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Loyola stands in solidarity with those affected by the ‘Muslim Ban’


On Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, the Trump administration issued an executive order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” which suspends the arrival of refugees for 120 days and bans the entrance of persons from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen into the country for 90 days. This travel ban, which is more infamously known as the “Muslim ban,” was met with much disbelief and outrage by American citizens and people around the world.

The following Saturday, Jan. 29, protestors took to the John F. Kennedy International airport in Queens, NY after the detainment of two Iraqis by Customs and Border Patrol. By the end of the day, more than 200 people were detained in airports around the country.  According to a Rolling Stones article, thousands of protestors were in attendance for the planned vigil at 6 p.m.. CityLab reported that thousands of protestors followed suit and held peaceful protests in cities like Boston, Los Angles, Chicago, Portland, and Seattle.

The Middle East Relief Initiative (MERI) hosted a peaceful demonstration on the Quad on Friday, Feb. 3 to stand in solidarity with immigrants and refugees around the world, people who they believe are victims of racism and Islamophobia. Passersby crowded around the open space in front of Maryland Hall and listened intently as guest speakers offered opinions and shared stories of what we as a community can do to spread peace and fight against hate.

Among the speakers were professors Dr. Theresa Nguyen of the Chemistry Department, Dr. M. S. Raunak of the Computer Science Department, Dean of Natural Sciences Dr. Jahangir Roughani, and Fr. Timothy Brown. Despite the cold weather, students and faculty alike stood their ground to be inspired and empowered.

“Hope has two beautiful daughters, anger and courage. Anger, so that can be, won’t be. And courage, so that what should be, will be,” Fr. Brown said.

Those in attendance were given the chance to trace their hands on a poster board to document their support of the immigrants and refugees affected by the ban. At the end of the two-hour peaceful protest, a closing prayer was offered by Campus Ministry.

“I think it is extremely important for demonstrations to occur on national issues regardless of the size of turnout. We can’t push past the hate on any subject unless there is a group of people willing to take the first stand in showing support for all,” MERI president Stephanie Hakeem ’18 said. “There will always be uncertainty in who will join in supporting the cause, and maybe even a fear that you will be standing alone, but it’s important to take a stand nonetheless.”

According to USA Today, U.S. District Senior Judge James Robart issued a nationwide restraining order on the executive order on Feb. 3. This was in support of Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s decision to file a suit to “block key provisions of the president’s executive order.” On Feb. 9, CNN reports that the travel ban will remain blocked after the 9th Circuit ruled against its reinstating.

“People tend to stand wherever the herd will take them, but unfortunately that could be the wrong side of history,” Hakeem said. “In order to make a change, someone has to be the spark that sets the world on fire.”

All Photos Courtesy of Rodlyn-mae Banting and Angela DeCarlo


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  • AnonymousDec 9, 2017 at 12:40 am


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Loyola stands in solidarity with those affected by the ‘Muslim Ban’