By: Engy Mohamed
Dear President Trump,
Thank you for instilling hatred and racism within our communities, for you have not merely condoned acts of religious discrimination, but have also inspired people to act upon their racist dispositions.
Thank you for proving to us that when your supporters were begging us to give you a chance, you did not expect for one second that we would.
Unfortunately, we cannot thank you for sticking to your guns and proving to us that every word you’ve uttered during the election was an elaborate plan and not mere propaganda like so many of your supporters claimed.
It is true that we were right about you, but we’re still losing the fight.
Not even 10 days after you’ve been in office as President of the United States, the most powerful country in the world, you have suspended the Syrian refugee admissions program indefinitely, and you have made the citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Sudan prisoners at airports because you refuse to grant them access.
Your reasons? Well, it’s all just a part of your grand scheme to eradicate “radical Islam” and “Make America Great Again.”
Well, President Trump, here’s a list of Muslim American people who I am absolutely sure America would not be so great without…
1. Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali was a symbol of determination and heroism. In a time when the civil rights movement was in full swing, Muhammad Ali was making history, earning the title of Boxing World Champion.
He converted to Islam and changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali because Clay was his slave name.
One of his greatest moments was when he sacrificed his career for the sake of principle, refusing to join the army in the Vietnam war of which he did not approve, and thus ending up in prison and losing his World Champion title as a result.
A man of principle, Muhammad Ali would not have approved of what is currently taking place if he were still with us.
2. Ahmad Zewail
The “father of Femtochemistry” was an immigrant who moved to the United States to complete his PhD. The Egyptian-American Muslim scientist was a pioneer and a leader in his field of work, which led to him becoming the first Egyptian to win a Nobel Science Prize.
3. Ibtihaj Muhammad
Saber fencer and member of the United States fencing team, Ibtihaj Muhammad was the first woman to participate in the Olympics wearing a hijab. Former President, Barack Obama, also named Muhammad a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition on January 17, 2017.
4. Dave Chapelle
One of the most influential stand-up comedians in the 2000’s, Dave Chapelle is a Muslim convert who put a smile on people’s faces throughout his career and revolutionized the stand-up comedy scene.
5. Shahid Khan
Often referred to as the personification of the American Dream, Pakistani-American Shahid Khan is a business tycoon who is considered to be the richest person of Pakistani descent.
Khan moved to the U.S. when he was sixteen and was ecstatic to get a job washing dishes for $1.20 an hour; to him, that was the American Dream. Little did he know that he would later become the head of the $4.9bn auto-parts company Flex-N-Gate, and the 360th richest person on the planet.
On the other hand, when asked to share his thoughts on the immigration ban (before it was enforced) Shahid Khan said: “I think that was a lot of pre-election talk. To start off with, it’s against the law, any kind of racial or ethnic discrimination, against American law. And when it’s all said and done, it is a country of laws. But I have frankly looked at it as no different than somebody saying, I am going to repeal the laws of gravity, okay? So it’s a lot of pre-election hype.”
Unfortunately, President Trump, you were sure to make it clear that it was not just “pre-election talk.”
6. Khizr & Ghazala Khan
Khizr and Ghazala Khan are parents of deceased US Army Captain, Hamayun Khan. The Pakistani couple acquired American citizenship in 1986 and are most noted for their speech during the Democratic National Convention in July 2016 where Khizr Khan criticized Trump’s policies saying “Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims, he disrespects other minorities, women, judges, even his own party leadership. He wants to build walls and ban us from this country. Donald Trump, you’re asking Americans to trust you with their future, let me ask you, have you have you even read the United States constitution?”
7. Malcolm X
Malcolm X, a Muslim convert, previously named Malcolm Little, cast off his slave name to become the motivation Black people needed to fight back with whatever means necessary. He condoned violence in the case of self-defense in hopes of casting off the shackles of racism, an approach that was quite the opposite of Martin Luther King’s, who called for “non-violent civil disobedience.” Malcolm X justified his methods saying “I don’t even call it violence when it’s in self-defense, I call it intelligence.”
8. Ilhan Omar
The 35 year-old is the first Somali-American Muslim woman to be elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives. Omar is concerned with advancing equality for all, making higher education affordable and accessible, protecting the environment, and criminal justice reform alongside a number of other issues mentioned on her website.
Jawed Karim, co-founder of YouTube is a German Muslim Internet entrepreneur with Bangladeshi descent, Steve Jobs is a son of a Syrian refugee, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a record-breaking basketball legend, are among the many Muslims who have already made America and the world a greater place decades ago that only one article won’t do justice to their contributions.
So you see, President Trump, without those people, America would have never been the same. Immigrants, Muslim immigrants, have done so much to make America the country it is today, and it would be such a shame to deny all that just because of a slippery-slope mindset that makes you assume that the only way to eliminate terrorism is to ban Muslims in general, because the truth is, all these refugees you are trying so hard to keep out are the living, breathing outcomes of the wars your country has created.