Transcript: The U.S. Immigration Ban | Jan 30, 2017

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, pink shirt, and purple tie.

A caption on screen reads "The U.S. immigration ban. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says LAST FRIDAY, AMERICAN
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SIGNED AN
EXECUTIVE ORDER PUTTING A
TEMPORARY BAN ON NATIONALS FROM
SEVEN PREDOMINATELY MUSLIM
COUNTIES ENTERING THE U.S.
WHEN IT CAME INTO EFFECT HOURS
LATER, IT SPARKED CONFUSION AT
AIRPORTS AROUND THE WORLD AND
IMPROMPTU PROTESTS IN THE U.S.,
AND TODAY, IN FRONT OF THE
AMERICAN CONSULATE IN DOWNTOWN
TORONTO.
TO HELP US BETTER UNDERSTAND
THAT OPPOSITION WE'RE JOINED
TONIGHT, FROM LOS ANGELES,
CALIFORNIA:
JIHAD TURK, PRESIDENT, BAYAN
CLAREMONT ISLAMIC GRADUATE SCHOOL.

Jihad is in his early forties, clean-shaven, with short, thinning brown hair. He's wearing glasses, a blue sweater and a black t-shirt.

Steve continues MR. TURK, WE'RE GLAD YOU COULD
JOIN US TONIGHT FROM CALIFORNIA.
HOW ARE THINGS GOING?

Jihad says THINGS ARE
GOING WELL, ALL THINGS
CONSIDERED, THAT IS.
THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME ON.

Steve says NOT AT ALL.
LET'S SET UP OUR CONVERSATION
WITH SOME OF THE LATEST SO WE
CAN CLARIFY WHAT WE UNDERSTAND
TO BE THE CASE AS WE SIT HERE
TALKING THIS EVENING.
PRESIDENT TRUMP'S EXECUTIVE
ORDER ON IMMIGRATION DOES THREE
MAIN THINGS...

A slate appears on screen, with the title "President Trump's executive order on immigration."

Steve reads from the slate and says
IT INDEFINITELY
BARS SYRIAN REFUGEES FROM
ENTERING THE UNITED STATES.
IT SUSPENDS THE ADMISSION OF ALL
REFUGEES FOR 120 DAYS.
AND IT BLOCKS CITIZENS OF SEVEN
COUNTRIES... IRAN, IRAQ, LIBYA,
SOMALIA, SUDAN, SYRIA, AND
YEMEN... FROM ENTERING THE U.S. FOR 90 DAYS.

A map of Africa and the Middle East pops up, showing the locations of the seven countries mentioned.

Steve continues LET'S JUST START WITH THE
OBVIOUS QUESTION, WHICH IS YOUR
REACTION TO THIS DEVELOPMENT.

The caption changes to "Jihad Turk. Bayan Claremont Islamic Graduate School."
Then, it changes again to "Executive order, widespread reaction."

Jihad says WELL, IT'S
DEEPLY TROUBLING, IN PART
BECAUSE OF THE RHETORIC IN THE
RUN-UP TO THE PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION FROM AT THAT TIME
CANDIDATE TRUMP WHO, TO THE WILD
CHEERS OF HIS SUPPORTERS,
DECLARED THAT HE WANTED TO BAN
ALL MUSLIMS FROM COMING TO THE
UNITED STATES, AND RUDY GIULIANI
WAS ON FOX NEWS YESTERDAY
DECLARING THAT THIS TRAVEL BAN
WAS SOMETHING THAT HE HELPED
ENGINEER WHEN TRUMP SAID, HOW
CAN WE BAN MUSLIMS FROM COMING
TO THE UNITED STATES LEGALLY
GIVEN THAT THERE'S A FIRST
AMENDMENT CLAUSE OF FREEDOM OF
RELIGION?
I'M SORRY, IT'S PART OF THE
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED
STATES, THE FOUNDING DOCUMENT,
THAT WE HAVE FREEDOM OF
RELIGION.
IT'S WHAT WE'RE BUILT UPON AS A
NATION, IT'S PART OF OUR
NARRATIVE AND OUR VERY IDENTITY,
THE CORE OF WHO WE ARE.
SO THAT THESE COUNTRIES WERE
SELECTED REALLY IS A TROUBLING
INDICATION OF WHERE THINGS MIGHT
BE GOING, ESPECIALLY SINCE HE
HAS SURROUNDED HIMSELF WITH
PEOPLE WHO ARE KNOWN WHITE
SUPREMACISTS AND WHO ARE VERY
DEEPLY CONCERNED WITH PRESERVING
A WHITE MAJORITY IN THE UNITED
STATES DESPITE THE TRAJECTORY OF
OUR INCREASING DEMOGRAPHICS,
PEOPLE OF VARIOUS ETHNIC
BACKGROUNDS AND RACES.

