MESA - Middle East Studies Association

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2017

CONTACT
Geoffrey Knox, MESA:  917-414-1749, gknox@geoffreyknox.com

Federal Court Blocks Trump Muslim Ban, Again

TUCSON—A federal court in Maryland blocked President Trump’s latest Muslim ban from going into effect today. This follows a federal court in Hawaii issuing a similar ruling on Tuesday in another challenge. The Middle East Studies Association, represented by the ACLU, had been in court Monday in Maryland with its fellow plaintiffs to challenge this latest version of the ban — the president’s third such attempt.

Like previous versions, the new ban sought to block travel to the United States from a number of Muslim-majority countries — in this version, Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. The Maryland order does not block the Venezuela or North Korea provisions of the ban, or application of the ban to individuals who do not have bona fide relationships with entities or individuals in the United States while litigation is ongoing. The Hawaii order does not have the bona fide relationship exception.

Beth Baron, President of the Middle East Studies Association, had this reaction to the ruling:

“Once again a federal court has reaffirmed what we have been saying from the very beginning —President Trump’s attempts to impose a Muslim ban violate the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution specifically prohibits actions disfavoring or condemning any religion and offers fundamental protection for all of us—including MESA members.

MESA has refused to allow any of these unconstitutional actions by the Trump administration to deter our mission as a scholarly association facilitating the free exchange of ideas.  That is why we have been fighting these bans in the courts and will continue to do so.  That is why we look forward to our 51st Annual Meeting this year in Washington, DC November 17-21. Today’s legal victory will keep travel options open for MESA members traveling from the Muslim-majority countries named in the ban. We look forward to a vibrant annual meeting.”

The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Maryland, and National Immigration Law Center brought the challenge on behalf of HIAS, the International Refugee Assistance Project, the Middle East Studies Association, Yemeni American Merchants Association, and the Arab American Association of New York.

The ruling can be found at the ACLU site at https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/irap-v-trump-memorandum-opinion

More information is also at:  https://www.aclu.org/cases/international-refugee-assistance-project-v-trump

MESA
The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) is a private, non-profit learned society that fosters the study of the Middle East, promotes high standards of scholarship and teaching, and encourages public understanding of the region and its peoples through programs, publications and services that enhance education, further intellectual exchange, recognize professional distinction, and defend academic freedom.



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