New piece, “What We Can Learn from America’s Other Muslim Ban (Back in 1918),” appears in Tropics of Meta

8 February 2017: Tropics of Meta: Historiography for the Masses has published my brief piece on Donald Trump’s 2017 Executive Order in relationship to the first “Muslim Ban” in American history: Pres. Woodrow Wilson’s Executive Order 2932 (1918).

The piece can be read at this link: https://tropicsofmeta.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/what-we-can-learn-from-americas-other-muslim-ban-back-in-1918/

From the piece:

Trump’s proposal is that we grant his administration a state of exception with regard to Middle Eastern migrants and refugees. With that permission he would suspend a century of legal protections built after Wilson’s 1918 executive order in order to reinstitute legalized discrimination against Muslim immigrants, overtly on the grounds of nationality and covertly through religious identity. Trump couches his request in rhetoric borrowed from the “War on Terror,” language which jumps the shark by implying a connection between terrorism and Middle Eastern migration despite all evidence to the contrary. No, Trump is not the first president to try to ban Muslim immigration, but with luck, lawyers, and migration/refugee advocates aligning against this executive order, Trump will be the first to fail to do so.

The essay is based in part on research done for my first book on World War I in the Syrian diaspora. The 9th District’s decision to not lift the stay on President Trump’s EO mirrors the result of Wilson’s wartime orders, but the White House’s announcement today that it intends to issue a brand new executive order restricting immigration from the Middle East also, sadly, repeats the experience of 1918.

chicago-liberty-day-parade-syrian-section

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