Today, I am Muslim

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Today, though raised Catholic, I will stand side-by-side with my Muslim sisters and brothers.

I will remember that our country was founded by immigrants less than 250 years ago seeking freedom from religious persecution.

I will teach my children that all people are equal regardless of race, religion, or income.

I will not forget Anne Frank, nor the SS St. Louis, just a few of thousands of lives that were lost due to America’s initial refusal to help when the world needed us most. 

I will refuse to stay quiet when a man, who truly lives “me-first”, not “America-first”, bypasses the checks and balances of his office to embrace hate and ignorance, and encourages the people that have lost touch with what America truly stands for to discriminate and isolate themselves even more than they already have.

I will not ignore that the executive orders thus far focus on punishing those that cannot protect themselves while promoting the wealthy and the powerful.  If you want to hurt the countries that have hurt America most, look to Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Egypt. Where are they on your sickening list?   They aren’t there because they are wealthy, they have oil, they want our oil, and the Trump administration has business interests there.  But even with that, your list is simply wrong. It’s inhumane and its unAmerican.

Today, I am Muslim and Jewish and Buddhist and …. because I have family and friends whom I love that are too.

I remember, that the forefathers of our country believed so much in religious freedom and freedom of speech, that the 1st Amendment to the constitution was added because they felt it was missing from the original constitution. It appears our president and vice president may not have seen it, so I’ll remind them:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

I will shout the words that greeted 1000s of immigrants escaping home countries for a better life, including Trump’s mother, at the foot of the great lady of New York.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Today, I am Muslim, and I stand with my brothers and sisters of all faiths, as my Catholic faith has taught me to. I do so because it is right. It is honorable. It is human.

Today, I apologize that our country is failing so many so soon. One week ago, I was afraid of what was to come. Today, I am ashamed.  I am ashamed of our president. I am ashamed with the Republican party that is supposed to stand up and hold him in check, but refuses to do so because of politics. I am ashamed of the hateful and disgusting rhetoric that I see spewing from a small, but loud, minority of Americans all over social media embracing these disgusting actions.

But, today I am also angry. So much more angry than I was last week when I marched. Because last week, I believed that I needed to give Trump a chance because our country needs a good leader. I believed that he was rational and would listen to the million who marched, not to oppose Trump but to insist he heard many real and legitimate issues.

In one week, Trump has wakened one angry Mama Bear, and I know that I am not the only one. And that gives me hope again.

Today, I refuse to believe my country has more hate in it than love, and I beg you – the majority that know this is wrong – to stand up, to fight, and to protect those that needs us most – both in this country and outside of it.

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