Muslim Educational Trust schedules 'emergency forum' to discuss Trump order
As federal agencies, state and local officials, visa-holders and applicants, activists, and lawmakers scramble to react to an executive order issued by President Donald Trump over the weekend, the Tigard-based Muslim Educational Trust is also springing into action.
The nonprofit group, which operates an Islamic school and community center at 10330 S.W. Scholls Ferry Road, is inviting members of the public to attend what it is calling an "emergency forum" to discuss Trump's executive order and its effect on local Arab and Muslim communities and civil liberties on Wednesday evening.
Trump issued the order, which temporarily bans both refugees and all nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa from entering the United States and places an indefinite freeze on the admittance of Syrian refugees, while opening the door to exemptions for members of religious minority groups, late on Friday.
The title of the MET forum being held in response is "Understanding Justice and Equality for All Through the Strength of Law and Compassion." Guest speakers from Beaverton, Tigard, Portland and Multnomah County are expected to attend, including Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle, interim Tigard Police Chief Robert L. Rogers II, and Portland Commissioners Nick Fish and Amanda Fritz.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Police Chief Mike Marshman have also been invited, MET said.
The forum will "address the fear that (Trump's) order has created in local American Muslim and Arab Communities," according to a press release.
The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. and is scheduled to conclude at 8:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
The forum comes on the heels of protests that disrupted operations at major airports across the United States over the weekend, including Portland International Airport.
Trump's executive order has been widely criticized by civil liberties groups, Democrats and even some Republican lawmakers, with some opponents describing it as a "religious test" and the hashtag "#MuslimBan" trending widely on social media. A Trump ally, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, threw fuel on that fire Saturday when he told Fox News that Trump had asked him for advice on how to "legally" implement a "Muslim ban."
On Monday, dozens of U.S. diplomats signed onto a "dissent memo" opposing the executive order. In response, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said dissenting State Department employees should "either get with the program or they can go."