by Meghan Duffy
Within the first two weeks of his presidency, Donald Trump has signed 13 executive orders. These executive orders range from stepping away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership to waiving the Affordable Care Act and bringing back construction plans for the Dakota Access Pipeline. Perhaps the most frightening of all of these, however, is banning entry to the US from seven, largely Muslim, countries for the next 90 days.
Unless you have been lying under a rock for the past several days, it is likely that you have heard of this so called “Muslim ban.” It is a halt on allowing citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen to enter the United States paired up with a suspension of the US refugee program for the next four months. This executive order lays down the groundwork for a return to the early days of Obama’s presidency where only a small trickle of refugees were admitted into the US until 2015 and 2016.
This ban has far reaching consequences, from more private — though not less important — matters like families being separated while one parent visited family in Iraq and being unable to return, to far more public matters like the director of a Best Foreign Language Film nominee from being able to enter the United States for the Oscars.
Asghar Farhadi is the director of The Salesman, a film about a married couple from Tehran whose life begins to tear at the seams after they move into an apartment formerly occupied by a prostitute. As an Iranian, he is currently banned from being able to enter the United States due to the Muslim ban. Yet even if he is granted permission to enter the country, Farhadi announced that he wouldn’t attend the Academy Awards. In a statement to the New York Times, Farhadi said,
“However, it now seems that the possibility of this presence is being accompanied by ifs and buts which are in no way acceptable to me even if exceptions were to be made for my trip. I would therefore like to convey via this statement what I would have expressed to the press were I to travel to the United States. Hard-liners, despite their nationalities, political arguments and wars, regard and understand the world in very much the same way. In order to understand the world, they have no choice but to regard it via an “us and them” mentality, which they use to create a fearful image of “them” and inflict fear in the people of their own countries.”
Others involved with the film have also spoken out, including the lead actress, Taraneh Alidoosti, calling the ban racist and announcing that she will not attend the Academy Awards in protest.
— Taraneh Alidoosti (@t_alidoosti) January 26, 2017
The Academy Awards are not the only things affected by the Muslim ban. According to a NeoGAF thread, the executive order is beginning to bleed into eSports. Ramin Delshad, a dual Dutch-Iranian citizen and top 10 Smash Bros. for Wii U player is banned from entry to the US because, despite living in the Netherlands for the majority of his life, he was born in Iran.
So according to articles, people I've asked and even Reddit, I won't be able to enter the USA
welp, hope your vote for Trump was worth it
— Elevate Mr.R (@Mr_RSmash) January 30, 2017
Only 90 days?U do realize Im in the usa like once a month nowadays lol and my plan was to stay there before EVO so I could get good training https://t.co/HTNRQgwyCz
— Elevate Mr.R (@Mr_RSmash) January 30, 2017
Ramin Delshad is not the only one in the gaming community affected by the ban, Rami Ismail tweeted out on Sunday, “Due to the #MuslimBan, I’m working with 5 talented devs that all were coming to GDC, but can’t or don’t dare to anymore. It breaks my heart.”
Due to the #MuslimBan, I'm working with 5 talented devs that all were coming to GDC, but can't or don't dare to anymore. It breaks my heart.
— Rami Ismail (@tha_rami) January 29, 2017
Many in the online community are standing out against the ban. Notable content creators like Hank Green are offering to donate to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in support of immigrants, raising at least $6,235 in the first day.
For every reply to this tweet with a hand-drawn message of support for immigrants, Muslims, and/or refugees, I will donate $5 to the ACLU.
— Hank Green (@hankgreen) January 28, 2017
Musician, Sia has vowed to match up to $100,000 to the ACLU, with Rosie O’Donnell following suit hours later.
Even gaming companies are pushing back against the Muslim ban. Playdots Inc, the company behind the popular mobile application Two Dots, pushed out an update on Sunday asking players to support the ACLU. The Game Developers Conference (GDC) have also tweeted out their own concerns over the ban.
GDC is a global community – we're horrified by the #MuslimBan. Of course we'll refund affected attendees, and keep fighting for inclusivity.
— Official_GDC (@Official_GDC) January 29, 2017
Although a small victory was won on Sunday with a federal judge granting a stay over deportations for those who arrived into the United States under a valid visa, but detained on entry, it is only a partial block on the Muslim ban. Time will tell how far reaching the effects of this executive order will be, but the early days of it are concerning.