CAIR-DFW’s Immigration Double Standards

As the coronavirus has spread from China to more than 110 countries around the world, and as it has gone from epidemic to pandemic status, nations around the world have adapted their travel ban list to include countries with high outbreaks.

On February 28th, the annual pilgrimage destination for most of the Muslim world, Saudi Arabia, joined other countries banning travel and imposed a travel ban to Mecca and Medina over public health concerns regarding the coronavirus.

Twelve Muslim-majority countries were put on Saudi Arabia’s travel ban list: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Somalia, Syria, Uzbekistan, Yemen.

Ten Asian countries were also placed on the list: China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam.    

The response from local Dallas Islamists to this news was muted and starkly in contrast to the fighting words used to describe Trump’s travel bans, border walls, or other immigration policies. 

CAIR-DFW Executive Director Faizan Syed, for example, in an article in NBC-DFW stated that Saudi Arabia’s actions had caused confusion because a group of seventy students from DFW area Islamic schools were planning a trip to Mecca for spring break:

“Now that’s up in the air, and they might go, they might not go. It’s created a lot of tension in our community. No one really knows what’s going to happen next.”

Fellow local Islamist Yasir Qadhi in an interview with Public Radio International, admitted that his plans to take 150 students on a tour of Saudi Arabia were also up in the air, but it’s all good:

“Well, [we] do realize that this is not a permanent ban. Right now, we don’t know what’s happening with the hajj. This is a temporary ban on some countries for the umrah. Anytime you go outside of the mandatory season, it’s called an umrah. So, we’re kind of in limbo. We don’t know what’s going to happen when it comes to the hajj season in three months. We don’t know yet. So we are confused. We are flustered. We are a little bit worried and scared. All put together”

Contrast such rhetoric to that used to describe Trump’s latest adjustments to the 2017 travel ban that resulted in carefully coordinated airport protests across the country.

In February, in an article posted to its website entitled “What You Should Know About the Latest Travel Ban,” CAIR-DFW ominously declared that about three years after the first travel ban, “the Trump administration [has] expanded its travel restrictions targeting even more Muslims and immigrants of color. [emphasis added]”

There’s only one problem with such rhetoric. The majority of countries on this new list are not majority Muslim countries. Some like Nigeria have about an even split between Muslims and Christians, and other countries like Eritrea, Tanzania, and Myanmar are just not majority Muslim. Furthermore, there are more Muslim majority countries on Saudi Arabia’s own list than on Trump’s. Why has CAIR-DFW not decided to highlight the racism of Saudi Arabia’s list?

With Trump’s announcement this week that his administration will temporarily ban travel to 26 European countries, the number of non-Muslim countries on that list now vastly outweighs the number of Muslim countries.

The article links to the No Muslim Ban Ever website, where the attempt to delegitimize Trump is even more pronounced:

“The Trump administration continues to push white supremacist and exclusionary policies that discriminate on the basis of faith, national origin and immigration status. We invite you to join us and declare #NoMuslimBanEver to raise awareness, resist and dismantle these policies.”

The site also states definitively, “The Muslim and refugee bans are just one prong of Trump’s white nationalist agenda.”

Again, for clarity’s sake, the majority of the new countries added to Trump’s original list are not Muslim majority countries, and as of January, there is about an even split between Muslim and non-Muslim majority countries on the list. Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Kyrgystan are on the list and are Muslim majority. Venezuela, Myanmar, Eritrea, Tanzania, Nigeria, and North Korea are also on the revised list but are not majority Muslim.

Add to this list the following Christian majority countries as of this week: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The split between Muslim and non-Muslim majority countries is now an even 20:80. 20% of the countries on the ban are Muslim majority and 80% are non-Muslim majority.

The page of the #NoMuslimBanEver which reveals its campaign policies provides a window into the full scale of CAIR-DFW’s push for open borders. Here are a few examples:

“End policies like bans, walls and raids that treat our countries as inherently suspect and foster bigotry and hate.”

(End policies like walls?)

The page also advocates that the #NoMuslimBanEver coalition “create safe spaces for people under threat by advocating for sanctuary policies, supporting sanctuary communities and offering physical sanctuary.”

In light of the coronavirus, the “Love Knows No Borders” campaign of Islamists like Dallas-local Omar Suleiman is looking more and more ridiculous. Is it okay now to revise this slogan to read “the virus knows no borders” as it passes blithely from country to country wreaking havoc, disrupting travel plans, closing schools, and overwhelming hospitals?

The rhetoric of CAIR-DFW and other local Islamists is becoming more and more absurd. The coronavirus is exposing CAIR-DFW’s double standards surrounding borders, walls, and immigration, especially as Saudi Arabia’s travel ban includes more Muslim-majority countries than Trump’s infamous “racist” “white supremacist” ban.

Anne-Christine Hoff is the Dallas Counter-Islamist Grid Research Fellow of Middle East Forum. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

If you experience technical problems, please write to