT+ people belong to each of these groups.

Jessica Stern
Jessica Stern

If the White House thinks this travel ban will make Americans safer, that’s only because it ignored logic and facts. The way to make Americans safer is by demonstrating respect for people from every country. We categorically reject the notion that scapegoating 6 Muslim nations, refugees and asylum seekers in the name of so-called counter-terrorism makes Americans safer. This is discrimination by another name.

By closing the doors to LGBT+ asylum seekers and refugees, Trump is effectively endorsing persecution and violence targeting this community and allowing some LGBT+ people to die.

This ban could have life-changing impact on LGBT+ activists who have turned to the United Nations as a port of last call when their own government fails them. The US government must ensure that human rights defenders traveling to UN meetings are not blocked by this heinous ban. If it comes to that, the US will be destroying the international system and violating the traditional American value of free speech.

Trump joins populist politicians in Europe and around the world in trying to pitch minorities against each other, even claiming to ‚Äúprotect‚ÄĚ LGBT+¬†people from Muslims. The LGBT+ community does not want this ‚Äúprotection‚ÄĚ and rejects any attempts to divide us from immigrants, Muslims, refugees and asylum seekers.‚ÄĚ