Steve says PEOPLE YOU KNOW FROM
YOUR GRADUATE SCHOOL, FACULTY OR
STAFF OR STUDENTS, DO YOU KNOW
ANYBODY WHO HAS BEEN PERSONALLY
AFFECTED BY THIS EXECUTIVE ORDER?

Jihad says WELL, I ALSO
HAVE SERVED AS THE IMAM, THE
RELIGIOUS DIRECTOR, AT THE
LARGEST AND OLDEST MOSQUE IN THE
LOS ANGELES AREA FOR MANY YEARS,
AND I DEAL WITH A VERY LARGE
COMMUNITY AND, YES, PEOPLE WHO
ARE PART OF THE CONGREGATION,
PART OF MY COMMUNITY HAVE BEEN
AFFECTED DEEPLY.
I SPENT YESTERDAY ON THE PHONE
WITH PRO BONO LAWYERS AND THE
LOCAL CENTRE HERE IN CALIFORNIA,
CAMILLA HARRIS' OFFICE, AND
FAMILY AND FRIENDS STUCK IN
VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD OR
HERE IN LAX TRYING TO RETURN
HOME, WHERE THEY HAVE EITHER A
VISA OR GREEN CARD, LEGAL
RESIDENCE HERE.
WE HAD A VERY BUSY DAY
YESTERDAY.
MANY OF OUR CONGREGATION WERE
DOWN AT THE LOS ANGELES AIRPORT
PROTESTING THE DETENTION OF
THOSE INDIVIDUALS.
IT'S SOMETHING THAT AFFECTS A
LOT... SO MANY OF OUR COMMUNITY.
I'LL JUST SHARE ONE STORY.
THERE WAS A STANFORD UNIVERSITY
STUDENT WHO WAS DETAINED WHO IS
ORIGINALLY FROM SUDAN AND WAS ON
HER WAY BACK, SHE WAS OVER THERE
VISITING FAMILY ON VACATION
DURING THE WINTER BREAK, AND SHE
WAS HELD UP IN HER RETURN TO HER
STUDIES AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY.
THERE ARE MANY SUCH CASES AND
WE'RE SEEING SOME RESOLUTION TO
SOME OF THOSE WITH THE
CLARIFICATION THAT WAS SENT
FORTH TODAY, BUT WE'RE STILL
UNCERTAIN WITH HOW THIS
EXECUTIVE ORDER WILL BE
IMPLEMENTED AND I'LL SAY A
LITTLE BIT FURTHER, IF I MAY,
THAT WHAT WE'RE SEEING NOW AND
I'M HEARING THIS FROM MUSLIM
LEADERS AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS
AROUND THE COUNTRY, THAT THERE
IS AN INCREASED SCRUTINY OF
AMERICAN CITIZENS WHO ARE OF
MUSLIM HERITAGE OR WHO IDENTIFY
AS MUSLIMS WHEN THEY RETURN
THROUGH BORDER CROSSINGS AND
THROUGH AIRPORTS.

