Looking lovingly toward their infant daughter, Alina, Emrullah and Amila Erul said the America of 2017 isn't what had been promised in decades of books and movies that conveyed a welcoming land.

Immigrants to the U.S. from Turkey and Bosnia, respectively, the couple said the deep unrest they feel is not something they expected to experience.

"Everything you see or read about America, it just emphasizes the freedom," said Emrullah Erul, who came to the U.S. in 2011. "Where is the freedom right now? That is the biggest question mark. ... I felt comfortable here until the election, but now I feel unsafe, and it is only the beginning."

The Erul family was among a crowd of more than a thousand people gathered on the Texas A&M University campus Monday evening, collectively voicing their defiance of President Donald Trump's recent executive orders restricting travel and barring immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. 

Organized by 19-year-old Texas A&M freshman Mallory Chapman, the event featured chanting, music and a march around the campus from Rudder Plaza to the Evans Library and back.

Chapman said she hoped the event could serve as an outlet for people to share their emotions -- from fear and sadness to unease and anger -- alongside others who were feeling the same way. 

While she said she was "beyond surprised" by the turnout at the event, Chapman said she wanted those who support their message to remember that they have to continue to act if they want to see change.

"What's most important is that when we see injustice being done, we need to act," Chapman said. "It can be really hard at first, but I think that is the best way that we can bring about change."

Amila Erul, who has lived in College Station since 2014, said she is proud of her community's response and the support she saw at the event for the international diversity she believes makes America what it is.

Coming to the U.S., she said she never imagined she would see "this kind of behavior" toward anyone, let alone members of her faith. 

However, she was clear that the sadness she feels extends beyond the executive orders to include the Trump administration's stance on immigration as a whole.

"This is not just about Muslims," Amila Erul said. "When you start banning some kind of people from one community, it does not stop only at one. ... America is made from those varieties of people, different religions, different races, and all of them together make America. If you start taking piece by piece from America, what will be left?"  

Emrullah Erul, who is pursuing his doctorate in tourism from Texas A&M, said although neither he nor his wife has come from one of the seven countries facing restrictions under the executive order, it is the principal -- and the possibility for the future -- that is important.

"It doesn't have to affect us directly, we should be in this together," Emrullah Erul said. 

Kenny Easwaran, a professor of philosophy at Texas A&M, said he was shocked at how quickly recent Trump administration executive orders have been implemented. 

Less than two weeks into Trump's term, Easwaran said he was particularly moved by the ban, as it was the first time he had seen one of the new administration's policies "cause harm directly to people I know."

He said while he hopes the event helps show support for those affected or who feel they might be next, he is wary of encouraging too much optimism.  

"I don't want to give anyone false hope, but I want them to know that there are many people that care about them," Easwaran said. 

With the new policies in place, Emrullah Erul said the U.S. joins a growing number of countries around the world -- including his native Turkey -- that have begun to see the effects of a new global trend toward conflict. 

Emrullah Erul said while recent events are disheartening, he is hopeful that there is still time to change course -- particularly for the sake of his daughter and millions of other children like her. 

"The world is changing, and I am worried about (my daughter's) future life," Emrullah Erul said. "Before it really starts, we just want to stop it and show that we are all in this together."

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(50) comments

Brazos County Citizen

It's very strange that some people are so panicked, rattled, distraught, and emotionally challenged over a TEMPORARY halt to travel from seven countries that the OBAMA administration identified as areas of concern - so that we can put in place proper VETTING just as any another responsible country would.

This same group also appear to have a problem with the simple concepts of enforcing existing immigration laws and regaining full control of the border. Too bad, its way, way overdue. I'm happy to see Trump fire federal workers who refuse to follow the laws. Carry on, Mr. President, with the work of the American people.

BCS

It's just the usual, foaming at the mouth liberals who are angry over anything and everything simply because the President doesn't have a "D" by his name. If Hillary had won, and implemented the exact same policy, they'd be cheering her on.

