It is not certain than in the transition to the White House, the specialist on minority religions in the Middle East has found his desk and been able to open his files. The ill-considered ban on Muslim refugees and visa applicants set in motion by President Trump had an “escape clause” concerning non-Muslim minorities who were being persecuted or at least under stress from the seven countries cited. These religious minorities might even be given a priority to enter the USA. Only Christians were mentioned, but the Middle East has a host of religious groups with a long history but with a theology that is not always clear or at least not discussed with those outside the faith.
The Fellowship of Reconciliation rejects and denounces in no uncertain terms the executive order Friday that suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocked entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Kathy Kelly writes: I look to Afghanistan, I look to the simple facts faced by the Standing Rock protesters, and I know we must look back to the sorrows which so much of the world will commemorate today (Armistice Day). These sorrows, so painfully real, can help all of us yearn above all for an understanding by people worldwide, and here in my own frightened, divided country—an understanding that we live in a real world, beset with multiple wars, and must at last turn to each other, prepared to live more simply, share resources more radically, and abolish all wars in order to build a real peace.
“I was in jail with a Libyan man, his friends came and broke into the jail and let us go, too. There was fighting everywhere. You pray to be in jail with Libyans, because they do not recognize the current government, they will do what they want.”
FOR's executive director sends love and sympathy to the friends and families of those killed and gravely wounded in Orlando, and expresses concern about the perpetuation of violence as a result of this heinous crime.
Rep. Paul Ryan publicized his endorsement of Donald Trump's presidential campaign within moments of hosting a meeting with staff and members of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, along with supporters of FOR's #GiveRefugeesRest campaign, a national campaign to end Islamophobia.
This February Kristin Stoneking led a delegation of FOR staff, members, and allies, including five refugees and immigrants, to Speaker Ryan's office in Washington, DC. We brought your deep concerns about rising attacks on Muslims in the United States and the immoral political agenda that has resisted refugee resettlement in our nation. Speaker Ryan's legislative director, Katie Donnell, received our delegation — and some of your #GiveRefugeesRest pillowcases — with respect and attentiveness.
March 15, the first “Day of Rage” is widely used as the date on which the conflict in Syria began. The Syrian situation has grown increasingly complex since 2011, with more actors involved and with a larger number of refugees and displaced persons. On the anniversary Rene Wadlow argues that we need to look at why U.S. and European nonviolent advocates were not able to do more.