Do any countries currently have immigration policies that directly or indirectly negatively discriminate against a religious group, akin to what Donald Trump and Pauline Hanson have been advocating regarding Muslims?

By negatively discriminating, I mean that it is treating the group worse than average, as opposed to merely privileging a specific religious group.

  • Related question, but about race: politics.stackexchange.com/questions/8949/…
    – Golden Cuy
    Jul 15, 2016 at 12:00
  • 3
    The problem with immigration policy descriminating against certain religions is that it is difficult to tell what religion a person has. That's why such policies usually target ethnicities or nationalities.
    – Philipp
    Jul 15, 2016 at 23:29
  • Discimination can also happen informally, people can be effectively banned based on their ethnicity without any law explicitly providing for it.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 18, 2016 at 22:16

2 Answers 2

  1. Algerian Nationality Code of 1963 excluded non-Muslims from acquiring citizenship allowing citizenship only to those Algerians who had Muslim fathers and paternal grandfathers.

  2. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia banned all Jews from even entering, never mind immigrating, 100%, until 2014.

    • Since then, they relaxed this slightly, and allow Jews to apply for work visas, EXCEPT if (1) they have Israeli passport or even (2) have Israeli stamp in their passport or (3) Wear religious Jewish garb.

    • Additionally, anyone is banned who openly practices any religion that isn't Islam.

    • Additionally, non-Muslims can't become citizens, they can only visit or work.

      Foreign citizens are very rarely granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia. This is due to the strict limits placed on immigration in the country. For most people the only way to become a citizen is to marry a Saudi Arabian citizen, but this is no guarantee that citizenship status can be granted, particularly if the foreign national is not a Muslim (source).

  3. Similar policies are in place in a large number of Muslim countries. From Wikipedia:

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  4. While Palestine is not yet (and has never been) a state, Palestinian Arab policy has always been to ban Jews from immigrating and expunge Jews already living there, from way over 100 years ago - so you can't blame it on "occupation".

  5. While there are certain restrictions on specific forms of immigration to Israel from some Muslim countries, it is a very narrow and specific restriction, and most references to it seriously mis-represent - or outright lie -about it; and it basically doesn't even remotely compare to the ones above.

    • Most importantly, it's not an immigration restriction. It's a citizenship-granting restriction in case of marriage to Israeli citizen.

    • It does NOT in any way apply to "Muslims", but specifically to citizens - of any religion - of very specific and small list of countries (Iran, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen - these are only 9 out of 50+ majority Muslim countries, only 2 of them are in top 9 largest Muslim-populated countries). All of these 9 are either openly hostile to Israel, don't recognize its existence, or have significant terrorist presence making the immigrants a large security risk. Oh, and 8 out of 9 don't allow Israeli citizens to even ENTER the country at all - see #3.

  • What does it mean to allow "immigration" if you ban that person from ever actually becoming a legal citizen?
    – zymhan
    Jul 16, 2016 at 15:22
  • 2
    @WildVelociraptor - immigration includes student visas, tourist visas, work visas, permanent residency, and only a small minority is eventual citizenship, for virtually any country in the world. Tourist and work visas are largest, overwhelmingly.
    – user4012
    Jul 16, 2016 at 16:31
  • Why all the polemicizing about Palestine, occupation or whether Israel and Saudi Arabia can be compared? That's not the question at hand.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 18, 2016 at 22:13

Israel also has restrictions on citizens from Arab and Muslim countries from becoming an Israeli citizen:

During the period when the Law is in force, notwithstanding
that which was stated in any other law including section 7 of the Citizenship Law, the Minister of the Interior shall not grant citizenship to a resident of the region or to a citizen or resident of a state listed in the schedule in accordance with the Citizenship Law and he shall not grant him a license to reside in Israel in accordance with the Entry into Israel Law, and the region commander shall not grant a resident of the region a permit to stay in Israel in accordance with security legislation in the region.

”Region” – any one of these : Judea and Samaria, and the Gaza Strip;

Schedule (Sections 2, 3A1. 3C, 3H): Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq



Wikipedia also lists a few more countries (Yemen, Pakistan, Sudan...) but I can't find those in listed in the English translations of the law.

  • 1
    As I explained in my answer in #5, it's not "citizens from Arab and Muslim countries". It's an extremely small minority of countries (9 out of 50+ majority Muslim countries), and an overwhelming minority of Muslim population (only 2 of those countries are in top 9 larges Muslim populations). Therefore you can't legitimately claim it's about religion or ethnicity.
    – user4012
    Jul 16, 2016 at 18:57

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