You have a voice. You have a conscience. You have a heart.
Last year, a woman named Fatima attended one of my writing workshops.
She’s a hardworking mom, entrepreneur, and artist. She’s the type of woman who fills an entire room with warmth and light, just by stepping inside. She arrived bearing gifts for everyone in attendance — beautiful handmade cards that she’d created herself. “I know you love snail mail,” she told me. “Maybe we could use these cards to write love letters.”
Fatima happens to be Muslim.
According to President Trump, people like Fatima are dangerous and should be banned from entering America for at least 90 days, and possibly much longer. Muslim refugees — people fleeing persecution and violence, people desperately seeking a new life — should be banned. Because they might pose an immediate threat. That’s what Trump says.
The only “threat” here is racism, religious intolerance, and narrow-mindedness. Personally, I feel “threatened” by people like Trump. Not by people like Fatima.
Let’s look at the facts. Statistically, “The odds of an American dying as the result of an act of terrorism carried out by a refugee is a minuscule 1 in 3.64 billion in any given year.” You are more likely to be killed by texting and driving, by a falling vending machine, or by a dairy cow than by a radicalized Muslim refugee terrorist. Think about that.
I’m disgusted by Trump’s #MuslimBan and no, I won’t keep quiet about this. At every possible opportunity, I’m going to share how I feel. At dinner parties. At the gym. Online. Everywhere.
I urge you to do the same.
You have fingers, a keyboard, and Internet access. Use these privileges. Say what you really feel. Don’t be silent or hope that somebody else will “say it for you.”
If you believe that banning people from a company, city, or country based on their faith is wrong, then say so.
You have a voice. Use it.
You have a conscience. Let it guide you.
You have a heart. Your heart is not stupid. Listen. Act accordingly.
PS. Here are some specific things you can do to stand up against the #MuslimBan.
PPS. “For out on the edge of darkness there runs the peace train. Peace train, take this country. Come take me home again.” Those are song lyrics from the anti-war anthem “Peace Train” written by Cat Stevens. (Did you know? He’s Muslim, too.)