Steve says I GUESS ONE OF THE
THINGS THAT MANY OBSERVERS HAVE
NOTED IS NOT ONLY THE SEVEN
COUNTRIES THAT ARE ON THE LIST
BUT ONE OF THE COUNTRIES THAT IS
NOT ON THE LIST, NAMELY, SAUDI
ARABIA, FOR EXAMPLE, NOTING 19
OF THE 20 9-11 HIJACKERS WERE
FROM SAUDI ARABIA AND YET THEY
ARE NOT ON THE LIST.
ANY EXPLANATION IN YOUR MIND AS
TO WHY THAT'S THE CASE?

The caption changes to "Jihad Turk, @jihad_turk."

Jihad says WELL, MANY HAVE
SPECULATED THAT THE REASON WHY
THESE COUNTRIES, NOT JUST SAUDI
ARABIA, BUT A FEW OTHER GULF
COUNTRIES, WHERE THERE ACTUALLY
WERE TERRORISTS WHO TOOK THE
LIVES OF AMERICAN CITIZENS HERE
IN RECENT DECADES, WHY THEY
WEREN'T ON THE LIST IS PERHAPS
BECAUSE TRUMP HAS BUSINESS TIES
TO SOME OF THOSE COUNTRIES.
YOU KNOW, IT'S HARD TO CRAWL
INTO THE MIND OF THIS PARTICULAR
INDIVIDUAL, BUT WHO KNOWS WHAT
HE'S ULTIMATELY THINKING?
BUT THE FACT THAT HE HAS NOT
DIVESTED HIS PROPERTIES FROM HIS
BUSINESSES IS ALARMING.
I MEAN, IT'S EGREGIOUS AND
UNCONSCIOUSABLE.
WE SEE THE SELECTIVITY OF THIS
EXECUTIVE ORDER, SOMETHING THAT
MIGHT VERY WELL BE AN INDICATION
OF HOW HE MIGHT BE TRYING TO
ENRICH HIMSELF PERSONALLY
THROUGH HIS OFFICE.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Podcasts."

Steve says JIHAD, LET'S DO A
LITTLE BACKGROUND HERE.
I SUSPECT MANY CANADIANS HAVE
NOT HEARD OF THE BAYAN CLAREMONT SCHOOL.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT IT.
WHAT DO YOU DO THERE?

