Donald Trump’s first 70 days in office have been an all-out assault on the Muslim community—in the U.S. and abroad.
From the start, Trump stacked his administration with Islamophobes and welcomed anti-Muslim racists from the most radical fringes into the White House. In the last three weeks, the military has targeted schools, mosques, and neighborhoods in Syria and Iraq, killing hundreds of Muslim men, women, and children.1 And here at home, he’s already tried to enact two separate Muslim bans to make us afraid in our own country or else keep us out all together.
But here’s what Trump doesn’t understand—Muslims have been here since before Columbus, and we ain’t going nowhere now. In fact, we’re doubling down.
Want an example?
Let me introduce you to Abdul El-Sayed. He’s the son of Egyptian immigrants, a Rhodes Scholar who holds multiple doctorates, the former Director of Detroit’s health department, and at just 32 years old, Abdul’s running to become the youngest governor in the history of the state of Michigan—and the first Muslim governor in the country.
Abdul’s not the only Muslim in U.S. politics, of course.
In Minnesota, former refugee Ilhan Omar became the country’s first elected Somali-American lawmaker this past fall. And last month, Keith Ellison—the country’s first Muslim-American Congressman—was selected as the Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee. All across the country, countless others are engaging in politics on the local level—from school boards to city councils to political clubs and civic organizations.
And here’s the thing: despite being practicing Muslims, guided by a faith imperative to be a mercy to those around them, neither Ilhan nor Keith were elected just because they’re Muslim. They won their elections because their communities believed that they were the best person for the job.
It’s easy to be discouraged by the Trump administration’s non-stop attacks on our people. But here are just two of the things that give us hope: the clear understanding that despite Trump’s god-complex, we know that the real God is in control; and people like Abdul, who are blazing trails for future generations.
Linda, Dustin, Mark, Mohammad, and the MPower Change Action team
1. “More Than 1,000 Civilians Reportedly Killed by U.S.-Led Airstrikes as Trump Expands War on Terror” Democracy Now!, Mar 27, 2017