CAIR Wants Democratic Debate Moderators to Ask About ‘Muslim Ban’

Patrick Goodenough | June 27, 2019 | 6:55pm EDT
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(Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

( – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is unhappy that President Trump’s immigration proclamation restricting entry to people from five Muslim countries did not feature substantively in Wednesday night’s first Democratic presidential debate.

The organization is calling on Americans to urge the moderators – via Twitter – to ask all ten candidates in Thursday’s second debate to say how they would address the “Muslim ban,” as well as Trump’s record-low ceiling on refugee admissions, 30,000 in fiscal year 2019.

CAIR, which calls itself the nation’s biggest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, also wants the candidates to be asked about “the continued rise in white supremacy, and about hate crimes targeting Muslim and other minority communities in the U.S.”

“Moderators from last night’s debate did not ask how presidential hopefuls plan to address the rise in white supremacist hate groups and corresponding increase in hate crimes targeting all religious and minority communities,” said the group’s director of government affairs, Robert McCaw. “White supremacist violence is an issue that threatens the very fabric of our nation and must be addressed in tonight’s debate.”

McCaw noted that one candidate in the first debate did mention the “Muslim ban,” but said all ten on Thursday should be asked directly about it.

On Wednesday night, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said, “I’m proud to have been the first governor to stand up against Donald Trump’s heinous Muslim ban.”

The U.S. Supreme Court a year ago this week upheld the third version of Trump’s immigration executive order.

The anniversary gave Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), one of the first two Muslim women elected to the U.S. Congress, the opportunity to tweet on Wednesday, “Today marks one year since the Supreme Court upheld Trump’s Muslim Ban. I will not rest until we have banished this hateful policy to the dustbin of history where it belongs.”

(Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

While CAIR, Inslee, Omar and other critics continue to refer to the measure as a “Muslim ban,” it applies to citizens – and not all citizens – of a small minority of the world’s Muslim-majority countries.

Just five Muslim countries – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen – are affected, along with two non-Muslim countries, Venezuela and North Korea.

The five Muslim countries together have a population of some 132 million people, accounting for about eight percent of the world’s estimated 1.6 billion Muslims.

Another 52 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) are not affected by the proclamation. The world’s most populous Muslim countries – Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Egypt and Turkey – are not affected. Together, those six make up more than half of the world’s Muslims.

Under the executive order upheld by the Supreme Court, not all citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen are affected by the restrictions.

With small variations they do not apply to holders of Green Cards and current visas, dual nationals traveling on passports of non-affected countries, diplomats, asylees, and already-admitted refugees.

Since the beginning of FY 2019, on October 1 last year, the U.S. has admitted for resettlement 657 refugees from those countries – 402 from Syria, 132 from Iran, 121 from Somalia, two from Yemen. No refugees from Libya have been admitted.

All five countries affected by Trump’s executive order were also identified as posing security risks by the Obama administration in 2015 and 2016, and as a result visitors from those countries (along with those from Iraq and Sudan) were subjected to additional security measures.

See also:

Trump’s ‘Travel Ban’ Countries Account For Only 8% of World’s Muslims (June 27, 2018)

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