On his first day as president, Joe Biden signed several executive orders to undo Trump administration actions. One order signed by Biden on Wednesday (Jan. 20) repealed the previous administration’s Muslim and African travel ban — a move that BJC (also known as the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty), quickly praised.
“Today’s repeal of the Muslim and African travel ban by President Joe Biden is a victory for faith freedom,” BJC Executive Director Amanda Tyler said in a statement. “Since the first week of the Trump administration, we’ve seen various versions of this policy rooted in anti-Muslim bias, targeting individuals based on their religious identity. The specifics and wording changed over the years, but no aesthetic adjustments could alter the religious discrimination inherent in the ban.”
“Religious freedom is threatened when our leaders use fear and othering to exclude entire groups of people from our country based on their religious identity,” Tyler added. “Repealing the ban is an important step, but it does not undo the damage this policy has done to religious freedom. If we want to truly preserve faith freedom for all, we as Americans must loudly and clearly denounce religious bigotry in all its forms – now and in the future.”
BJC includes a number of resources on their website about the ban, including their first statement on Jan. 27, 2017, and their brief in the Supreme Court case of Trump v. Hawaii. BJC also signed a letter Wednesday alongside 80 other organizations calling on Congress to prevent similar bans from being enacted in the future.