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Legalizing Xenophobia and Islamophobia in the United States


For nearly two decades the United States Federal Government (US Government), state governments, and local authorities, have infringed on the religious freedoms of its citizens and lawful residents by enacting policies and practices that disproportionately discriminate against Muslims. For example, the 2017 Presidential Proclamation 9645, known as the Travel Ban or otherwise referred to by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and others as the Muslim Ban, is the newest addition to the list of preceding federal measures that attempt to legalize discrimination against Muslims. The US Government rather than striving to eliminate prejudice and discrimination, and striving to promote inclusivity, is fueling xenophobia and Islamophobia through sweeping policy decisions and antiMuslim rhetoric. 

This publication is part of the Global Justice Program’s Human Rights Agenda report series. In this series, we collaborate with other human rights, civil rights, and civil society organizations under the umbrella of the US Human Rights Network (USHRN), to advance the utility of the rights-based framework as a meaningful organizing tool for impacted communities and social movements to articulate claims of social, cultural, political rights, and belonging. Our reports are reviewed by the United Nations Human Rights Commission and inform the UN’s recommendations to hold the US Government and legislative body accountable to their obligations as related to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

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