Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Interfaith Students Offer Solidarity

To the Editors:

We the undersigned, representing a wide spectrum of worldviews and campuses all across the country, wish to express our support for refugees and immigrants all over the world impacted by the executive order issued Jan. 27 that bars them from entering the United States. We are especially disheartened as the order was signed on Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day dedicated to remembering what happens when we close our doors to innocent people because of our fears. Barring refugees and immigrants from certain Muslim-majority countries is a direct assault on religious freedom and disrespects foundational American values.

Out of 3.3 million Muslims who live in America, only 11 have committed a crime of terrorism in the past 15 years. A study from Global Research shows that 90 percent of the acts of terror committed in this country are carried out by those of non-Muslim identities. Furthermore, the seven countries directly named in this executive order have no direct links to radical Islamic terrorism [in the U.S.]. As people of varying religious and nonreligious backgrounds, despite our theological differences, we believe that everyone deserves refuge in this country regardless of their worldview. This includes Muslims from all over the world.

In addition, this immigration ban does not make America safe. Instead it spreads fear and hate. The immigration ban stigmatizes Muslim communities and reinforces the false notion of an American war on Islam, encouraging a negative view of the United States in the Muslim world and thereby supporting voices of violence.

We are a country of immigrants and refusing to accept them neglects a vital part of our American culture. Our pride stems from diverse experiences and identities that intertwine to form American society. When we neglect families who are fleeing violence and oppression by impeding their journey to safety and freedom, we are no better than the enemy we claim to be fighting. We cannot stand silent. With open arms, we must welcome those who seek refuge with us. In the words of human rights activist Elie Wiesel, “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.”

We call on people from all world traditions to stand with us in solidarity with refugees and immigrants, including many children, who have been subjected to gross injustice.

Let us leave you with these brief readings to remind you that for every difference you dwell on, you miss out on many similarities.

“O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and rendered you nations and tribes so that you might know one another. The best among you in the sight of God is the one who is the most righteous. And God is all-Knowing, all-Aware.”
Quran 49:13

“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.”
1 Corinthians 12:12-14

Signed,

– Helen Kramer
Jewish

– Shira Cohen
Jewish

– Josephine Stockwell
Jewish

– Chris Gokelman
Catholic

– Emily Edelstein
Jewish

– Rami Teeter
Jewish

– Lucas Burns
Atheist

– Nic Vigilante
Unitarian Universalist

– Amanda Lubin
Jewish

– Sara Wolf
Jewish

– Anya Garipoli

– Emilia De Leo
Catholic

– Daveed Buzaglo
Jewish

– Rebeca Primoff
Jewish

– Robby Baskin
Agnostic/Atheist

– Natalie Pierson
Atheist

– Sydney Solomon
Jewish

– Hassan Bin Fahim
Muslim

– Julia Cantwell
Agnostic

– Jizel Maddouri
Muslim

– Jason Israel
Jewish

– Natasha Gwirceman
Jewish

– Daphnis Bream
Jewish

– Stella Ocker
Jewish

– Lindsay Brubaker
Quaker

– Kai Shinbrough
Unitarian Universalist

– Amanda Siskind
Jewish

– Rachael Schwartz
Jewish

– Ashley McMahon
Eclectic Pagan

Ari Heitler-Klevans,
Atheist

– Maya Martin
Jewish

– Christiana Rose
Christian

– Rowyn Peel
Jewish-Pagan

– Hayden Arp

– Emma Snape
Methodist

Milena Williamson

To view the full list of signatories, please visit https://docs.google.com/document/d/1S14qmPsF7NOUFNn4sBPMMpzuEGr4xbguv_sDMEqaPa4/edit

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Established 1874.
Interfaith Students Offer Solidarity