Zahra Billoo speaks on Muslim Ban

Zahra Billoo speaks on Muslim Ban


n Jan. 27, 2017, president Donald Trump issued an executive order which banned entry into the United States from 7 countries. Citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen were banned from entering the United States for 90 days. This went into immediate action, People landing at airports in the US from one of the seven banned countries were automatically handcuffed and detained for hours. When word got out that people we being held at airports- hundreds of people rushed to protest and dozens of lawyers rushed to the airports to volunteer their services. Lawyers from all over the country got to work.

    One of which was Zahra Billoo, a successful Muslim woman, and one of the dozens of citizen plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit against Trump’s executive order. Billoo is the San Francisco Bay Area Director for the Council for Islamic-American Relations (CAIR), and described the effect of the ban as, “You get on a plane– you’re coming to one America, you land and you’re in a different America.”

    Thousands of people rushed to airports all over America to protest Trump’s executive order. Every news station on tv was covering the protests. There wasn’t one person who didn’t know about it. Soon after the uproar, Trump defended the executive order stating, “This is not about religion, this is about terror and keeping our country safe,”

This was a perplexing argument and this is how Billoo responded, “There are Christian majority countries in southeast asia who are also designed state sponsors of terrorism who were not on the list, If this was about safety– why wouldn’t you ban all of these countries?

    The 2016 election ran on fear. One reason why Trump got elected was because of the ignorance and fear surrounding ISIS. According to Huffpost, 70% of Americans haven’t met a Muslim that they know of. This gives way for people like Trump to exploit the lack of education and misrepresent the Muslim community. Ignorance allows for people to take one impression of what they think a Muslim is like and apply it to the community as a whole.

    When a white man commits an act of terrorism, no one assumes every white man is a terrorist, yet when a Muslim man commits an act of terrorism, everyone assumes that all Muslims are terrorists.

    The only way to combat ignorance is to educate. We need more people like Zahra Billoo to start a conversation that includes everyone. This Fear is only a lack of knowledge.