Kade

We already have an extensive vetting process, and those who deny this speak out of ignorance. We're not in danger from refugees and green card holders. More people in this country have been killed by right-wing Christian terrorists. Those are the people we should be worried about and keeping an eye on.

jake

I hear you Kade, I can't stand when those crazy Christian's hijack planes and fly them into muslim high rises.

TexasEagle2

Or shoot up our high schools, middle and elementary schools...think Colorado...or a theater (think Colorado), or a Black Church (think Carolinas)....or burn down a mosque (Victoria Texas) or ......hmm.[wink]

BCS

Wake me up when Christians fly passenger jets into buildings.

Everything we needed to know about Islam we learned on 9/11.

Homer Sapiens

So why not put a “temporary halt” to travel from the country from where came 15 Muslims who flew three passenger jets into buildings?

Victor Fox

Because the president has multiple business interests in that country, as well as others from which deadly terrorists emerged who actually did take American lives. Saudi Arabia is also the seat of the Wahhabi movement from which al Qaeda and others derive their beliefs.

TexasEagle2

BCC, usual nonesense...although temporary lives of individuals are being greatly impacted. Also, as reported in the news, the Obama order was vastly different....you can read all about it...or you can just spread fake news. There is little evidence that people from the banned Muslim countries have killed anyone in the U.S. in terrorist attacks....most of the recent attacks have been self-radicalized American citizens...but the true importance about last night was that well over a 1000 students, staff, faculty and community members gathered at short notice to rally around the collective thought that t.d. and Bannon (White Nationalist) are developing policies and practices that are leading us to authoritarian control and fascism. t.d. is creating the "other," as the basis of reinforcing that white people, particularly males are in charge of America and all others (Muslims, Hispanics, the disabled, LGBTQ individuals, the press, African-Americans, women, and the list goes on) are to be dismissed as dangerous to America.

Aggie Till I Die

TE2, your comment appears to be very racist! You do realize that those who supported Trump included hispanics, Jews, blacks, whites, muslims, women, LGBTQs, Aggies, TSips, Red Raiders, Horn Frogs, and the list goes on as you so stated. I personally fit in three of those categories. For the record, our country, following our laws, elected a candidate that has gone right to work fulfilling his campaign promises. Our previous POTUS, who I voted for during his first run at the presidency, spent 8 years in that office and didn't accomplish even half of the promises he made. Period. Last nights gathering was our diverse community supporting each other. Period. Before you and your other butt hurt friends go spinning this out of control you might want to consider the following: The local mosque does NOT represent all the Muslim inhabitants in our community. There are very influential and long time Muslim residents in our community that do not buy into the particular rhetoric some are professing. There are members of our local Hispanic and African American population that also do not buy into your groups rhetoric. Why? Not because they are uneducated! Not because they fear for their safety! Why professor? As I stated previously, you are slowly but surely eroding your own credibility. That sir is very, very sad to watch!

Homer Sapiens

Ah, the “some of my best friends are Jewish Puerto-Rican disabled lesbian T-Sips” ploy! Just because some of our more diverse Americans voted for the Donald doesn’t guarantee that he won’t turn around and declare that they are “not really Americans.” Pundits have remarked on the “surprise” some have that the Donald has begun to carry out his campaign rhetoric. I, for one, am not surprised, and given his treatment of the Khan family and others, I am gravely concerned.

Aggie Till I Die

Nice p****hat Homer! Did you make it yourself or order it online? Just curious, it looks a little more vintage than the ones worn by the D.C. marchers.

Victor Fox

"You do realize that those who supported Trump included ..." [list]

Minor point: at the beginning, there were actually some Jews who supported a certain authoritarian leader in a central European country who promised to make their nation great and strong again after the ravages of a world war and a worldwide depression. They even had a name - Verband nationaldeutscher Juden (the Association of German National Jews). It didn't last very long after 1933.

Gema

Thank you for your coverage Eagle. Thank you for your courage & commitment B/CS/TAMU community.

lonestarcornhusker

Hate is NOT an Aggie value. So very proud to see so many come out on short notice to support our Muslim neighbors. This illegitimate so-called president is a con-artist. His circle of advisors are Nazis. THIS IS OUR COUNTRY. WE WILL RESIST. Love trumps hate. So sad that many of our neighbors that post online are such bigots and racists. Their evil is so unbecoming to Aggieland. Love will win. We will not grow weary. I love my country. God Bless America and let us continue to FIGHT FOR OUR DEMOCRACY. Thank you, Muslim friends, for being here and for making us richer by your presence.

