The AfroAtlantic Theologies & Treaties Institute [ATI] condemns President Donald Trump’s executive order banning the entry of Muslims into the United States of America. As historic victims of racism, racial discrimination, Afrophobia and xenophobia, practitioners of African-based religions such as Vodou, Santeria, Candomble and Lukumi, know the horrors of religious persecution and vilification better than most. Religious discrimination hinders our collective intellectual development and spiritual growth. It imposes additional collateral damage that effect economies, causing poverty in communities, which is considered an unforgivable crime among members of our community.
That the countries identified by President Trump include Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, whose people have posed the least threats to U.S. national security, is a pretext for an all out ban against all Muslim peoples everywhere. The ATI is concerned that this step will eventually yield to a crypto-fascist state that corrals and censures the religious rights of a great many Americans. While we oppose all forms of discrimination, we are acutely aware of what happens when the US cocoons itself in isolationism. The people who are our closest neighbors in Haiti, Cuba, Venezuela, etc. are impacted by American foreign policy through occupation, sanctions and other punitive actions.
Islam’s universalist sensibilities embraces people of all races, and to the extent the lives of African descendants are further aggravated by multiple forms of discrimination, we implore the presiding administration to reconsider and reverse this dangerous precedence. The ATI’s Sare (or Chief), human rights activist and the Chairperson of the NGO Committee for the Elimination Racism, Afrophobia & Colorism at the United Nations, Manbo Dòwòti Désir states, “The ban against the entry of some 134 million Muslims from the United States, is a violation of the United States’ paramount founding principle of religious freedom, and a blatant denial that Muslims have resided in this country since its founding in 1776. Furthermore the prohibition is a violation of the United States’ own laws including
the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination which takes account of religious bias. It also ignores the United Nations’ international moral mandate, the Durban Declaration & Programme of Action Plan, which encourages states to eliminate social intolerance in all its manifestations.” The current policy cites, “The United Sates shall not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred...or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own...” yet through this restriction, President Trump enables a travesty of the worst order by failing to uphold the very principles it advocates.”
The AfroAtlantic Theologies & Treaties Institute [ATI] facilitates interfaith and intra-religious cooperation. Advocates for reparatory justice, the ATI develops opportunities for the exchange of ideas, scholarship, and policy development among spiritual communities of traditional African-based religions. For further information see: www.ATI-global.org, or write or call ddesir@ATI-global.org 917.539.7252.