Florida's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization is suing
President Donald Trump and his administration over his executive order temporarily banning refugees and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Hassan Shibly, chief executive director of the Florida chapter of Council of American-Islamic Relations, is listed as one of 20 plaintiffs in the lawsuit
against Trump and the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State Secretary and the director of national intelligence.
"This is the time that we are truly making America great again by challenging this discriminatory, unjust, oppressive, and illegal policy," Shibly says in a statement. "We will make America great by making sure that it remains a free and just nation for all people, regardless of their race or religion."
The suit was filed in a federal district court in Virginia. Trump's executive order suspends entry of all refugees into the country for 120 days and bars Syrian refugees indefinitely. Citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries, including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, will be blocked entry into the U.S. for 90 days.
"The Muslim Exclusion Order is the fulfillment of President Trump’s longstanding promise and boasted intent to enact a federal policy that overtly discriminates against Muslims and officially broadcasts a message that the federal government disfavors the religion of Islam, preferring all other religions instead," the lawsuit
says. Trump's administration has pushed back against critics and protesters calling the order a "Muslim ban," though it is terminology
he used during his campaign
Rasha Mubarak, the Orlando regional coordinator for CAIR, says in a press conference
that the lawsuit charges Trump's executive order as unconstitutional under the First Amendment and Fifth Amendment.
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," Mubarak says, citing an 1883 poem by Emma Lazarus
. "Inscribed are these words on our Statue of Liberty. In just days into the new administration, we have seen a wave of discriminatory, anti-immigrant, anti-refugee, anti-Muslim executive orders and policies trying to criminalize a people in an attempt to galvanize American people."
Mubarak argues the U.S. refugee screening process is the most rigorous and safest system in the world.
"These executive orders are just political theater at the expense of not only our civil liberties but our national security that [Trump] claims he's trying to protect, feeding into and even adding recruitment material for the extreme groups overseas and abroad," she says. "Trump is in a position to trample over civil liberties, jeopardizing and undermining safety for all. Islamophobia was once on the fringes of society and has made it to mainstream."
CAIR-Florida is asking people in the Muslim community who believe their rights have been violated to call local police and contact CAIR-Florida's civil rights department at 813-514-1414.