The Board of Directors of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) offers this statement in response to President Donald J. Trump’s executive order banning the entry of citizens from various Muslim-majority nations, including permanent residents of the United States:
IQSA is an academic society whose mission is explicitly to build “a bridge between different global communities of Qur’anic scholarship” and to “promote cooperation across global boundaries.” Our organization is wholly dependent on the free exchange of ideas, including the international travel of scholars and students from all around the world. IQSA is a unique organization supporting regular, high quality, text-critical study of the Qur’an. Critical scholarship is the most effective weapon against extremist, fundamentalist narratives. This executive order directly threatens the work of IQSA to further dialogue between cultures and promote peace and mutual understanding through scholarship.
The travel ban also undermines international scholarship and damages the goodwill built between scholars belonging to different cultures. Moreover, the travel ban only reinforces the false notion that Muslim-majority nations and the Unites States are locked in a “clash of civilizations.” Scholars from Muslim-majority countries, including those banned on January 27, 2017, make an essential contribution to our organization and more generally to scholarship and education here in the United States. We hereby oppose this travel ban, and we stand by our friends and colleagues in the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), American Academy of Religion (AAR) and throughout the US higher education system who have expressed their opposition to this ban.
Dr. Gerald Hawting, President
Dr. Abdullah Saeed, President Elect
Dr. Farid Esack, Past President
Dr. Fred Donner
Dr. Jane McAuliffe
Dr. Devin Stewart
Dr. Sarra Tlili
Dr. Gabriel Reynolds, Chair
Dr. Hamza Zafer, Secretary
Dr. Emran El-Badawi, Executive Director, Treasurer
January 30, 2017