[Michigan, June 21, 2016]: Why over two hundred years ago did we flee religious persecution on the Mayflower to come to America from England in pursuit of religious freedom?
For all those that believe that Trump’s profiling idea of Muslims is just a Muslim concern, and not really something to worry about for the majority of Americans, think again! This profiling idea is an American concern and strikes the very foundation of this nation.
In fact, Trump’s Proposed Muslim Ban is an outright assault on the First Amendment, and should spark the same sense of outrage and passion in those same folks that believe the Second Amendment is under attack regrading gun control.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, and impeding the free exercise of religion.
Here, Trump’s policy would essentially establish one religion over another, and impede (and discourage) Muslim Americans from freely exercising their religion.
Trump’s idea is, also, unprecedented. Trump supporters have responded by stating that America has done this before by invoking Section 212(f)of the Immigration and Nationality Act, where it says, that “Whenever the president finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States he can keep them out for such period as he shall deem necessary.”
And that in applying the Act, in 1980, former President Carter revoked Visas for Iranian students to put pressure on Iran during the hostage crisis; in 1993, Bill Clinton used it to bar the entry of Haitian nationals interested in impeding negotiations to restore a constitutional government, and in 2011, Obama used it to keep out anyone who had committed war crimes or otherwise violated recognized human rights and humanitarian laws.
There is major distinction here. Prior Presidents focused on either nationalities (which the First Amendment does not speak to) or behavior. Here Trump wants to target one’s faith, regardless of behavior, which strikes the very core of the First Amendment and is unconstitutional.
Remember, the whole reason why we left the motherland in England to come to America was to promote religious tolerance. Ironically, with England now having a Muslim Mayor in London, England is reminding us of the importance in promoting religious freedom; the very principle that is now under attack here in America.
Today Muslims are the target, and if precedent is allowed to be created in targeting religions, other religious denominations will now be fair game. This is an American concern!_____________________________________________________________
Attorney Shereef Akeel specializes in employment law, discrimination, whistleblower cases, civil rights, and personal injury. Akeel obtained his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan in 1987. He then graduated from Michigan State College of law in 1996. Akeel also has a CPA, and a Masters in Business Administration from Wayne State University. Akeel is a partner of Akeel & Valentine PLC. Attorney Akeel is the Chair of the Advisory Board for the American Human Rights Council, a human rights advocacy organization located in Dearborn, Michigan.