"Trump is hurting national security": An interview with the former president of the NJ Muslim Lawyers' Association

Salon interviewed Ahmed Soliman for a better idea of what we can expect from Trump's ban on Muslim immigration

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published January 31, 2017 9:58AM (EST)

Salon recently interviewed Ahmed Soliman, Esq., the former president of the New Jersey Muslim Lawyers' Association and managing attorney for Soliman & Associates. Soliman gave his analysis of President Donald Trump's ban on Muslim immigration from seven countries.

"Trump is hurting national security by feeding into the ISIS narrative that America is at war with Islam and hates Muslims," Soliman told Salon. "This will help ISIS recruiting."

Trump's executive order is a drastic and ominous departure from American historical traditions, Soliman emphasized. "Trump is walking away from American ideals that have endured for 240 years, by trampling on the constitution’s establishment clause regarding religion and specifically violating the 1965 Immigration And Nationality Act, passed by President Johnson, USC section 1152, which specifically bans immigration policy and visas granting that discriminates against someone because of their national origin," Soliman said. "Based on those laws, I am confident that the courts will strike down Trump’s executive order. A stay has already been granted while the court considers the legal arguments."

That said, Soliman wasn't pessimistic. "As an attorney, I have confidence in the courts," he explained. "I think Trump will try to pass laws that hinder civil liberties, despite history’s lessons, but I think the court’s will not allow him. I have confidence in our 3 branch government system of checks and balances."

He also added, however, that "others in the Muslim community, however, are very scared. Even if the courts strike it down, I am concerned about Trump’s efforts emboldening racist attacks against mosques and churches."

Soliman advised Muslims and their allies who want to fight back to file lawsuits and effect public opinion. Push back against the negative portrayals of Muslims in the movies and television news, he said.

"Muslims are people who follow the teachings of Jesus, and worship the god of Adam, Moses and Abraham. Most Americans don’t realize that. Muslims are educated, affluent law abiding Americans," he said.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. His diverse interests are reflected in his interview, including: President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, inventor Ernő Rubik, comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, voice actor Rob Paulsen ("Animaniacs"), mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (2013-present), dog cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), comedian and writer Larry Charles ("Seinfeld"), Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), Senator Martin Heinrich (2013-present), Egyptologist Richard Parkinson, Rep. Eric Swalwell (2013-present), media entrepreneur Dan Abrams, actor R. J. Mitte ("Breaking Bad"), theoretical physicist Avi Loeb, biologist and genomics entrepreneur William Haseltine, comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2"), linguistics consultant Paul Frommer ("Avatar"), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (2007-2015), computer engineer and Internet co-inventor Leonard Kleinrock and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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Ahmed Soliman Donald Trump Muslim Americans Muslim Ban Muslim Immigration Ban