Can These Muslim Activists Derail Trump’s Travel Ban?


From leading protests at the Los Angeles airport to helping local Muslims navigate the new administration’s policies, Hussam Ayloush and Ameena Mirza Qazi have been busy. They are the executive director of CAIR’s Los Angeles chapter and executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, respectively. The Council on American-Islamic Relations is the largest Muslim civil rights group in the U.S., and was quick to file a lawsuit against the federal government over President Donald Trump’s original executive order barring citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, as well as refugees, from entering the United States.

“If the goal was to intimidate and isolate this community, what has happened is this community today is much more vocal and much more defiant than I’ve ever seen,” said Ayloush in An Act of Worship, a documentary highlighting CAIR’s work following the signing of the order.

“As an American Muslim, I’m feeling empowered,” said Qazi. “I’m choosing to go out to the protests to be part of the people. I’m choosing to work with other organizations and to fight back.”

The immediate fate of the travel ban is being decided now in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, after a federal judge in Hawaii halted Trump’s revised order earlier this month.

This film is part of a series from the “Our 100 Days” initiative from Firelight Media and Field of Vision, which explore threats to U.S. democracy and the stories of its most vulnerable communities in the current political climate. New episodes will be released weekly on Thursdays, followed by Twitter chats at 1pm ET under the hashtag #Our100Days.

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