January 30, 2017
“Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States"
As a private citizen of the United States, and in my role as President of American Baptist College, I feel compelled to stand against President Trump’s recent executive order limiting and banning Muslim immigration to the United States from seven countries. This ban strikes at the heart of the mission and values of American Baptist College.
Our College is committed to excellence in the academic study of the liberal arts, religion, technology and social justice leadership and to making our scholarship freely available in order to foster the larger public understanding of ethical global citizenship.
The ban impedes that mission. Faculty members, students, and scholars who study religion at Historically Black College and Universities and who are committed to social justice depend on the freedom of travel to pursue their work and education. The ban will also impede international students who hope to study in the United States and to American students who plan to study abroad.
At a more fundamental level, the ban conflicts with our values. We hold dear diversity, mutual respect, inclusion, and free inquiry, all of which the immigration ban jeopardizes. The ban erodes our hope that these values will serve as the foundation for all governmental decisions regarding our students as well as their families around the globe.
Finally, the ban poisons the public’s understanding of Islam in particular and religion in general. It blatantly and explicitly discriminates against Islam and Muslims and appears to provide special treatment of Christianity. It violates our national commitment to welcome persons of all religions.
American Baptist College joins learned societies and educational leaders across the nation, to call on the President and Congress to retract the Muslim immigration ban and to denounce religious intolerance in all its forms.
Dr. Forrest E. Harris, President