Lawyers Mobilize at Nation’s Airports After Trump’s Order

On Wednesday, lawyers from the International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center who were concerned that the action would affect the project’s clients sent out an email calling for lawyers who could volunteer immediately to go to airports where refugees were scheduled to enter the United States.

“It occurred to us that there were going to be people who were traveling who would land and have their status affected while in midair,” said Betsy Fisher, the group’s policy director.

Even before President Trump issued an order on Friday banning immediate entry into the United States by people from several predominantly Muslim countries, immigration lawyers, having heard rumors of coming action from the White House, were on alert.

While lawyers gathered at airports on Saturday, others were working furiously on litigation. Cecillia Wang, the A.C.L.U.’s deputy legal director, described the scene at her office as “complete chaos.”

Theresa May repeatedly refuses to condemn Donald Trump’s immigration ban

Theresa May has repeatedly refused to condemn Donald Trump’s ban on refugees and entry for citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations after meeting with Turkish leaders.

She was speaking just a day after meeting the new President in Washington, where the pair pledged their commitment to the “special relationship” between Britain and the US.

After agreeing a controversial £100 million fighter jet deal amid wide-ranging purges and security crackdowns following an attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ms May held a joint press conference with Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.

Their talks were overshadowed by global debate over Mr Trump’s executive order to ban Syrian refugees from entering the US indefinitely, halt all other asylum admissions for 120 days and suspend travel visas for citizens of “countries of particular concern”, including Syria, Iraq and other Muslim-majority nations.

Yvette Cooper, the former shadow Home Secretary, sent a letter to the Prime Minister urging her to echo condemnation from French and German ministers over the “deeply troubling” executive order.

Ed Miliband, the former Labour leader, said the Prime Minister’s refusal to condemn Mr Trump’s Muslim ban “is shocking, wrong and cannot stand”.

He added: “It flies in the face of the values of people across Britain.”

Mr Yıldırım was more direct, calling the crisis a global issue and saying that UN members “cannot turn a blind eye to this issue and settle it by constructing walls”.

“Nobody leaves their homes for nothing, they came here to save their lives and our doors were open…and we would do it again,” he added. “If there is someone in need, you need to give them a helping hand to make sure they survive.”

Farage says UK should join the Trump Ban

Britain should follow Donald Trump’s lead and introduce ‘extreme vetting’ at the borders, Nigel Farage said today.

The former Ukip leader, a friend of the US President, defended the hugely controversial executive order that prevents anyone entering the US from seven Muslim majority countries for 90 days.

He said the US president is entitled to introduce the measures in a bid to crack down on any would-be jihadis entering the country.

Mr Farage, nicknamed ‘Mr Brexit’ by Mr Trump, blamed the ban – which has been condemned by leaders around the world, including Theresa May – on Germany’s open-door policy towards refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East.

Asked whether he agreed with President Trump’s executive order, Mr Farage told BBC’s Sunday Politics programme: ‘Well I do, because I think if you just look at what is happening in France and Germany – if you look at Mrs Merkel’s policy on this, which was to allow anybody virtually from anywhere – look where it’s led to.’

He added that President Trump was elected ‘to get tough, he was elected to say he will do everything within his power to protect America from infiltration by Isis terrorists.

The Muslim Council of Britain said the details of the executive order exposed that it was not designed to tackle terrorism but to appeal to right-wing supporters of President Trump.

‘Those countries whose citizens were found to be involved in terrorism in the United States are not on Mr Trump’s list, he said.’

Terror hot-spots such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are not on the travel ban list.

British diplomats, Muslim figures condemn Trump’s travel ban

Diplomats and prominent Muslims in Britain have condemned US President Donald Trump’s decision to temporarily ban all refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

Their criticisms come awkwardly just two days after UK Prime Minister Theresa May officially met with Trump, the first foreign leader to do so, touting the two countries’ “special relationship.”
Trump on Friday signed an executive order banning citizens from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Sudan from entering the United States for the next 90 days and suspending the admission of all refugees for 120 days.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson described Trump’s ban as “divisive and wrong,” while London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the move was “shameful and cruel.”
But Prime Minister May refused to condemn the ban. Under pressure from British MPs, she later said the government does “not agree” with the executive order.
May also ordered Johnson and Home Secretary Amber Rudd to contact their US counterparts “to protect the rights of British nationals,” the Prime Minister’s office said.
When she had hoped to reap the benefits of rushing to America to shore up support ahead of a bruising Brexit battle, she’s being slammed to the ropes by the United Kingdom’s main opposition party.

