AOS Statement on the Recent Executive Order

The American Oriental Society strongly condemns the Executive Order limiting
the entry of Middle Eastern refugees and immigrants to the U.S.

The Board of Directors of the American Oriental Society, the oldest learned
society in the United States devoted to a particular field of scholarship,
is deeply troubled by the recent executive order on immigration, which
severely restricts the possibility for nationals of seven Middle Eastern
countries to enter our borders. We view the order, which flagrantly
contradicts the core of this nation’s principles, as an unjustified
collective punishment against civilian populations. Moreover, we are deeply
concerned about the harmful effects of this action on the rights and
freedoms of our colleagues in the region, about the consequences for our
colleagues who work on this region from positions in the United States, and
about the future of academic research more generally. Many members of the
American Oriental Society are among the leading scholars of the Middle East
and its inhabitants, past and present alike, and we hope that the Federal
Government will consider carefully and value the opinions of those who are
deeply knowledgeable about the history, traditions, languages, and
literatures of this important part of the world.