BCS

Calling people Nazis is proof you have no argument.

And evil is what causes people to fly aircraft into buildings full of people.

Homer Sapiens

Tell that to FDR and Churchill!

Victor Fox

Oranges are not the only kind of fruit, and airplanes are not the only kind of terror weapon. In fact, their use as such is quite rare.

justaneighbor

We are fortunate to have a highly rated university in this rural part of Texas. But having and keeping a university alive and healthy means that everyone, on campus and off, has to remember what is in a university. A university contains the universe -- and that is where the word comes from. Students and professors go to universities to be a part of the universe, to contribute to it and explore it as fully as possible, in all its variety.

Rep Bill Flores, your job is to make sure that the university's variety isn't choked off by threats or force coming from Washington. Don't let this lovely specimen of creativity shrivel from a university to a mere Texaversity.

Aggie Till I Die

You had me right up to your last paragraph! Not sure Rep Flores sees his responsibility to his district in the same light as you do.

justaneighbor

[smile]

Rep Flores knows that A&M is much more valuable as a university, than it would be as a Texaversity.

Aggie Till I Die

Hey neighbor, you may want to visit today's headline. Seems you may not know BF very well.

bbfan22

When I was in the Air Force, I served several tours with AWACS in Saudi Arabia during the 10-year Iran/Iraq War. Our crews and support personnel had to go through extensive briefings to educate (warn) us about the oppressive rules the Saudis have on Western values, and in particular toward Jews. They banned the Bible, any religious icons (crosses, Star of David, depictions of Christian beliefs, etc.) from coming into the country. We could not bring in magazines that showed what Saudis (Muslims) termed “nudity”, to include: Readers Digest, Time, Life, weightlifter/body builder magazines, just about any magazine that showed skin (especially female) other than their faces and hands; e.g., swimsuits, shorts, short skirts, underwear ads, sleeveless dresses, plunging necklines, etc. Just about every magazine sold in the U.S. Any writings critical of Islam were strictly banned.

We could not conduct non-Muslim religious services in the open. They were conducted in secret behind closed doors. Our preachers had to wear name tags that only identified them as “Spiritual Advisors”, not priests, ministers, pastors, or any traditional Christian denomination. Jewish military personnel were not allowed in the country. We got around that by issuing them fake Christian passports. They could have been arrested and possibly executed had the Saudis known they were Jewish. Most likely they would have been jailed and subjected to very harsh Muslim Sharia laws. At the very least, they would have been deported and a record of their faces made for future reference if they tried to get back into the country, and an official protest to the U.S. Embassy would have ensued.

Our men were often hassled for wearing necklaces and their jewelry was often confiscated by the Religious Police (the “God Squad”). Those that protested or resisted were arrested and jailed. The “God Squad” was superior to the civilian police and their say was absolute. Basically, you didn’t want to offend any Islamic law or you would risk their harsh and brutal treatment. Our women were treated like non-people. The Saudis would not work with them or give them any recognition for their rank or position in the Air Force. U.S. civilian women were not allowed to work in Saudi Arabian society. They could only work in protected U.S. facilities, such as the U.S. Military Mission, or any sovereign U.S. agencies. They had to wear clothing that covered them from head to foot in public. They could have their face uncovered. They couldn’t drive vehicles issued to each crew, sit in the front seat, or in the back seat with a male who was not their husband. They had to ride in the special compartment in the back of the public buses. It was a walled-off compartment that did not allow males and females to physically mix or even see each other. Many goods made or sold by companies with Jewish ties (Levi’s, Coca Cola, etc.) could not be imported or sold in the country.

