I could not sleep and have been deeply troubled in figuring out how to deal with the onslaught of attacks from a ‘few’ Muslims for writing the following letter to Mr. Trump. I hope they see the wisdom in it.
As a Muslim, I strongly believe that engaging with people who differ with us is the right thing to do, at least we will increase the chances of building a relationship and ultimately learn to live with each other’ differences. What is the other choice? Accuse them, blame them and cause them to dig in their heels and wipe out any chances of reconciliation, is that the right thing to do?
As a Muslim, I believe, Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to mankind. Simply meaning each one his actions was geared to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill. Indeed, I call it his formula of peace and give a full speech on the topic narrating at least 15 of his actions that led to building cohesive societies. For the sake of peace, the Prophet reached out to his perceived enemies and made deals with them for the common good of all people. As his genuine follower, I intend to engage with Mr. Trump who is not my enemy, but may not have the whole picture about Muslims is his album and I like to make an effort to complete it. I am willing to fail, but not willing to sit by irresponsibly.
A few of my fellow Muslims will be upset with me, and all I can do is ask them to think about Prophet Muhammad, and honor him by following his practices. He had made deals in Mecca and Hudaibiyah treaties against the wishes of his associates, at the end, all were beneficiaries. When he was physically hurt by the miscreants on his way to Taif, his associates wanted to knock them dead, even Angel Gabriel offered to crush them, but what did the Prophet do? He prayed to forgive them, for they know not.
However, I was encouraged by the words of wisdom from Dr. Zafar Iqbal of Gopio Washington, he mentioned that if Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had not reached out to fellow beings who were opposed to his mission, the world would not have changed. Indeed it is necessary to to talk with fellow beings who are even our enemies. Prof Faroque Ahmad Khan confirms, “Regarding the question of meeting with DT and his team I see no downside.”
I request my fellow American Muslims to consider Prophet Muhammad’s approach; that is let our talks, actions, and writings be embedded with the idea of mitigating conflicts and nurturing good will. If we can learn to respect and accept God’s intentional choice to make us into different tribes, nations and religions, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. If you disagree with God, you are welcome to take it up with him. He says, the best ones among you are those who learn about each other and remove the myths about the other to create peace, which was capped by the immortal sentence by our prophet, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
Here is a letter to Mr. Donald Trump
Dear Mr. Trump;
Donald, you have made history!
This note is an acknowledgement that you have proved the naysayers wrong including me. I am pleased to share the following points with the hopes that you consider reflecting on them with humility.
- You are the first candidate in recent history that is completely independent and cannot be pushed around by the lobbyists.
- You have demonstrated your loyalty to America over the loyalty to a party.
- Overwhelming majority of the Americans are moderates who want to get along with everyone.
- From Atheist to Zoroastrians and every one in between, including the Native Americans, Mexicans, Muslims, Blacks and LGBT community are fully committed to America and will give up their life to defend her values.
- There is a template you can stamp on all groups, be it religious, regional or racial – that is 1/10th of 1% of members of each group tend to be extreme and scheme on annihilating the others who disagree with them. However, 90% of the people are moderates who want to get along with others and mind their own business. Even though you are a rich guy, you will pivot towards living your life and letting others live theirs.
- As Muslims integrate, and become one with the society, they will rise and fall with the main stream. They will endure similar rates of divorces, drug addiction, alcoholism, and violence. San Bernardino is an example – for 322 Million Americans, we had 355 mass murders in 2015. That is one mass murder per every million. Muslims make up almost four million of the population but only one Muslim man was behind a major atrocity in 2015. That low rate can be attributed to Muslims taking responsibility and reporting suspicious activities to the FBI. Nearly 2/3rds of terror related cases were reported by Muslims keeping their crime rate lower than the national number. Muslims enhance America’s safety.
- 15% of American workers are related to the defense sector. If we can keep the 56 Muslim nations under our export umbrella, fellow Americans will continue to work in that sector without facing job or pay cuts. The possibility of China and Russia taking over defense manufacturing can be brought under control if we keep a strong bilateral relationship with Muslim countries.
- You have a chance to embrace Americans of all hues and build a cohesive America where no American has to live in fear or apprehension from the others.
- The next rally you hold, I will be happy to arrange an American Muslim Hijabi girl teams to sing our national Anthem.
- We pray that you will uphold the American values enshrined in our immortal declaration. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
- What do we want? Whether we are Native Americans, African Americans, Jewish Americans, Muslims Americans, Hindu Americans, Sikh Americans, Women Americans, LGBT Americans, or other Americans, all we want is to be treated as equals and acknowledged that we rise and fall together with all Americans.
America is the greatest nation on the earth, not because we are militarily powerful or rich, but because we are the first responders to the human needs of the world, we are respected for it. We are the greatest nation on the earth because we take the poor and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Let’s continue to keep
America Great through inclusion and being one.
I am deeply committed to a cohesive America, and will be happy to consult how we can build such an America by offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.
Mike Ghouse, is an American Muslim committed to a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day, more about his work at- www.centerforpluralism.com