The Muslim Ban from an Iranian-American Perspective
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America was the land of opportunity for Keemya Esmael’s parents, who came from the revolutionary Iran to the United States for refuge and education. Now, Esmael feels like she’s witnessing America going backwards with the new executive order put out by President Trump banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries, including Iran.
Esmael argues that the seven countries affected were not involved in the attack on September 11th, 2001 while Saudi Arabia, the United State’s largest oil contributor and also where most of the terrorists originated from, is not one of the countries banned. “To me, this ban is purely racist and based on the United States or rather, Trump’s relationship with the seven countries,” Esmael said. “Iran and the United States have always had a rocky relationship, but that doesn’t mean innocent people have to suffer.”
But the main reason this ban is troubling to her is the way Syrian refugees are being treated. Esmael believes the United States is repeating their greatest shame, denying Jewish refugees to come to America during the Holocaust because they were considered threats by the U.S. government. “Why would you assume people afraid to live in their own homes are trying to hurt people?” Esmael said. “People in Syria are suffering. They have nothing, they are scared for their lives and as a world power, instead of welcoming these people, America is being so offensive and is letting innocent people die.”
“I just don’t think banning people from a whole country is justified,” Esmael said. “Our country was built on immigrants, our founders were immigrants. Whether you like it or not, white people in this country are immigrants. This executive order feels like a huge, huge step backwards and is against everything our country was built on.”
Esmael and many others across the country, although not being directly affected, will not stop fighting for what is right.