Muslim Council of Britain’s Statement on Trump’s Muslim Ban: Time for our Government to Stand Up For British Values

The Muslim Council of Britain condemns the Executive Order by US President Trump to initiate a ban on people from a select few Muslim majority countries. It calls on our British government to speak out much more forcefully and stand up for the British values it supposedly seeks from others. For all intents and purposes this is a Muslim ban designed not to confront terrorism but to placate the most hateful sections of American society. Those countries whose citizens were found to be involved in terrorism in the United States are not on Mr Trump’s list.
Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said: “This ban on Muslims is not only an inconvenience, it is downright dangerous to our values of equality and non-discrimination. We are told that British values include the rule of law and ‘mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.’ And yet, our Prime Minister has found it hard to express these values when representing us on the world stage. At the same time, the ban will affect us here in Britain, as those with dual nationality such as Sir Mo Farah and Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi will also be affected by this ban. Our government should express in no uncertain terms how daft this policy is to its US counterparts, and press home how counter-productive it is in its professed fight to confront terrorism.

“In front of Mr Trump, the Prime Minister said that the point of the ‘Special Relationship’ was to have a frank dialogue. Well, this is one area where we need to be frank about where we stand. As an important ally of the United States, surely we have a duty to remind them of the values on which they were founded upon.”

Dutch security measures after mosque attack Quebec

Four big mosques in The Hague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and Utrecht have decided to temporarily close the doors during communal prayer moments in order to prevent ill-intending people to enter.

The mosques have decided to implement this safety measure because they are severly concerned about the safety of visitors after the attack on a mosque in Quebec. A spokesperson speaks of a rigorous measure, because the houses of worship say to want to be open to everyone.

The Board of Morrocan Mosques Netherlands (Raad van Marokkaanse Moskeeën Nederland) has also expressed its concern for the safety of Dutch moques.

Hollande urges ‘firm’ response to Trump

French President Francois Hollande urged Europe to form a united front and provide a “firm” response to US President Donald Trump, at a gathering Saturday of southern European Union leaders.

“We must conduct firm dialogue with the new American administration which has shown it has its own approach to the problems we all face,” he said at the end of the gathering as he was flanked by the other leaders who took part.

Trump has rattled America’s traditional European allies with a range of radical policy plans.

On Friday he also signed a sweeping executive order to suspend the arrival of refugees and impose tough controls on travelers from seven Muslim countries.

During his first phone conversation with Trump late Saturday, Hollande stressed the “economic and political consequences of a protectionist approach”, adding that the principle of “acceptance of refugees” should be respected.

“Faced with an unstable and uncertain world, withdrawal into oneself is a dead-end response,” Hollande was quoted as saying in an Elysee Palace statement.

Hollande had earlier told the gathering that “when he adopts protectionist measures, which could destabilise economies not just in Europe but the economies of the main countries of the world, we have to respond”.

“And when he refuses the arrival of refugees, while Europe has done its duty, we have to respond.”

While officially the new administration in Washington was not on the agenda, the six other European leaders who took part in the summit also alluded to Trump.

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Europe was “ready, interested and willing to cooperate” with the Trump administration. “But we are Europe, and we cherish our values,” he added.

 

 

 

Jean-Marc Ayrault speaks out against Trump’s travel ban

French and German foreign ministers met on Saturday to discuss President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on nationals from seven countries entering the US. The ban affects citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, and is in effect for an extendable initial period of 90 days.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said, “We have signed international obligations, so welcoming refugees fleeing war and oppression forms part of our duties. There are many other issues that worry us. That is why Sigmar and I also discussed what we are going to do. When our colleague, [Rex] Tillerson, is officially appointed, we will both contact him.”

The International Rescue Committee said, “The agency is calling President Donald Trump’s suspension of the U.S. refugee resettlement program a ‘harmful and hasty’ decision. America must remain true to its core values. America must remain a beacon of hope.”

