Joint ARG and AASR Statement on US Immigration Ban

Statement Issued by the African Religions Group in the American Academy of Religion, and the African Association for the Study of Religions, on U.S. Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”

January 31, 2017

The African Religions Group (ARG) in the American Academy of Religion (AAR), and the African Association for the Study of Religions (AASR), denunciate the US Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”

In addition to the statement recently issued by the AAR Board, which we fully support, we wish to specifically foreground the fact that three of the seven countries currently targeted by the immigration ban are on the African continent: Libya, Somalia, and Sudan. We are deeply concerned about the fact that colleagues from these countries will not be able to attend the AAR annual meeting, and to participate in ARG and AASR activities during this meeting, as long as the ban is intact. We are equally concerned about students from these countries who are currently studying in the US, or are planning to study in the US, and are directly affected by the ban.

The ARG and AASR are strongly committed to the academic study of all religious traditions found on the African continent, including Islamic traditions, as well as to the active collaboration and the free exchange of ideas between scholars of African religions regardless of their national or religious affiliation. Clearly, the ban hinders us in achieving this mission. Moreover, this ban is in conflict with the decolonial, intersectional frameworks which underpin our academic inquiry and our commitment to epistemic and other forms of justice.

Hence we call upon the members and sympathizers to join the global protests against the ban as a way of expressing their commitment to our mission and core values.

On behalf of the AAR African Religions Group,

Mary Nyangweso and Adriaan van Klinken, co-chairs

On behalf of the African Association for the Study of Religions,

Elias Bongmba, President