The past few days have led to a lot of federal legislation announcements, which is not uncommon with a new president. Many of the policies have led me to question how I will choose to actively engage in supporting a country and people who I love. One such executive order is the potential suspension of visas of Muslim-majority nations of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Lybia, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-immigration-exclusive-idUSKBN1582XQ). The rhetoric used by President Trump has been one throughout his campaign that has painted a picture of fear towards Muslim people. There may be experiences or stories people have heard that may justify fear for protection of themselves and their families. My personal experience is one of knowing kind, open and loving Muslim brothers and sisters. I think it’s important to truly know who these great people are.
Essential to America’s Landscape
Muslim American have been essential to the fabric of America. They have fought for the creation of this country under the command of General George Washington (Bampett Muhammad and Yusuf Ben Ali), constructed our cities (Fazlur Rahman Khan & Maryam Eskandari), created jobs and industry (Shahid Khan, also great mustache), treated our sick (Ayub Ommaya), supported our government and spread democracy world wide (Farah Pandith), have been our sports icons (Muhammad Ali, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), fought for equality (Malcom X & Ilyasah Shabazz), advanced scientific research (Ahmed Zewail & Dalia Mogahed), advancing literature and religious studies (Azadeh Moaveni & Laleh Bakhitar), enriched our music (Ahmet Ertegun, Yasiin Bey, Andre 3000, Brother Ali, Ice Cube, Rakim Allah), and made us laugh (Negin Farsad & Dave Chappelle) (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/08/donald-trump-famous-muslims-us-history and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/samina-ali/10-american-muslim-women-you-should-know_b_4413809.html).
Knowing Your Neighbor
If we don’t know or understand a group of people it’s easy to fear them. I would recommend getting to know a community better (http://www.tolerance.org/publication/american-muslims-united-states) or reach out and actively engage with them (http://www.muslimamericansociety.org/) you may have more in common than you realize.
It’s also important to know that Muslim leaders and organizations (http://www.muslimamericansociety.org/) are reaching out to their communities to make advancements to bridge differences through personal experiences (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qm62GGaURXs).
If you want to take political action ask you representative to oppose Trump’s Muslim-Targeted Immigration Ban by calling the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. You can ask for your senator’s or representative’s name and they will connect you to their office. Look up your representative here: http://www.whoismyrepresentative.com/
If you aren’t sure what to say use this statement courtesy of Muslim Matters (More tips and insight here: http://muslimmatters.org/2017/01/25/executive-order-muslim-ban-know/):
Hi, my name is _______ and I’m a constituent of Representative _______/ Senator _________. I’m calling because I’m concerned about President Donald Trump signing an executive order restricting immigration from Muslim majority countries and ending the Syrian refugee resettlement program. This executive order goes against our shared American values of religious tolerance, diversity, and nondiscrimination.