This type of treatment of non-Muslims has been going on since the Crusades. For decades, those who now protest Trump’s 90-day immigration policy have turned a blind eye to this type of treatment of U. S. citizens in Muslim countries, particularly the strictest countries - - namely the ones in Trump’s immigration ban. What goes around, comes around. I could go on and on, particularly regarding their criminal punishment methods, which included public beatings, stoning, dismemberment and beheading - - all of which anyone could witness first-hand in “Chop-Chop Square” in downtown Riyadh. Think about this before judging Trump out-of-hand, or because you just don’t like the guy. I didn’t like Obama, but that didn’t stop him from issuing Executive Orders that I didn’t like, nor would have it stopped Clinton from doing the same. Remember, nearly half the people in the U.S. didn't like Obama or Clinton. Do our opinions and values not matter?

FromAfar

Are you arguing that horrible policies of the Saudi government justify bad actions by our government?

bbfan22

I think we need to stop pretending that there aren't Muslim fundamentalists who want all non-Muslims dead and will stop at nothing to make that happen. Make no mistake, the Crusades didn't end with the Ninth Crusade, or the crusades of the 14th and 15th centuries against the Ottoman Empire. They just went dormant. Today's Muslim Fundamentalists are an extension of the Muslim resistance to Western ideology that peaked with the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. We may broker for peaceful relations with Islamic nations, but the fundamentalists, the ones who seem to control what happens and what doesn't, don't want any part of it.

Homer Sapiens

Er, you do know it wasn’t the Muslims that started the Crusades, right?

nn

I agree with you: if there is a country which should be banned it's Saudi Arabia. This is the place were most of the 9/11 terrorists came from.

But wait, Trump has financial interests in Saudi Arabia, this is why he did not put it on the list. There is not single person from the countries he put on the list who committed a terrorist act on American soil.

bbfan22

In December 2015, President Obama signed into law a measure placing limited restrictions on certain travelers who had visited Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria on or after March 1, 2011. Two months later, the Obama administration added Libya, Somalia, and Yemen to the list, in what it called an effort to address "the growing threat from foreign terrorist fighters." All these countries are known to harbor terrorist training camps, so it makes sense to target the ones that pose the greatest terrorist threat, wouldn't you think? You can spin this however you want to make the point that you desire, but aren't you concerned about the terrorist threats that we know are out there? You can't just stick your head in the sand and deny that there is a threat, like those who believe the Holocaust was a myth. Don't forget that the Grand Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini, was a Nazi collaborator during WWII, and that Muslim fundamentalists today are virtually no different than their Nazi counterparts in their extremism. I don't know about you, but that scares me. Doing nothing is tantamount to inviting terrorists for tea and expecting them to not blow us to bits with a vest bomb.

nn

Not everything what Obama did was right. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Egypt should have definitively be included in the list. Secondly, Obama did not bar every single person from these country to come into the US (like for example an Iraqi who worked for ten years as translator for the US army). Thirdly, if you go back to WWII then definitively you should also bar anybody from Ireland.....

Victor Fox

Terrorist training camps may indeed exist in the countries in question, however their beliefs are sourced from the extremist Wahhabi sect based in Saudi Arabia, a sect which has had growing influence on the royal family and their government for years. Nobody seems to want to touch the Saudis, though. There are simply too many financial interests at stake. If it wasn't for the black liquid being pumped from beneath the sands, I would bet that nobody would have any qualms about blocking travel from the country. Our supposed safety and lives, it seems, do have a particular finite monetary value after all.

J

bbfan, you are talking about conditions in Saudi Arabia. (I agree. I would not want to live there.) However, the protestors are concerned that our government is suspending green cards and visas here in the US in a discriminatory way. Big difference. Our government is not supposed to discriminate against a person based on their religion.

I'm a woman and have worked with quite a few Muslims over the years. I never got the slightest hint that they expected me to follow their religious precepts or disapproved of me in any way. In fact, they have all been polite, friendly, interesting to talk with, and good co-workers.

bbfan22

Here in the U.S. or in a Muslim country? There's a big difference when one has to deal with Muslim men, who run everything in Muslim countries. When over there, you don't have the freedoms we take for granted here.

J

My experience was here in the US. In other words, my co-workers were people of the same type that Trump has banned -- holders of green cards and visas who have been granted the right to live, work, and study here.

