Northwestern Events Calendar


How Can This be Legal? Religion and the “Muslim Ban” — Beth Hurd

When: Monday, June 3, 2019
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM CT

Where: Community Meeting Room, Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Avenue , Evanston, IL 60201

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free & open to the public!

Contact: Danny Postel  

Group: Middle East and North African Studies

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Within one week of becoming president in January 2017, Donald Trump issued an executive order entitled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” The order and a second iteration that followed were enjoined by the Federal Courts. In June 2018, however, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a third iteration of the ban, Proclamation No. 9645, which placed entry restrictions on the nationals of eight states whose systems for sharing information the president deemed inadequate.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit that followed alleged that the primary purpose of the Proclamation was religious animus and that the President’s stated concerns about vetting protocols and national security were but pretexts for discriminating against Muslims. The latter argument did not prevail, however, and the ban stands. With the rise of anti-Muslim discourse at the highest levels of the American government, how could the Supreme Court find that Proclamation 9645 (the “Muslim ban”) is not about religion?

In this talk, Elizabeth Shakman Hurd will explore the understandings of religion, and its presumed separation from national security, that characterize current American legal and political discourse.

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd is Professor of Politics and Religious Studies at Northwestern, where she also serves on the faculty of the Middle East and North African Studies Program. She co-directs the Global Politics & Religion Research Group, the Politics of Religion at Home and Abroad project, and Talking Religion: Publics, Politics and the Media. She is the author of The Politics of Secularism in International Relations and Beyond Religious Freedom: The New Global Politics of Religion and co-editor of Comparative Secularisms in a Global Age and Politics of Religious Freedom. She will spend next year as a Henry Luce Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies Fellow in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs.

co-sponsored by the Global Politics and Religion Research Group at the Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

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