French President François Hollande said, “We should engage in discussions that sometimes should be very firm … When he rejects the arrival of refugees, while Europe has done its duty, we should respond to him.”

Meanwhile, Trump has said the new ban is working out “very well.”

“It’s not a Muslim ban. It’s working out very nicely. You see it at the airports, you see it all over. We’re going to have a very, very strict ban and we’re going to have extreme vetting which we should have had in this country for many years,” Trump said.

The entire text of the executive order can be read here. Although most media coverage refers to a ban on Muslim refugees, the executive order makes no explicit mention of Islam. It does, however state that “In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law.

“In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including ‘honor’ killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.”

Pig heads thrown in mosque in eastern France

The Muslim community in eastern French town of Dijon were targeted by an Islamophobic attack when six pigs heads were thrown at the gates of a mosque under construction.

Six halves of pigs heads were discovered on the gates of the mosque building in Genlis, a small town near Dijon, France on Friday morning.  “Cold cuts” of pork were discovered thrown into the yard.

Dijon prosecutor’s office launched an investigation under charges of ethnic hate and fueling discrimination, the report said.

Genlis City Mayor Vincent Dancourts confirmed the attack in a written statement and said that the authorities were in full solidarity with the area’s Muslim community.

“The police have taken samples and I hope the person or people who perpetrated this act will be held accountable. Hatred linked to religion has no place in our commune where everyone must live in harmony and respect for each other,” he said.

The French Socialist party’s Kheira Bouziane joined the mayor in speaking out against the incident “with the upmost firmness”.

SOS Racism, an anti-racist movement in France, strongly condemned the attack and called on the authorities to hold those responsible accountable for the acts. The mosque building was handed over to a Muslim association in Genlis in recent months and was under construction at the time of the incident.

 

French presidential candidate compares Holocaust to anti-Muslim bias

French Jews accused a left-wing presidential candidate of encouraging Holocaust denial following his comparison of the Nazi persecution of Jews to the situation of French Muslims today. Vincent Peillon, who is running in the Socialist Party primaries ahead of the elections this year, made the analogy Tuesday during an interview aired by the France 2 television channel. Peillon, a former education minister who has Jewish origins, was commenting on a question about France’s strict separation between state and religion, referred to in France as “laicite.” “If some want to use laicite, as has been done in the past, against certain populations … Forty years ago it was the Jews who put on yellow stars. Today, some of our Muslim countrymen are often portrayed as radical Islamists. It is intolerable.” In a statement Wednesday, CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, accused Peillon of making “statements that only serve those trying to rewrite history.”

Peillon neither retracted his remark nor apologized in a statement published Wednesday on his website, but said he would wanted to elaborate on what he meant in light of the controversy it provoked and to “refine my view, which may have been misrepresented because of brevity.” Peillon wrote that he “clearly did not want to say that laicite was the origin of anti-Semitism of Vichy France,” which was the part of the country run by a pro-Nazi collaborationist government. He also wrote that “what the Jews experienced under Vichy should not be banalized in any way” and that he was committed to fighting racism and anti-Semitism. “I wanted to denounce the strategy of the far right, which always used the words of the French Republic or social issues to turn them against the population. It is doing so today with laicite against the Muslims,” Peillon wrote.

But in its statement condemning Peillon’s remark, CRIF wrote that the history concerning the deportation of more than 75,000 Jews from France to concentration camps and death and the looting of their property, “as well as discriminatory laws such as the one about wearing yellow stars, should not be instrumentalized to create a false equivalence of suffering.” CRIF “demands a clarification and immediate correction on the part of Vincent Peillon,” it said. Peillon, a lawmaker in the European Parliament, announced his candidacy in December to succeed President Francois Hollande as party leader and run as its candidate in April. He was appointed education minister in 2012 and served for two years. In the Socialist primaries, Peillon will face Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who has strong support in the Jewish community. Peillon’s mother, Françoise Blum, is Jewish. Peillon, who rarely talks about his Jewish roots publicly, signed a petition by the left-wing Jcall group, the European counterpart to J Street, supporting Palestinian statehood. In 2009, he celebrated the bar mitzvah of his son Elie at a Paris synagogue. He has another son, Isaac. Peillon is married to Nathalie Bensahel, a journalist who has written about about France’s anti-Semitism problem.