This Executive Order, developed in partnership with partner organization, Muslim Americans in Public Service (MAPS) is a part of Inclusive America’s initiative to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of religious belief and affiliation.
(DRAFT PREPARED OUTSIDE OF THE WHITE HOUSE)
PREVENTING AND COMBATING DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF RELIGIOUS BELIEF AND AFFILIATION
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Established Legal Authority. One of our Nation’s fundamental principles is that all people, regardless of where they worship or what they believe, are entitled to equal rights and protection under the law. This embrace and respect for religious pluralism has made our Nation a shining beacon of hope for people to live without fear, no matter their religious belief and affiliation. Yet, over the last decade, hate crimes committed on the basis of religious identity have surged. From the increasing prevalence of religious profiling to the desecration of places of worship, especially targeted against members of religious minorities, it is crucial that our Nation take important steps to eradicating these acts of prejudice.
Discrimination on the basis of religious belief and affiliation manifests differently for different individuals, and it also often overlaps with other forms of prohibited discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of race or gender identity. For example, 69% of Muslim women, particularly those who wear a hijab or niqab, have reported at least one incident of targeted discrimination. No person should be denied the respect and equal treatment to religious liberty under the law.
These principles are enshrined in the Constitution and our Nation’s anti-discrimination laws, which promises protections concerning expression of religion. Among these principles is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.), which not only prohibits employers from discrimination against individuals due to religion (or lack of religious belief), Title VII also requires employers to reasonably accomodate individuals’ religious beliefs and practices. Prior Presidential Memorandum and Executive Orders have also highlighted the Federal government’s role in promoting the inclusion of religion. Examples include, Presidential Memoranda of January 13, 2017 (Religious Freedom Day), Executive Order 13985 of January 20, 2021 (Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government) and Executive Order 14035 of June 25, 2021 (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce).
It is the policy of my Administration to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of religious affiliation, and to fully acknowledge the Federal Government’s key role in ending discrimination against religious minorities, protecting vulnerable communities, and taking actionable steps to ensure religious liberty for all.
Sec. 2. Policy.
Sec. 2.1. Integrating Countering Anti-Religious Bias into Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Policy. Anti-religious bias (e.g. Islamophobia, anti-Semitism) continues to pervade our governmental institutions and workplaces. Agencies must name anti-religious bias as priority areas to assure inclusive policies and work environments, and include the same within existing or future diversity, equity, inclusion, and special emphasis efforts, statements, policies and written materials.
Sec. 2.2. Collecting Disaggregated Data on Religious Minorities. Pursuant to Section 5 (Data Collection) of Executive Order 14035 (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce), which states, “The head of each agency shall take a data-driven approach to advancing policies that promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility within the agency’s workforce, while protecting the privacy of employees and safeguarding all personally identifiable information and protected health information,” Agencies must collect and analyze data on employees’ religious affiliation, to measure demographic representation which will be used to identify gaps relating to overall workforce composition.
Sec. 2.3 Eliminating Anti-Religious Bias in Federal Workforce Trainings. Agencies directly engaged in conducting government-sponsored training and programs must conduct a vetting process to ensure no forms of discriminatory materials and bias targeting specific religious groups are shared within these programs. In addition, Agencies are directed to work with pertinent civil society members and civil rights organizations, to ensure the successful removal of religious biases.
Sec. 2.4 Standardizing Law Enforcement and National Security Programs and Engagement. (a) Pursuant to Section 2 (Policy on Strengthening the National Security Workforce) of Presidential Memorandum (Revitalizing America’s Foreign Policy and National Security Workforce, Institutions, and Partnerships), Agencies involved in our national security and foreign policy institutions must set consistent and non-discriminatory guidelines for government vetting of individuals and organization that inhibit Americans from serving their country. Agencies are directed to create equal and consistent rules of when vetting is or is not required, in order to standardize, streamline and combat overt discrimination from government programs and engagements.
(b) Agencies are directed to expand efforts on incorporating the expertise of religiously affiliated groups and address issues preventing partnerships and engagement. This includes revisiting the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) rules of engagement with certain organizations, and increasing transparency throughout the process.
Sec. 2.5 Ensuring Fairness and Equity in the Security Clearance Process. As set forth on Section 3 (Interagency Working Group on the National Security Workforce) of Presidential Memorandum (Revitalizing America’s Foreign Policy and National Security Workforce, Institutions, and Partnerships), which tasks Agencies to “Assess implementation of security clearance reforms and reciprocity proposals, additional reforms to eliminate bias, and ensure efficient timelines for completion of security clearance investigations.” Agencies are directed to vet any documented any forms of discrimination on the basis of religion in the security clearances process, and that those who express such views are held accountable.
