We should help people there; we should help people here

What a difference a week makes….

Last week, millions of women around the world marched in the Women’s March on Washington and its hundreds of sister marches.

The criticism from the naysayers and the dissenters was largely, “you have all the rights! You should be marching for women in other countries!”

Last night, President Trump signed an executive order banning immigrants and refugees from seven countries from entering the U.S. Those countries are: Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. If I’ve read correctly, there are bans of varying lengths on immigration and accepting refugees from most countries, with an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees.

Currently, there are people with dual citizenship; American and Iraqi citizenship, for instance, who have been living in the United States for years who are stranded in airports and not permitted to return home. There are protests at airports all over the United States, especially JFK, against this Muslim ban. Most of the American people do not want this ban. Most of the American people did not vote for Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, the criticism from the naysayers and the dissenters is largely, “so what?! We have to help our own first!”

Last week, I said the sudden support and concern for women in other countries and the rights they are fighting for was inspiring…except that I was sure most of those people didn’t care the day before.

Tonight, I marvel at the support and concern for people closer to home who need various resources…except that I’m sure most of these people didn’t care yesterday.

Why can’t we just help people? Why? Why can we not march for women’s rights in North America and abroad? Why can we not help refugees and people who are already here? Why?

I know I organized a sister march and the experience motivated a lot of people to take further action, and I am part of much of that action-taking, but I feel powerless now. I am at a complete and utter loss.

16265350_10155338516348488_4468854556886969428_nWhat can we do? It feels like nothing, but I’m suggesting that as many of us as possible attend World Hijab Day.

In another act of solidarity, let’s show our Muslim sisters that we support them.

Let’s work to show our Muslim sisters that – as I’ve said before – we will do everything we can to ensure that nothing like this ever happens in Canada. This cannot happen in Canada.

As far as the United States goes, if you are able, please make a donation to the ACLU. The American Civil Liberties Union is helping people affected by this ban to fight it. They’ve already managed to get a federal judge to issue a “nationwide temporary injunction that will block the deportation of all people stranded in U.S. airports under President Trump’s new Muslim ban.”

This is horrifying. That anyone is surprised that Trump is following through on all of the things he said he would do is equally horrifying.

I don’t know (yet?) what we can do, but we must do everything we can to help people affected by this ban, and we must also do everything we can to ensure that it doesn’t happen here.

We can help people there and we can help people here.

And we should.

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