It didn't take long for US President Donald Trump's "Muslim ban" to affect someone in a realm as visible as Hollywood. Director Asghar Farhadi, who is nominated in the category of Best Foreign Film for his movie The Salesman, will be unable to enter the United States for the Oscars next month because he is a citizen of Iran, one of the seven countries Trump has included in the 90-day immigration ban he has ordered.
Trita Parsi, leader of the National Iranian American Council, tweeted confirmation that Farhadi would be affected by the ban:
The American film community has spoken out in support of Farhadi, who became the first Iranian to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 2012 for his film A Separation. Director Ava DuVernay, as well as Tribeca Film Festival, have expressed their dismay at the news and are decrying the immigration ban, which explicitly targets "Muslim-majority" countries.
The executive order, signed Friday, closes U.S. borders to all refugees for the next 120 days and from Syria indefinitely, as well as suspending the granting of all visas for travelers coming from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen for the next 90 days.
The ban is not only affecting temporary visitors to the U.S. seeking visas, but permanent residents (green card holders) as well. U.S. permanent residents from the seven banned countries are being advised not to leave to U.S., as they may be denied re-entry—even if they have lived and worked in the U.S. for years.
Though the order was supposedly made in an attempt to thwart Islamist terrorism, and Trump reportedly cited the 9/11 attacks, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Egypt, and Saudia Arabia—where the attackers involved in 9/11 came from—are not included in the ban. In fact, in the last 40 years, there have been no deaths on American soil caused by immigrant terrorists from any of those seven countries. As Vox reports, 98.6% of deaths by immigrant attacks came from 9/11. Beyond that, American deaths at the hand of immigrants are exceedingly rare—a chance of one in 3.6 million.
Trump has explicitly targeted Muslims and predominantly Muslim countries on account of fears of Islamic terrorism, despite the fact that the most recent ISIS-related mass killing, the Pulse nightclub shooting in June, was committed by a U.S.-born citizen. Human rights organizations, including the ACLU and International Rescue Committee, have decried the executive order as "officially sanctioned religious persecution dressed up to look like an effort to make the United States safer" according to the New York Times.
While it's unfair and frustrating that Farhadi will be unable to attend the Oscars ceremony, this is certainly only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the effects of the Muslim ban, which ironically was signed on Holocaust Remembrance Day, prompting Twitter user @Stl_manifest to highlight Jewish refugees who were denied entry to the U.S., only to perish in concentration camps back in Europe. The worst effects of racial and religious discrimination have only just begun for immigrants and asylum seekers suffering from atrocities around the world.
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