Jihad says WE ARE THE
FIRST ISLAMIC GRADUATE SCHOOL
THAT OFFERS ACCREDITED DEGREES
IN ISLAMIC LEADERSHIP.
WE PARTNER WITH A JEWISH
SEMINARY AND A BUDDHIST
UNIVERSITY AND WE ARE PREPARING
AMERICAN MUSLIM IMAMS THROUGH
ACCREDITED DEGREES TO BETTER
SERVE THE GROWING NUMBER OF
ISLAM AMERICAN MUSLIMS MAKE UP
3 MILLION INDIVIDUALS, ALMOST 1 percent
OF THE U.S. POPULATION.
WE HAVE OVER 2,500 MOSQUES.
BUT LESS THAN HALF HAVE A
FULL-TIME IMAM AND 93 percent OF THOSE
IMAMS OR RELIGIOUS LEADERS WERE
BORN AND RAISED OR EDUCATED
ABROAD.
SO WITH THE GREAT DIVERSITY THAT
WE HAVE OF OUR COMMUNITY HERE IN
THE UNITED STATES, LIKE YOU HAVE
IN TORONTO, WE HAVE MUSLIMS AT
THE MOSQUE THAT I SERVED AS THE
IMAM OF FROM OVER 80 DIFFERENT
NATIONALITIES.
TO BE ABLE TO SERVE ALL OF THOSE
CONSTITUENTS, THOSE MEMBERS OF
THE COMMUNITY EQUALLY WELL AND
ALSO TO MAKE ISLAM RELEVANT FOR
AMERICAN BORN AND RAISED
MUSLIMS, WE THOUGHT IT IMPORTANT
TO HAVE AN INDIGENOUS
INSTITUTION THAT REALLY PREPARES
THE LEADERS TO UNDERSTAND THE
AMERICAN MUSLIM CONTEXT AND CAN
HELP OUR COMMUNITY BECOME
CIVICALLY ENGAGE.
WE FACE TWO MAJOR CHALLENGES IN
THE COMMUNITY.
NUMBER ONE, WE FACE THE STIGMA
OF ISLAM EQUALS TERRORISM AND
ALL THE NEGATIVITY THAT'S
PORTRAYED IN THE MEDIA ABOUT
ISLAM AND MUSLIMS BECAUSE OF
WHAT'S HAPPENING OVERSEAS
PRIMARILY, WHEREAS MOST AMERICAN
MUSLIMS ARE LAW-ABIDING MEMBERS
OF THE COMMUNITY THAT CONTRIBUTE
TO THE BETTERMENT OF THE
SOCIETY.
SO WE HAVE A STIGMA ISSUE AND IT
PARALYZES A LOT OF OUR COMMUNITY
MEMBERS FROM WANTING TO BE PROUD
TO IDENTIFY AS MUSLIM AMERICANS.
SO WE WANT TO HAVE IMAMS THAT
CAN MORE EFFECTIVELY REPRESENT
WHO WE ARE AS A COMMUNITY AND
WHAT IT IS THAT WE REPRESENT IN
TERMS OF VALUES AND HOW WE
CONTRIBUTE TO THE BETTERMENT OF
SOCIETY, BUT ALSO WE HAVE THE
CHALLENGE OF MAKING ISLAM
RELEVANT TO OUR YOUNG PEOPLE AND
HAVING SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS
THE AMERICAN MUSLIM MENTALITY
WHO CAN HELP YOUNG PEOPLE FIND
PURPOSE AND BE WELL-ADJUSTED IN
THEIR DUAL IDENTITY OF BOTH
AMERICAN AND MUSLIM AND BE PROUD
OF THAT IDENTITY AND THEN HELP
THEM NAVIGATE THE DIFFICULT
WATERS OF TODAY AND DEVELOP A
WAY FORWARD THAT'S CONSTRUCTIVE
AND CONTRIBUTES TO THE
BETTERMENT OF THE SOCIETY.
THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WE THINK
IS IMPORTANT AND THAT'S WHAT
WE'RE TRYING TO PRODUCE THROUGH
THE LEADERS THAT WE'RE
GRADUATING FROM OUR GRADUATE
SCHOOL.

Steve says UNDERSTOOD.
AND, JIHAD, I HOPE YOU WON'T
THINK I'M INDULGING IN POOR
STEREOTYPING HERE, BUT... WELL,
LET ME JUST PUT IT OUT THERE.
YOU DON'T LOOK LIKE ANY IMAM
I'VE SEEN BEFORE.
LOOK AT THE WAY YOU'RE DRESSED.
LISTEN TO THE WAY YOU SPEAK.
ENGLISH IS OBVIOUSLY YOUR FIRST
LANGUAGE, ARABIC IS NOT YOUR
FIRST LANGUAGE, YOU DON'T HAVE
AN ACCENT OF ANY KIND.
HOW COME?

