Your Excellency Ms. Kamala Shirin Lakhdir
Ambassador-Designate of United States of America
U.S Embassy in Kuala Lumpur
376 Jalan Tun Razak
50400 Kuala Lumpur
The recent Executive Order issued by the new US President Donald Trump bar citizens from 7 Muslim countries; Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq and those with dual nationals from entering the United States for 90 days. The Trump Administration has also suspended the United States refugee system for 120 days. The order has been widely characterized as #Muslim Ban.
PAS duly recognizes US self-determination to ensure the security of its borders from threat of terrorism. The #Muslim Ban directives however run contrary to the values of the US as a country of refuge, built on the ingenuity of its immigrant class and to the facts that terror incidents in the US are domesticated and due to self radicalization, spurred by uncontrolled proliferation of guns.
PAS acknowledges that the nature of #Muslim Ban is temporary. Even if the ban is temporary, it has already created hardship to the many immigrants and refugees waiting to enter the United States on the promise of safety and opportunity thus risking harm facing certain persecution upon deportation to their home country. With the new “Extreme Vetting” standard to be implemented, there is possibility that many elements of #Muslim Ban will continue beyond the duration of this temporary measure. On humanitarian grounds, the affected immigrants and refugees especially those who have been vetted should be immediately granted entry.
PAS is aware that the new US Administration is following through on its campaign promise to stop “Islamic terrorism”. The oft-repeated premise of equating Islam with terror however is simply wrong and hurtful. PAS reiterates the fact that Islam is a religion of peace thus should not be associated with terror. The new Administration continued flawed rhetoric on Islam and Muslims everywhere will only feed to the growing Islamophobia and polarization between the West and the Muslim World and may further rationalize extremism and terror.
While the new President’s promise to stop US interventionist policy should be welcomed, PAS is yet to see concrete actions taken in this regard, which should be high on the new Administration agenda as means of rebuilding trust between governments and people of the West and the Muslim world.
PAS hereby strongly object the #Muslim Ban and stands in solidarity with the Immigrants, Refugees and protesters calling for the end of this unjust action. PAS hereby call on the new Administration of the United States to:
1. Immediately rescind the order. Legal challenges from states and corporations in the US are pending and the legality of the order is itself debatable, following the sacking of acting Attorney-General and violations of the United Nations charter.
2. Take true leadership on the immigrant and refugee crisis with increase admission, instead of #Muslim Ban. Despite the US stature as the leading developed country in the world and its economic might, the US has simply not done enough compared to Germany and Turkey whom has taken deep interest in addressing the immigrant and refugee crisis.
3. Give immediate guarantee and assurance that Malaysians particularly Muslims will not be impacted by #Muslim Ban. PAS has the responsibility to explain given its representation in the Parliament and other political channels at both local and international levels. We urge Madam Ambassador-Designate and the US Embassy office in Kuala Lumpur to extend goodwill and engage PAS and other civil groups in discussion and forum as means of feedback and communication particularly towards Muslims, an important stakeholder group in the country and the region.
We believe that knowledge is fundamental for a peaceful and harmonious society. This has been directed by Allah in the first revelation to Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
Allah said ‘Proclaim! (or read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created-, Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood:, Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful, He Who taught (the use of) the pen, Taught man that which he knew not’ – Holy Quran 96:1-5
Therefore, education and enlightenment is the best tool to promote peace and harmony in society. We believe the modern society nowadays are hungry for information and pure knowledge in accordance with its discipline. Emotional sentiment and distorted propaganda will only trigger chaos and lead to extremism.
Muhammad Khalil Abdul Hadi
PAS Deputy Youth Chief
Head, PAS Youth International Bureau