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“No Hate! No Fear!” Democracy Now! Co-Host Nermeen Shaikh Celebrates 10 Years Covering War & Peace

StoryFebruary 18, 2021
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As Democracy Now! prepares to mark 25 years on air, we celebrate Nermeen Shaikh’s 10th anniversary as a Democracy Now! co-host and feature a report she filed from protests at New York’s JFK Airport against the Trump administration’s Muslim ban, one of the many highlights from her time on the program.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: And before we end today, I wanted to take note of this year. Nermeen, it is your 10th anniversary with Democracy Now! It has been so amazing to be on this journey with you. It also coincides with Democracy Now!'s 25th anniversary, which we're going to do much more on tomorrow. But it has been such an honor and an education for me, learning from you, for this decade.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Thank you so much, Amy. It’s been such an extraordinary privilege for me working with you and working at Democracy Now! And I’ve learned more from you and from all of my colleagues than I could possibly express. Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, we’re going to go right now, just a snippet — we’re going to play a whole hour tomorrow of Democracy Now! over the years. But four years ago, right when Trump was elected, he imposed the Muslim ban, one of his first acts in office. You raced to JFK Airport, where massive a protest was going on, and filed this report.

PROTESTERS: Let them in! Let them in! Let them in! Let them in! Let them in! Let them in!

NERMEEN SHAIKH: We’re outside New York City’s John F. Kennedy Airport, outside Terminal 4, where thousands of people have gathered to protest the Trump administration’s executive order, which has prevented many people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, more than 10 of them here detained at Terminal 4. Thousands of people here are chanting “Let them in!” “This is what democracy looks like!” and “Refugees welcome here.” Let’s talk to some of the people here.

MOUMITA AHMED: My name is Moumita Ahmed, and I’m here today because, as a Muslim woman, I find this ban extremely just personal to me, because I have family members who are on visa, and now they’re — they are at risk of not being able to leave or enter the country.

PROTESTERS: No hate! No fear! Refugees are welcome here!

RUHI KAPURIA: My name is Ruhi Kapuria [phon.], and I’m from Long Island, Valley Stream.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: What are your concerns for Muslims who are here already in the U.S. under a Trump administration, under this administration?

RUHI KAPURIA: Well, I would say, all my Muslim brothers and sisters, there’s nothing to fear. Your actions are more important. Keep doing what you’re doing, and we are not going to do anything wrong. We are going to be unapologetic Muslims.

PROTESTERS: Whose country? Our country! Whose country? Our country!

AMY GOODMAN: And that was Nermeen Shaikh out at JFK Airport, right after President Trump was elected and imposed the Muslim ban.

Nermeen, I can’t wait to spend so many more years with you here at Democracy Now!, but together, here in studio, when this pandemic ends.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Me, too, Amy. I miss being there.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, can’t wait. Tomorrow, an hour on Democracy Now!'s 25th anniversary. I'm Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh. Stay safe. Wear two masks.

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