For Immediate Release
March 6, 2017
Contact: Janine Walsh
FAN Communications Coordinator
(203) 685-1856 (cell)
Franciscans Disturbed by Administration’s Second Travel Ban Announcement
With the Ninth Circuit Court Unanimously Deciding The First Ban was Unconstitutional, It’s Inconceivable that the Administration Would Try Again
Washington, D.C. – Today, the President signed a second executive order travel ban from six majority Muslim countries. While the administration denies that this is a Muslim ban, the revised executive order is a defacto one. This ban diminishes the standing of our country in the eyes of the world, especially our allies. Considering that refugees have gone through 18-24 months of stringent vetting in their desire to escape war and persecution, it is disturbing that the administration would continue barring these people from the safety and security our country can offer. The Franciscan Action Network continues to strongly oppose any ban that demonstrates discrimination against any person based on country of origin or preferred religion. FAN executive director Patrick Carolan stated “The ban goes against everything that we stand for as Franciscan Catholic Christians, and against what Jesus and Francis of Assisi taught and lived. St. Bonaventure tells us that how we choose and what we choose makes a difference – first in what we become by our choices and second what the world becomes by our choices.”
The principle of freedom of religion is a tradition and ideal that forms the foundation of our country. We do not tell people how to pray and we don’t ban people based on their religion. No one should fear for their safety because of the color of their skin, what language they speak, or how they pray. We are weaker as a country when we let fear and lack of understanding come between us. It is morally wrong to single out one group of people based on their faith. It is disturbing that President Trump would continue to push for a ban against selected Muslim countries, given citizenship is not a reliable indicator of terrorist threat. Further, no one from these countries has been responsible for terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.
According to Sr Marie Lucey, OSF, FAN Associate Director: “For Christians, Lent is a season of repentance for personal and social sin. The Franciscan Action Network will stand in prayer and solidarity with Muslim sisters and brothers, as well as all refugees and immigrants, during the forty days of Lent. While opposing bans and harmful executive orders, we also pray for a change of hearts and minds of this Administration and legislators who support anti-refugee and anti-immigrant measures. We will also continue to speak out against this injustice which is as cruel and unusual as it is astounding and irreconcilable.”
FAN will continue to encourage dialogue and peace building through programs such as our partnership with Muslim film production company, Unity Productions Foundation. Through the nationwide promotion of the docu-drama, The Sultan and the Saint we will educate unabated on the similarities between our two faiths and the unifying elements of our religions.