Writers Respond to Trump’s Muslim Ban
February 6, 2017
Writers and writing organizations the world over are reacting to President Donald Trump’s executive order barring refugees and citizens from seven majority Muslim countries from entering the United States.
Majorie Blackman, a former UK children’s laureate, has vowed not to travel to the US as long as the ban stands, the Guardian reports. In a tweet on Saturday, Blackman wrote, “Thank you to all those who have invited me to various US lit fests/events, but I won’t be visiting the US any time soon.”
The Guardian also reported that the Manchester-based Comma Press has announced that in 2018 it will only translate books by authors from the seven countries named in the ban. “If the only narrative America wants to export right now is the narrative of hate, then we need to look elsewhere,” said publisher Ra Page. “We need to consciously turn our backs on the circus that America is descending into. We need to fight this. And make no mistake it will be a fight.”
Meanwhile, the Writers Guild of America called the ban “unconstitutional” in a statement on Sunday, according to Variety. “The Writers Guilds of America, East and West, condemn Donald Trump’s profoundly un-American ‘Muslim ban,’ and applaud the Federal Court’s decision to grant a stay that will keep those being held at American airports from being forcibly returned to their countries. Human rights—including the freedoms of speech and religion—are essential to all Americans and to all who come here to build better lives.”
Trump signed the executive order on Friday to deny entry for citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for ninety days; the order also suspended entry of refugees into the US for 120 days and suspended the program admitting Syrian refugees indefinitely.
Related reading: Read poems by writers from countries affected by the ban, curated by Tehran-born poet Kaveh Akbar.
Photo Credit: Sean Smith.