No delay for protests at Lambert
February 14, 2017
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President Donald Trump passed a controversial executive order Jan. 27. The purpose of the order was to protect the United States from foreign terrorism by not allowing entry to citizens from several Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Protests have popped up around the country in response to the executive order.
St. Louis residents gathered at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport Jan. 29 to protest the Muslim travel ban. For three hours, a gathering of around 1000 people stood in opposition to the ban. Some Ladue students and staff attended the protest. Senior Elizabeth Collinger and science teacher Sima Oberlander both participated.
Collinger was shocked by the characterization of the Islamic people associated with the reasoning behind the Muslim ban. The wrongful prohibition of entry of all citizens of certain Muslim countries based off religious stereotypes was the reason behind Collinger’s appearance at the airport.
“Our country was founded on the basis of immigrants,” Collinger said. “Completely halting the already in-depth vetting process towards a majority of Muslim refugees primarily on the basis of Islamophobic rhetoric was not something I could stand by as a Jewish-American.”
Oberlander also enjoyed her experience at the airport. She went with her son because their sympathy extended to the refugees from the Muslim-majority countries that were seeking asylum in the United States.
“I felt compelled to speak out against turning away refugees in need,” Oberlander said. “It is inhumane.”
Protesting is a way that many citizens show their disagreement with controversial government decisions. Similar individuals joining together for a common cause is an effective way to promote attention on a particular issue.
“Protesting is just one of the many ways we can make our voices heard in this country,” Collinger said. “It’s a powerful tool that can often influence our government leaders towards significant action.”
Protesting is not only a catalyst for change, but it allows individuals from all backgrounds to unite and express their opinions on important issues. Individuals from numerous religious and ethnic backgrounds attended the St. Louis Lambert Airport protest, coming together to demonstrate their opposition to the ban.
“My favorite moment was when my son, who wears a kippa, was standing next to several women wearing hijabs, and we were all chanting together,” said Oberlander. “It was amazing to see such a diverse group of Americans supporting each other and those in need.”