The Future of Muslim-Americans

The Future of Muslim-Americans

Trump Breaks Tradition Loss of Hope for Muslim Community Ensues

The canceling of the annual White House Iftar dinner this year has become a slap in the face to Muslim-Americans all over the country, and I am one of them. Sitting idly as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a time designated to a fast from sunrise to sunset and empathizing with the less fortunate, passes by, (May 26th-June 24th) President Trump has neglected an unspoken duty as President and indirectly canceled the Iftar dinner that brings together diplomats, elected officials, and most importantly the young generation of Muslim-Americans who will contribute to the future of this country and world.

The dinner came to life again and became an annual White House event when First Lady, Hillary Clinton saw the value of the original actions of President Thomas Jefferson, in 1996 when he pushed the dinner time to sunset so a Muslim guest could eat with fellow dinner mates.

Some say, “Well at least he sent out a statement acknowledging the month of Ramadan,” but this mindset is succumbing to the universal thought that Trump’s role as President should be held to a lower standard compared to any past president of the United States.

The statement published by President Trump and wife, Melania acknowledges the holy month that has passed, but fails to confront the fact that the tradition was looked over by the Trump administration.

As I one day dreamed of being an attendee of this lavish dinner, my hopes have been crushed by the flagrant disregard of our President. If even President George W. Bush was able to hold the Iftar dinner after the 911 attacks that created even more tension in the lives of Americans, what makes Trump different?

Trump’s actions have drawn an even darker line with the Muslim-American community, reminding them that not only is he dissimilar to past presidents but also that he and his administration are aiming to keep a distance from the traditional values of America. According to former President Obama he said at the 2016 Iftar dinner, the “... Iftar is also a reminder of the freedoms that bind us together as Americans, including freedom of religion- that inviolable right to practice our faiths freely.”

However, how are Muslim-Americans supposed to feel welcome to practice their religion in America while Trump’s presidency has promoted the banning of 7 Muslim countries, many of which American citizens originally come from?

In a phone call with a personal friend of mine and former attendee of the 2016 White House Iftar Dinner, Ziad Ahmed, he commented on the cancellation stating that “It’s predictable and expected and underscores his anti-Muslim bigotry and disdain for our community.”

Muslim-American teens such as Ziad and I, realize just how important it is that our voices are heard. Advocating the universal disappointment of this incident is merely one step.

Yet, the not so obvious aspects that contributed to this impromptu cancellation of a presidential tradition is a reminder of the other perpetrators of the decision. Alongside Trump are alarming members of state who according to the Brennan Center of Justice “have targeted Muslims through both speech and policy, tangibly harming the American Muslim community, in at least five forms: the use of anti-Muslim rhetoric,”. More notably “the elevation of Islamophobic staff members to key positions in the White House” has bolstered an Islamophobic mindset to the Trump Administration.

The steps taken by Trump himself and those at his side are not at all suggestive of an inclusive environment for Muslim-Americans to practice their faith freely.

Moreover, Trump has contradicted his actions before ensuring that his political ties are stable with countries like Saudi Arabia. As he visited the Muslim country on May 24th (Al Jazeera) how could he ‘forget’ the holy month and allow it to pass by?

While my Saudi friends snapchatted me and sent messages wishing me safe travels to the states, they highlighted the fact that they hoped Trump’s visit was out of good conscious and not another political agenda. After the Iftar Dinner cancellation, it's hard to read that sentence without a smile and a sarcastic tone. Who are we kidding? There is not an inch of hope that President Trump has goods intentions in mind when he has cancelled an event that provides a platform for healthy conversation and community involvement.

Now more than ever is when American-Muslims, who make up 3.3 million of the American population, urgently need platforms such as the traditional White House Iftar Dinner to congregate with members of the political community and voice their worries and concerns. Seeing the significance of an event like this and just how reflective it is of America’s core values is demonstrative of an open mindset and hopes of bringing the American population closer together, something that is clearly not part of Trump’s agenda as president.

Cover Image Credit: Business Insider

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.

Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

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33 Verses From The Holy Quran That Will Light The Torch For You At Your Darkest Times

Light your torch and know that Allah is leading the way.

You're at an all-time low. You've officially exhausted all possible outlets, but still, you find yourself sinking deeper into your own despair. You may feel alone and helpless, to say the least.

To be completely honest you don't even want to search for help or a way out anymore because what's the point? You just want to accept your situation and live the miserable life you were given.

If you've reached this stage, then know that Allah has already been waiting for you since the beginning, but you overlooked him. Depression and self-deprecation isn't the way to go, especially for a believer. Focusing on the issue won't make it go away, instead, it'll feed it. Flip your focus on the only one who can provide you with a solution. Light your torch and know that Allah is leading the way.

1. O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient 2:153

2. Indeed, after hardship, there is ease 94:6

3. I entrust my affairs unto God. Truly, Allah is aware of His servants 40:44

4. And the slaves of the Most Beneficent (Allah) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness, and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness. 25:63

5. Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, “When (will come) the Help of Allah?” Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allah is near! 2:214

6. And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient. 2:155

7. Say, "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful." 39:53

8. By which Allah guides those who pursue His pleasure to the ways of peace and brings them out from darknesses into the light, by His permission, and guides them to a straight path. 5:16

9. And incline not toward those who do wrong, lest the Fire should touch you, and you have no protectors other than Allah, nor you would then be helped. 11:113

10. Call upon me, I will respond to you 40:60

11. And Allah would not punish them while they seek forgiveness 8:33

12. So remember me; I will remember you 2:152

13. And He has made me blessed wherever I am 19:31

14. And whoever puts all his trust in Allah (SWT), He will be enough for him 65:1

15. If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor] 14:7

16. And He found you lost and guided [you] 93:7

17. It may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know 2:216

18. My mercy embraces all things 7:156

19. My success can only come from Allah 11:88

20. And the they planned, but Allah planned. And Allah is the best of planners. 3:54

21. The good deed and the bad deed are not the same. Return evil with good 41:34

22. Allah (SWT) does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear 2:286

23. Did he not realize that Allah is watching? 96:14

24. Hold firmly to the rope of Allah 3:103

25. Do what is beautiful. Allah loves those who do what is beautiful 2:195

26. Indeed, my Lord is the Hearer of Supplication 14:30

27. And Allah is the best of providers 62:11

28."...and He is with you wherever you are" 57:4

29. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception 3:185

30. Sufficient for us is Allah, and He is the best Disposer of affairs 3:173

31. Say, “It is Allah who saves you from it and from every distress then you [still] associate others with Him 7:204

32. If you are grateful, I will give you more 14:7

33. If Allah helps you, none can overcome you; and if He forsakes you, who is there that can help you? And in Allah (alone) let believers put their trust 3:160

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash / Charl van Rooy

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