It makes no sense to discriminate against these people here in the US because of the way Saudi Arabia oppresses women, non-Muslims, etc. And it's a big mistake to step away from our hard-won heritage of religious tolerance.

ACU1981

While getting to gather to voice your concerns on what is taking place, I wonder if Ms. Chapman or anyone else voicing their concerns actually took time to read the executive order or did they listen to what the main stream, liberal media was saying about the order.
I challenge each of you to read the order, as it is not that long and see exactly what was said. I do believe that former President Obama also put a travel suspension for these nationals in place several years ago.
Remember, this is not a ban, but a 90 day suspension to make sure that the government can protect it's US citizens.
God bless President Trump and give him and his administration wisdom.....BTW - have you prayed for our President and all leaders around the world today? Hard to "hate" someone you pray for.

TexasEagle2

In answer to your questions:

a) I read the order and read online analyses from both pro and neg sides. I found the following article instructive: http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/01/30/sorry-mr-president-the-obama-administration-did-nothing-similar-to-your-immigration-ban/

b) You assume all media is liberal or conservative based on what? If they agree with t.d., they conservative....if they offer other information, then liberal? Hmm....

t.d. is involved in the classic pattern of creating the "other," as a way of organizing vollowers to his point of view. The other becomes the media, Hispanics, Muslim, the disabled, women, Blacks, people other than Christians, etc. As a country, presidents have done this before: Native Americans, Japanese, Irish (No Irish need apply), Jews, African-Americans, Women...etc. This works well until it is your subgroup that is listed as a minority to be ridiculed, devalued....first they came for the Muslims, etc....then maybe one day for YOU.

Gunboat Diplomacy

Brainwashed fools. This used to be a great place to live but this town and university have gone to he*l. This town is turning just another urban s**thole infested with academic idiots like Austin. I’m getting the he*l out of here and moving to rural neighboring county where a majority of people still have common sense.

TexasEagle2

Need any help packing and moving?

justaneighbor

Encouraging news, Gun Boat. Would Grimes or Burleson County be more suitable for you?

Homer Sapiens

B’bye.

Victor Fox

I didn't know that the term "common sense" equated to rustic ignorance and isolation.

J

To all who marched, a big thank you! Trump's executive order will be used to recruit homegrown terrorists. Each person who stands against religion-based tests and bans and shows support for legal immigrants and visitors to the US will make recruiters' arguments less persuasive.

Brazos County Citizen

"Trump's executive order will be used to recruit homegrown terrorists."

You mean like the leftist terrorist group, Weather Underground, and their leaders Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers whom Obama embraced?

J

For some insight into the future, I would recommend this article: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/01/putins-real-long-game-214589

Victor Fox

Not exactly. More like the San Bernardino and Orlando shooters, not to mention the kind who support beliefs such as yours and Mr. Trump's, such as the Quebec shooter (whom Fox News falsely identified as Moroccan), the Oklahoma City bomber (who likely would have been a Trump supporter based on his beliefs), of any of the numerous other individuals who have killed in defense of their "race" or similar cause.

MrMark

Love it or Leave it , just take flight to New York and ten your all on you way , not hard just Het !

roy g

What language are you speaking?

prof1

Has anyone noticed how upset some are about American Citizens speaking (under the second amendment) and assembling (as it states in the bill of rights) about a policy of the President. I am proud of those who assembled, even if I do not particularly agree with them. It's American liberties in action!

Aggie Till I Die

Well said. Thank you

Aggie Till I Die

Maybe the Aggie Republicans can bring Milo Yiannopoulos to speak!

roy g

The anti-Muslim people here keep saying things like "you don't see Christians flying planes into buildings". Oh, the irony.

Not only were the most infamous plane-flying terrorists in history NOT from any of the countries with the travel ban, but Christian terrorists seem to favor the same kinds of gun and bomb attacks so familiar to their Muslim kin. Alexandre Bissonette managed quite well with his firearm, as did Dylann Roof. Robert Lewis Dear wasn't as successful with a much lower body count. I guess Christian terrorists tend to go more for frequent small attacks rather than big splashy jobs.

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