Our July 2017 newsletter is out. It includes this message from our Executive Director, Mustafaa Carroll, about gleaning lessons from the past.
2017 began with President Trump’s second executive order on immigration banning people from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. The ban was revised once and then the U.S. Supreme Court allowed partial implementation of the ban, only allowing entry to those with bona fide relationships in the U.S. Near the end of Ramadan there were nationwide protests against the non-existent threat of sharia. Brigitte Gabriel, CEO of the protests’ sponsor, Act for America, has stated, “Arabs have no soul…” and alluded that the normative practices of Muslims make them inimical to being good U.S. citizens.
There is a saying: “If you don’t know your history, you are bound to repeat the mistakes of the past.” The U.S. government banned Chinese immigration during the late 1800s and refused entry to over 30,000 Jewish people who were fleeing Hitler’s Germany. White supremacists commonly claimed that black people had no soul. Catholics were accused of stockpiling weapons in their churches so that the Pope could take over, and during the McCarthy era we destroyed hundreds of people’s lives purporting they were Communists. Knowing our past can be enlightening and transformative. All of this has been proven to be on the wrong side of history. The question is what can we do to move forward today?
Please understand the President has provided a unique opportunity for progress to be made in the best interest of the country. We have witnessed coalitions being formed in response to some of this administration’s challenges. We need only embrace these opportunities. First, reject divisive language, stereotypes and behavior. Second, coalesce with like minds and organizations. Third, engage causes that promote freedom, justice, equality, and imbue human dignity. This will enhance the ability to provide for unity through mutual consultation. Together we will make a difference that will positively impact the future of our country!