Jihad says WELL, I'M AN
AMERICAN KID FROM ARIZONA.
YES, MY NAME IS JIHAD, AND THAT
WAS MY BIRTH NAME GIVEN TO ME BY
MY FATHER WHEN I WAS BORN IN
1971.
BUT MY MOM'S FROM OKLAHOMA.
SHE IS CHRISTIAN AMERICAN,
CAUCASIAN.
YOU KNOW, I GREW UP VERY
WELL-ADJUSTED IN MY AMERICAN
IDENTITY.
I WAS, YOU KNOW, GOOD IN SPORTS
GROWING UP AND POPULAR IN
SCHOOL.
I WAS HOMECOMING KING OF MY HIGH
SCHOOL.
BUT WHEN I BEGAN ASKING THE BIG
QUESTIONS ABOUT LIFE, I STUDIED
BOTH CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM AND
I DECIDED TO FOLLOW THE ISLAMIC
FAITH, AND THEN WENT ABROAD AND
STUDIED IN SEMINARY IN PLACES
LIKE SAUDI ARABIA AND IRAN,
LEARNED BOTH ARABIC AND FARSI,
AND CAME BACK AND WAS DOING MY
GRADUATE WORK IN ISLAMIC STUDIES
WHEN I WAS RECRUITED TO SERVE AS
IMAM IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.
WHAT THEY TOLD ME WHEN THEY
APPROACHED ME, THEY SAID WE WANT
YOU TO APPLY FOR THIS POSITION
OF THE RELIGIOUS DIRECTOR OR
IMAM AT OUR MOSQUE.
I SAID, WELL, I'M GOING ON TO
BECOME AN ACADEMIC.
THEY SAID, WELL, YOU CAN
CONTINUE DOING THAT, BUT WE ALSO
WANT YOU TO SERVE AS OUR IMAM
BECAUSE YOU CAN, HAVING BEEN
BORN AND RAISED HERE AND GROWN
UP HERE IN THE STATES, YOU CAN
BETTER RELATE TO OUR YOUNG
PEOPLE.
AND SO I SAID I'LL GIVE IT A
TRY, BUT IT WASN'T WHAT I HAD
INTENDED TO DO STARTING OUT AND
I FOUND IT VERY REWARDING AND SO
THAT'S WHY WE ULTIMATELY CREATED
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL BECAUSE WE
REALIZED THROUGH THE SUCCESSES
WE HAD HERE IN LOS ANGELES THAT
WE ULTIMATELY NEED TO HAVE
INDIVIDUALS WHO NOT ONLY CAN
TEACH THE VALUES OF THE FAITH
BUT CAN HELP OUR COMMUNITY
CONTRIBUTE TO THE GREATER GOOD
OF SOCIETY THROUGH HAVING THIS
WELL-ADJUSTED IDENTITY WHERE WE
DON'T ASSIMILATE AND LOSE OUR
OWN UNIQUENESS AND WE DON'T
ISOLATE AND KEEP TO OURSELVES
BUT WE INTEGRATE AND THAT WE
CONTRIBUTE TO THE BEAUTY OF THE
SOCIETY IN WHICH WE LIVE BY
WORKING ACROSS LINES OF
RELIGIOUS DISTINCTION FOR ISSUES
OF COMMON CONCERN, WHETHER IT'S
HOMELESSNESS OR POVERTY, CIVIL
LIBERTIES, AS IN THE CASE NOW...
BECAUSE I HAVE TO SAY, IT'S
REALLY HEARTENING, EVEN WITH A
NAME LIKE JIHAD,
PALESTINIAN-AMERICAN BACKGROUND
AND HERITAGE, TO HAVE BEEN
CONTACTED BY SO MANY RABBIS AND
PASTORS AND CIVIC LEADERS IN THE
FACE OF THIS BIGOTRY SAYING,
"HOW CAN WE HELP?
THIS IS NOT THE AMERICA THAT WE
STAND FOR.
WE WANT TO BE WITH YOU AS YOU'RE
BEING SINGLED OUT AND MALIGNED
AS A COMMUNITY.
WE WANT TO STAND WITH YOU IN
SOLIDARITY."
IT'S BEEN VERY HEARTENING, I
HAVE TO SAY.
EVEN THOUGH PRESIDENT TRUMP IS
COMING WITH THOSE ORDERS, LET'S
KEEP IN MIND, HE WAS NOT
POPULARLY ELECTED BY THE
MAJORITY OF THE VOTERS NOR THE
MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION.
HE'S THE LEAST POPULAR PRESIDENT
AT THIS PHASE OF THE PRESIDENCY
IN RECORDED AMERICAN HISTORY.
SO EVEN THOUGH HE HAS THE POWER
AND HE HAS THE BACKING OF BOTH
HOUSES OF CONGRESS, WE DON'T
BELIEVE THAT HE HELPS THE TRUE
SPIRIT OF AMERICA AND I THINK
THAT WE SEE THROUGH THE WOMEN'S
MARCH AND THROUGH THE RALLIES AT
AIRPORTS NOW, FROM YOUR AVERAGE
AMERICAN, THAT WE ENJOY OUR
POSITION HERE AS EQUAL CITIZENS
IN THE UNITED STATES AND WE'LL
STAND UP TOGETHER UNITED AS A
COUNTRY AGAINST THIS ORDER OR
ANY ORDER THAT COMES DOWN THAT
MISTREATS ANY MINORITY
COMMUNITY, OURS OR OTHERS.

