Opinion: Rising Above Anti-Muslim Hatred

February 2, 2017
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By Nagwa Awad, Middletown |

Islamic Society of Monmouth County |

I’m reminded of the old story, a man was walking on a dimly lit sidewalk. He dropped his key in the dark, so he crossed the street and started looking for it under a street lamp.

Donald Trump made a promise to “ban all Muslims” and he is fooling us into thinking he is making good on his promise by banning all Muslims from countries that have not yielded a single terrorist threat. This was never about national security.

Since 9/11 there have been about 10,000 deaths per year from drunk driving accidents, about 33,000 deaths per year from gun violence, about 142 total school shootings, and a total of 45 deaths from terrorism.

For the past few years there has been a deliberate effort to tarnish Islam and persecute Muslims. Every attack by a Muslim is a terror attack and every attack by a non-Muslim is the act of a mentally unstable individual. Since 9/11 Muslims have had to constantly defend themselves against heinous acts they did not commit and are morally repulsed by. Islam was scrutinized under a powerful magnifying glass by people focused on destroying it. Soon, they were shamelessly making things up; every Muslim was labeled a terrorist. They claimed that Islam subjugates women, that Islam calls for the eradication of the non-Muslims, that Allah Akbar or Jihad mean holy war. All untrue, all falsehoods, all made up to be incendiary.

Adults and children alike were told to go back to their country. But beyond the bullying, there was real danger for everyone even perceived to be Muslim, such as the dental student, his wife and sister who were killed execution style in Chapel Hill, NC on Feb. 10, 2015. The deadly shooting of a Queens Imam Maulama Akonjee and his friend Thara Uddin as they walked home from the Mosque in New York on August 13, 2016. The fatal stabbing of a 60-year-old grandmother Nazim Khanam in Queens on her way to the Mosque. Unfortunately, the news is full of such stories.

Today that hatred towards Muslims has a face. Someone people consider their supreme leader and he is doing nothing to stem the tide of hatred.

As of this morning, we mourn the senseless killing of 6 victims in Quebec City, Canada whose only sin was worshipping in the house of God. We mourn the burning down of a Mosque in Texas by cowards who remain in the shadows. We mourn the tearing apart of families coming to reunite with loved ones in this great country of ours. We mourn the withering away of any compassion or humanity in the hearts of a few people that overshadows the good in the hearts of the masses.

But I remain hopeful. America was, is, and will always be a great country. The overwhelming support of the people at the airports, throughout the country and throughout the world will win in the end. We, the American people will persevere, we will never give up and we will rise to make this country uphold all the true values that have made us the greatest country in the world.

The Islamic Society of Monmouth County is based in Holmdel


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