Religion i utenrikspolitikkFoto: Ted Eytan

Religion on the border


The politics of the ‘Muslim ban’ and the limits of law

Friday 6. September 2019, 18:00 until 20:00

Venue: Wergeland

Host: MF vitenskapelig høyskole

Entrance: Free entry

Within a week of taking office, Donald Trump issued an executive order suspending entry to the U.S. for citizens of seven countries. The Federal Courts deemed the order and a second version unconstitutional. In October 2017, a district court in Hawaii granted an injunction barring enforcement of a third iteration placing entry restrictions on the nationals of eight states whose systems for sharing information the President deemed inadequate. The 9th Circuit upheld the injunction. In June 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Ninth Circuit, ruling 5-4 in favor of the government.

With anti-Muslim rhetoric at the highest levels of the U.S. government, including numerous incontrovertible statements by the President, how could the majority find that the ban is not about religion?

In this lecture, Professor Elizabeth Shakman Hurd suggests that it is not and never has been possible to disentangle religious animus from practices of national security. To understand the ban, therefore, requires confronting the ways in which religion and national security are entangled in Proclamation 9645 and in the history of American foreign and immigration policy more broadly. The law is ill-equipped to address this situation because it is in part responsible for creating it.

The talk will be followed by a panel discussion with Hilde Restad (Bjørknes høyskole), Iver B Neumann (NOVA, OsloMet), Andreas Hvidsten (MF) and Iselin Frydenlund (MF).


Elizabeth Shakman Hurd is Professor of Politics and Religious Studies at Northwestern University, US. She studies the politics of religion in international relations.

The MF CASR Annual Lecture invites distinguished academics to reflect upon current trends in the academic study of religion, including both historical and contemporary perspectives. It takes place in September each year.