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(Overland Park, KS, 1/27/2017) -- The Crescent Peace Society (CPS), a Kansas City area interfaith organization, was joined today by Kansas Interfaith Action, Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council, The Center for Religious Experience and Study (CRES), KC For Refugees and Hatebusters, Inc., in opposing President Trump’s Planned ‘Muslim Ban’ Executive Orders halting the acceptance of Syrian refugees and restricting immigration and travel from several Muslim majority nations including Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

 “These Executive Orders are expected to focus on refugees, immigrants and visa holders from Muslim majority countries only.  It is clear that this is the first step in implementing the President’s promised ‘Muslim Ban,’ effectively excluding people based on their religion,” said CPS President, Ahsan Latif.  “Predicating travel, immigration and refuge from harm on the basis of religion, or a religious litmus test, is un-American.  I grew up learning the American values of pluralism and freedom of religion.  The enactment of these policies threatens to turn our long held Constitutional values into just another set of alternative facts.”

This policy harkens back to another dark time in our history, when during World War II the United States turned away Jewish refugees seeking our protection and instead sent them back to Europe where many did not survive. “Refugees entering this country are already the most vetted of all people entering our borders,” said Latif.  “They undergo several levels of screening by multiple national security agencies before they are even selected as refugees.”

These orders will adversely affect American Muslims seeking to host their family members from overseas.  They would prevent citizens from aiding parents and grandparents seeking medical treatment and tarnish our image as a country that stands for the ideals of religious freedom and tolerance.  “This ‘Muslim Ban’ does not make our country safer,” said Latif.  "Instead it will be a propaganda tool for our enemies who portray America as the perpetrators of a holy war against them."

The Executive Orders claim to focus on nations with some unspecified correlation to terrorism.  However, the countries included do not have a record of committing terrorist acts in the United States (Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, for example, are not included on the list).  Additionally, statistics show that over 116 times more Americans have died from gun violence compared to terrorism (CNN: American deaths in terrorism vs. gun violence in one graph). "It is important to address the issue of terrorism, but it should be based on evidence and hard data instead of faith, race or national origin,” said Latif.

The Crescent Peace Society is a Kansas City area interfaith organization seeking to enhance the understanding of Muslim cultures through educational and cultural activities involving the exchange of ideas and experiences among people of diverse cultures.  Its mission is to build bridges among faith communities, encourage dialogue, and promote justice and mutual understanding.

If there are groups interested in having a Muslim speaker meet with their congregation or organization regarding Muslims in America or Islam, they email a request to: crescentpeacesociety@gmail.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Crescent Peace Society: Ahsan Latif, President, 913-485-9218, latif.ahsan@gmail.com, Hibba Haider, Vice President, 816-309-8065, hibbahaider@gmail.com, and Advisory Board Member Mahnaz Shabbir, 816-213-2536 and mahnaz@shabbiradvisors.com  

Kansas Interfaith Action, Rabbi Moti Rieber, Executive Director, (316) 680-7381, mrieber@kansasinterfaithaction.org

Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council: Reverend Kelly Isola, Vice Chair, (816) 550-3475, kisola@me.com  


The Center for Religious Experience and Study, Reverend Vern Barnet, (816)753-1633, vern@cres.org

KC For Refugees: Dr. Sofia Khan, Founder, (913) 523-4113, zaims5@live.com  

Hatebusters, Inc.: Ed Chasteen, Founder, HateBuster@aol.com