Steve says IN OUR LAST COUPLE
OF MINUTES, LET ME FOLLOW UP ON
ONE MORE THING AROUND THIS ORDER.
I THINK THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION
HAS TAKEN PAINS TO POINT OUT
THIS IS NOT A BAN ON MUSLIMS,
THIS IS THEIR VIEW, THAT IT IS
RATHER A SUSPENSION, NOT A BAN
BUT A SUSPENSION ON PEOPLE FROM
THOSE SEVEN COUNTRIES IN
PARTICULAR.
THAT'S THE DISTINCTION THEY'RE MAKING.
WHAT'S YOUR VIEW OF THAT DISTINCTION?

Jihad says WELL, AGAIN, I
THINK THAT THE RHETORIC FROM THE
CAMPAIGN WAS CLEAR.
HE WANTED TO BAN MUSLIMS.
THAT EVEN THOUGH THIS IS A
LIMITED ORDER, 90 DAYS, 120
DAYS, WHATEVER THE ORDER MAY BE,
IT IS PERHAPS A TRIAL BALLOON TO
SEE HOW HE'S ABLE TO GET AWAY
WITH DOING THIS.
THERE IS ALREADY TALK ABOUT
EXPANDING THE COUNTRIES THAT ARE
INCLUDED IN THE ORDER.
SO THIS IS I THINK THE FIRST
STEP DOWN A ROAD THAT CAN ONLY
INCREASE IN THE SCRUTINY, THE
PERSECUTION EVEN OF THE AMERICAN
MUSLIM COMMUNITY.
I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW MANY PEOPLE
FROM THE JAPANESE COMMUNITY
HERE, JAPANESE-AMERICAN
COMMUNITY HAVE REACHED OUT TO ME
AND THEY SAID, IT ALL STARTED
FOR US WHEN WE WERE INTERNED IN
WORLD WAR II WITH THESE KIND OF
EXECUTIVE ORDERS.
IF THERE'S A REGISTRY TO
REGISTER AS A MUSLIM, WE WILL BE
THE FIRST ONES TO SIGN UP WITH
YOU.
AND RABBIS.
I WAS CONTACTED EVEN THIS
MORNING BY THREE DIFFERENT
RABBIS FROM THREE DIFFERENT
DENOMINATIONS ISSUING STATEMENTS
AND SAYING, WE'RE HERE TO STAND
IN SOLIDARITY WITH YOU.
WE ARE VERY CONCERNED BECAUSE
OUR PARENTS, WHO ARE HOLOCAUST
SURVIVORS, TELL US STORIES OF
WHAT HAPPENED BACK IN GERMANY,
THAT THIS IS EERILY REMINISCENT
OF.
YOU KNOW, WE ARE... WE ARE
PAYING ATTENTION.
WE ARE VERY CONCERNED AND SO WE
THINK THAT SHOWING STRONG FORCE
NOW AND OPPOSITION TO THESE
MEASURES CAN HOPEFULLY SAVE US
FROM GOING DOWN THE WRONG PATH
AS A COUNTRY.

The caption changes to "Producer: Meredith Martin, @MeredithMartin."

Steve says JIHAD TURK, WE'RE
GRATEFUL YOU COULD SPARE SOME
TIME FOR US FROM CALIFORNIA
TODAY FOR OUR VIEWERS HERE ON
TVO.
THANKS SO MUCH AND WE APPRECIATE
YOUR TIME VERY MUCH.

Jihad says THANK YOU SO
MUCH. TAKE CARE.

Watch: The U.S. Immigration Ban