Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump had made several claims to increase security measures through policies aimed directly at Muslims living in and immigrating to America. These included the surveillance of mosques, creating a registry for Muslims living in the U.S. and, most recently, a database of immigrants from Muslim majority countries.
As a young Muslim American, I want to be optimistic about Trump’s presidency. I want to feel certain that the America I was born in will continue to protect my civil liberties. But as Trump continues to select his Cabinet, my optimism wavers.
A prominent Trump surrogate, Carl Higbie, has cited internment camps used during World War II to imprison Japanese Americans as the precedent for a Muslim registry. I agree with Higbie, this instance in history does serve as a precedent, one that all Americans should pay attention to. We need to remember our collective past in order to prevent injustices like those suffered by fellow Americans from repeating with this administration.
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Trump’s selection for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., has said that a “toxic ideology” lies at the root of Islam. I implore Trump and his administration to expose themselves to the Islam that I know.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that “fear always springs from ignorance.” As a young Muslim, I sincerely know that my faith does not promote or condone violence of any kind and fully encompasses a message of loyalty for your country and community.
The True Islam campaign helps to spread awareness of the genuine peacefulness of Islam by listing 11 thorough points highlighting the realities of the religion. The basis of our faith encourages nonviolence, equality for all, loyalty and many other views that overlap with the majority of citizens who love America as well.
We cannot fight hatred with more hatred; doing that allows those who want to spread chaos and destruction to succeed.
I call on the president-elect to revoke this plan that will create a partition between the people who share this country. I call on my fellow Americans to realize that peace and unity is the only way to restore the future and to have hope that we will persevere together. As a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the oldest Muslim community in the United States, I live by our peaceful motto: “Love for All, Hatred for None.”
Dania Sohail is a junior at Mercy High School in Hillsborough. She has started a Humanity First Student Organization at her school. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.