(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/20/21) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed President Joe Biden’s announced termination — on his first day in office — of the previous administration’s discriminatory Muslim and African Bans.
[MEDIA ADVISORY: At 4 p.m. (ET) on Facebook and YouTube, CAIR will join other national Muslim community groups to offer their reaction to President Biden’s promised day-one repeal of the “Muslim Ban.”]
In a statement CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
“We commend President Biden for immediately moving to repeal the Muslim and African Bans, which is an important first step toward undoing the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant policies of the previous administration. It is an important fulfilment of a campaign pledge to the Muslim community and its allies.
“We expect the Biden administration to go further by supporting passage of the No Ban Act and addressing systemic injustices within the federal government that led to religious and racial profiling of Muslims and immigrants under multiple administrations.
“CAIR also welcomes the Biden Administration’s move to preserve and fortify protections for Dreamers; inclusion of all persons – including the undocumented – in the U.S. census count; ordering the removal of barriers preventing minorities and underserved communities’ access to federal programs and institutions; and other impactful executive orders.
“Finally, the American Muslim community urges President Biden to fulfill his campaign pledge to appoint Muslims at every level of government.”
In July during an online summit of Muslim voters, Biden pledged while campaigning for office that “I will end the Muslim Ban on day one.”
First authorized on January 27, 2017, the travel ban was amended several times to place varying levels of discriminatory travel restrictions on mostly Muslim and African citizens and government officials from Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Tanzania, Venezuela, and Yemen.
Because of the ban families have been ripped apart, students have been deprived of educational opportunities, the sick have been blocked from receiving treatment, talented workers have lost out on jobs, and refugees have been trapped in dangerous conditions. CAIR believes that the Biden administration now is responsible for determining how to holistically address the damage already done by the Muslim ban and how to help those who were denied entry into the United States.
In December, CAIR publicly released its report, “Biden-Harris Administration – The First 100 Days – Restoring the Rights of American Muslims and Advancing Justice for all Americans.” Endorsed by the U.S. Council of Muslim Organization, these recommendations address the concerns of the American Muslim community in confronting racial and religious discrimination, ending unconstitutional federal law enforcement programs, and elevating issues important to our community and our neighbors.
Having terminated the Muslim Ban, CAIR is now calling on the Bidden administration to push forward to authorize and begin the process of carrying out the following civil rights reforms:
ENDING NATIONAL SECURITY OVERREACH
1. Fundamentally reform the federal government’s unconstitutional Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB), commonly referred to as the “terrorism watchlist.”
2. Dismantle the TSA’s secretive Quiet Skies passenger tracking program, its international counterpart Silent Partner and other rules-based lists, that operate without Congressional oversight to single out law-abiding Muslim travelers for official harassment and extrajudicial consequences without due process.
3. Oppose and defund the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (“DHS”) 2020 “Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention” (“TVTP”) grant program, the successor of DHS’s previous Countering Violent Extremism (“CVE”) grant program.
4. End the FBI’s use of informants to spy on American Muslim communities.
5. Reject any new domestic terrorism statutes.
6. Close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and ensure those detainees already cleared for release are repatriated, and those that remain in U.S. custody are provided due process and a day in court.
ENDING BIGOTED & DISCRIMINATORY IMMIGRATION POLICIES
7. Fulfill commitment to revoke the Muslim and Africa travel ban executive orders and related proclamations on day-one in office. [☑]
8. Work with Congress to adopt the NO BAN Act.
9. Repair the damage done by the Trump administration to the U.S. immigration system by reversing restrictions on the ability to travel and immigrate to the United States.
10. Work with Congress to repeal the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, re-evaluate all countries currently designated by the federal government under the VWP, and end all other discriminatory anti-Muslim “extreme vetting programs.”
11. Restore and enhance protections for asylum seekers and refugees, halt the detention of asylum seekers and other abusive practices, invest in refugee resettlement programs, and invest in humane alternatives to detention of asylum seekers and refugees.
COUNTERING RACISM IN POLICING
12. Work with Congress to adopt and pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act while also adopting many of the act’s provisions through administrative action.
13. Remove discriminatory loopholes in federal guidance regarding the use of racial and religious profiling by federal law enforcement agencies.
14. Create a centralized database that documents excessive use of force by law enforcement.
15. Require equal treatment of the American Muslim community by federal law enforcement and the criminal justice system.
16. Combat anti-Black and anti-people of color racism in policing by working to reduce and reinvest significant portions of federal funding for the DOJ, FBI and DHS, as well as grants for local police department programs, into resources for underfunded and overpoliced communities of color, among other policies.
DEFENDING CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS IN SCHOOLS, WORKPLACE, AND ELSEWHERE
17. Support the free speech of all Americans and the right to boycott without government interference. 18. Support federal and state departments of education efforts to adopt policy reforms to address religious based bullying in schools.
19. End the U.S. Department of Education’s attempts to suppress free speech on college campuses, including attempts to target Middle Eastern studies courses and punishing Palestinian student activists.
DEFENDING CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF INCARCEREES
20. Work with Congress to fundamentally reform the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) to ensure incarcerees’ constitutional right to equal access to the courts.
SUPPORTING FAITH-BASED INITIATIVES
21. Ensure American Muslims and other minorities, like all other Americans, have equal access to the COVID-19 vaccine and federal and state aid available to those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
22. Request the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) provide more funding to American Muslim clinics.
23. Provide greater capital access for faith-based communities, including American Muslims.
BUILDING A MORE INCLUSIVE REPRESENTATION OF AMERICAN MUSLIMS IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
24. Embrace, hire, work with, and consider policy advice from American Muslims and Muslim community organizations.
25. Overhaul existing vetting practices that rely on Alt-Right and Islamophobic online resources on American Muslims and remove additional roadblocks in security clearances for Muslim candidates for positions in government.
SUPPORTING A PROGRESSIVE AND TRANSFORMATIVE FOREIGN POLICY
26. Support the religious freedom of Muslims overseas in China, India and Burma.
27. Adopt the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s (USCIRF) recommendation to sanction India as a violator of religious freedom for targeting Muslims.
28. Oppose the government of India’s illegal revocation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution, stripping the state of Jammu and Kashmir of its protected status and laying siege to its eight million residents.
29. Work with international partners to end the wholesale slaughter and mass displacement of the Syrian people.
30. Hold the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to account for the brutal murder of Washington Post contributor, U.S. resident and human rights activist Jamal Khashoggi.
31. Withdraw any U.S. military advisers to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and discontinue the sale of arms to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
32. Oppose Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territories.
33. Establish strict new oversight rules to severely limit and publicly detail the Pentagon’s use of drone warfare to engage in targeted killings overseas.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.