You probably came to this blog today to find fun things to do with your family during this holiday season. And on any other day, you’d probably find just that. But not today. Today I have something else to say.
I generally try to keep this blog light-hearted. I purposely stay away from controversial topics so as not to alienate readers. Because no matter what views you hold, I believe we share a common denominator–a love for our children. And that’s what this blog is really about.
But when I sat down this evening to start working on this weekend’s event listing, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Sometimes there are just more important things to talk about.
Instead, I’d like to tell you about my father. A Muslim, who immigrated to this country after facing religious and ethnic intolerances in his home country. His story is my own. And I’m proud to tell it.
My father put himself through MIT and devoted his considerable talents to the field of aerospace engineering. His contributions still strengthen our country’s defenses today. He married a Christian woman, and raised his children to understand both religions–so we would be open-minded enough to see common truths across faiths. He was well-respected in our community and loved by Jews and Christians, whites and blacks, rich and poor, straight and gay. By all accounts, he preached and practiced tolerance, peace and love. And he was an American–just like you and me.
Today I remembered my father’s story and felt anger. Trump’s call to ban all Muslims from entering this country is an outrage to my father and to the millions of Muslims like him–men and women who came here to build honest and decent lives for themselves and their families.
And I felt fear. For what’s next? Will Trump’s statement elicit backlash for innocent Muslims living in this country? Will it stir up even more anger amongst extremists who don’t need another reason to hate us? If Trump gets elected, will my family or others be punished for our Muslim heritage? Will the Latinos be next? The Jews? Blacks? Women?
And I felt sad. Because polls seem to show that a considerable portion of our country agrees with this hateful bigotry. How have we fallen this far?
If you presume to clump all Muslims into one extremist bunch, I don’t believe this blog post will change your mind. In fact, I bet you’ll never visit this blog again.
But if you believe in teaching your children to see a different way forward–a path for this country that’s based on the value of religious tolerance, cultural diversity and the fundamental equality of all people–you will always have an ally in me.
Because that’s the kind of American my father taught me to be.© Copyright 2015 Nadine Champsi, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Pittsburgh Mommy Blog
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