Sec. 2.6 Strengthening the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Grievance Processes Across the Interagency. Consistent with merit system principles, Agencies must provide transparent and accessible guidance on redress and grievance processes for employees who experience any forms of discrimination on the basis of religion in the workplace to ensure an environment without fear of discrimination, retribution, or disadvantage. Agencies are also directed to develop a comprehensive framework to effectively address workplace harassment, including harassment due to religious affiliation and belief.
Sec. 2.7 Ensuring unbiased and accountable leadership in government. Affirmatively advancing equity, civil rights, justice, and equal opportunity requires holding our Nation’s current and future leaders accountable. Agencies are directed to take in consideration activity, advocacy or animus that any forms of discrimination on the basis of religion in non-career Executive appointments and career appointments to the Senior Executive Service (SES) across the Federal interagency.
Sec. 2.8 Increasing Resource Availability and Awareness of Faith Practices. Agencies are directed to increase access to resources combating anti-religious bigotry, in partnership with pertinent civil society members and civil rights organizations, in order to identify and help prevent “bias against underserved communities,” pursuant to Section 9 of the Executive Order (Training and Learning), which states: The Director of OPM and the Chair of the EEOC shall issue guidance and serve as a resource and repository for best practices for agencies to develop or enhance existing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility training programs. In addition, Agencies should work to increase awareness and acknowledgement of certain religious practices, and create reasonable accommodations for employees who are members of religious minorities.
Sec. 2.9 Expanding Institutional Partnerships to Enhance Recruitment of Members of Religious Minorities. Agencies must pursue initiatives and efforts to include underrepresented members of religious minorities in government-wide Partnership Initiatives to ensure inclusion and access, pursuant to Section 7 of the Executive Order (Partnerships and Recruitment), which states: The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Director of OPM, and the Deputy Director for Management of OMB, in consultation with the Chair of the EEOC, shall coordinate a Government-wide initiative to strengthen partnerships (Partnerships Initiative) to facilitate recruitment for Federal employment opportunities of individuals who are members of underserved communities.
The head of each agency shall work with the Director of OSTP, the Director of OPM, and the Deputy Director for Management of OMB to make employment, internship, fellowship, and apprenticeship opportunities available through the Partnerships Initiative, and shall take steps to enhance recruitment efforts through the Partnerships Initiative, as part of the agency’s overall recruitment efforts.
Sec. 2.10 Re-establishing Faith-Based Partnerships in Government Agencies. Following the re-establishment of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and similar offices in many Federal Agencies, Agencies are directed to enact efforts to establishing or re-establishing faith-based initiatives where appropriate in order to support successful collaboration and outreach in public programs and further enhance trust in government.
Sec. 3. Enforcement (a) The head of each agency shall, as soon as practicable and in consultation with the Attorney General, as appropriate, review all existing orders, regulations, guidance documents, policies, programs, or other agency actions (“agency actions”) that:
(i) were promulgated or are administered by the agency under Title VII or any other statute or regulation that prohibits religious discrimination, including any that relate to the agency’s own compliance with such statutes or regulations; and
(ii) are or may be inconsistent with the policy set forth in section 2 of this order.
(b) The head of each agency shall, as soon as practicable and as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, including the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.), consider whether to revise, suspend, or rescind such agency actions, or promulgate new agency actions, as necessary to fully implement statutes that prohibit religious discrimination and the policy set forth in section 2 of this order.
(c) The head of each agency shall, as soon as practicable, also consider whether there are additional actions that the agency should take to ensure that it is fully implementing the policy set forth in section 1 of this order. If an agency takes an action described in this subsection or subsection (b) of this section, it shall seek to ensure that it is accounting for, and taking appropriate steps to combat, overlapping forms of discrimination, such as discrimination on the basis of race or gender identity.
(d) Within 100 days of the date of this order, the head of each agency shall develop, in consultation with the Attorney General, as appropriate, a plan to carry out actions that the agency has identified pursuant to subsections (b) and (c) of this section, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law.
Sec. 4. Definitions.
(a) “Agency” means any authority of the United States that is an “agency” under 44 U.S.C. 3502(1), other than those considered to be independent regulatory agencies, as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5).
(b) “Religious minorities” means but is not limited to traditional, organized religious groups with a United States population of under 5% such as Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism.
Sec. 5. General Provisions.
(a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) Independent agencies are strongly encouraged to comply with the provisions of this order.
(d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
BY THE NUMBERS
With diversity in government, we can ensure that our leaders will have a variety of policies that take in consideration the needs of all Americans. For far too long, our leaders have failed to represent the rich diversity of our nation. It’s time for a more Inclusive America.
No non-Judeo-Christian Member have ever served as a Cabinet Member.
Less than 1% of Federal Judiciary Members come from Religious Minorities.
Religious groups such as Muslims, Hindus, and Mormons, have never had a member appointed to the Supreme Court.