To America, with love

An open letter from American Muslims for the second anniversary of the first iteration of the Muslim Ban

January 25, 2019

Originally published on Medium on Jan. 25th, 2019

By: Salam Al-Marayati, MPAC Co-Founder and President


We American Muslims have resisted the Muslim Ban. With much of America, we have advocated for fairness in accepting refugees, for removing religious litmus tests in processing applications for immigration, and for helping those victims of war and conflict for which our government is partially responsible. In our struggle, we have made great strides.

We have no government, neither in the West nor in Muslim majority countries, representing and looking out for our interests, we have no PR machine and no lobby working for us, but we remain resilient, dedicated to the best interests of humanity, in line with the Quranic decree “God has bestowed dignity on the Children of Adam.” We have overcome both religious extremism and xenophobia. We have broken barriers -- in science, medicine, law, sports, the arts -- against all odds. We are the David to the Goliath of Madison Avenue and K Street.

We do not work for political parties. Rather, we demand political parties work for the people -- all of America’s beautiful people, from many forming one nation. We do not succumb to gangs, even if they dress up in religious garb. We demand that religion works for the benefit of people. That is the vital role of American Muslims -- to advance the spiritual will for equity in society, to be the harbinger of human rights for all, to respond to hate by and against religion, and to heal the wounds of divisiveness.  

We will not be the poster child for the left or the punching bag for the right. We will not let anti-Muslim bigotry or prevailing negative stereotypes bring us down. We demand control of our own narrative.

We resist the Muslim Ban because it erodes the soul of America. We have spoken for the powerless because power has intoxicated our political leaders. We have struggled for freedom because freedom is liberating -- and we fight for freedom, human dignity, and equity for all -- whether families are separated at the southern border or through a travel ban. Our struggles converge at the intersection of hope and justice.

When political extremists bang the drums of war, we fight back with the serenity of peace and of peacemaking. They scapegoat and lock up children at the border, and we unlock the heart from hate. We see humanity as our greatest treasure, not as a competition between the haves and have-nots, indulging the haves while starving and exploiting the have-nots.

Our fathers and mothers struggled to make it to the shores of liberty. We will not turn our backs on those who struggle for the same, who flee persecution, and who leave their homelands because of war and tyranny, particularly those ills sponsored by our own government.

We resist for the love of God, not out of resentment or bitterness. There is no power greater than the power of God -- there is no king or general or president worthy of our submission. We only submit to almighty God -- the definition of Islam. We fight oppression because it is the right thing to do, not for any political or financial gain.

We are American Muslims and it is our patriotic duty to preserve the constitution and to declare our independence from corruption and racism. We have already won. It’s just the few more steps we need to take in finding the altar of our authority over authoritarianism. We are victorious. Human dignity will prevail.


Founded in 1988, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) is a national nonprofit working to promote and strengthen American pluralism by increasing understanding and improving policies that impact American Muslims.



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