WEST BLOOMFIELD– N. Farah: In an event hosted by the Muslim Legal Fund of America on Saturday Sept. 14 at the Muslim Unity Center in Bloomfield HillMichigan, political activist Linda Sarsour called for Muslim Americans to take greater action by advocating for humanity across several issues nationally and worldwide.
On being Muslim in America as a political act: “If you woke up today in America, and you are Muslim, then you are inherently political. You don’t have a choice in America but to be political. You live in a country that has politicized your deen. Every day you turn on the television, and someone is calling us a terrorist. Someone is putting forth the policy that is impacting our communities.”
–On being vocal about the Muslim ban: “We should have been in the streets, sisters and brothers […] Do you think that you love your children more than Yemeni fathers love their children? More than Somali mothers love their children? Do you think that you can go home tonight and see your children [and] we have families who are Muslims who can’t be reunited with their families because this government decided that Muslims from these countries are terrorists or that they are a security threat to our nation?”
Why we need to help all of our fellow Americans: “There is nowhere in the deen that says, ‘Stand up against the injustice only when the injustice is happening to the Muslims.’ When I go and see a young unarmed black man in our community that’s killed by a policeman […] A young Guatemalan Honduran mother is getting deported and leaving her four children behind, where are the Muslims? Nowhere to be found. And plenty of people from Bangladesh and Yemen and Pakistan have been deported on the watch of the Muslim people.
Why we need to establish greater legal representation: “You don’t think that one day [imprisonment, detainment, deportation etc.] could happen to somebody you love and that you know and who’s gonna defend you in that moment? Who’s going to come to your aid? […] There has never been a community in America that has won rights because they sat back and waited for their rights to fall from the sky.”
Why being silent and keeping to ourselves is no longer an option: “How do you expect other people to fight for us when we are not fighting for us? […] You know how many kids in our community are discouraged from being active in defending their deen? If they tell [their parents,] ‘My professor said something that was Islamophobic, [their parents] will say, ‘Khalas. Just move on. We don’t have to make trouble about everything.’ So we allow our young people to be discouraged and we make our young people feel small, like they have no power to defend us, and to defend themselves in the places in which they are interacting every single day.”
We’ll leave you with this: “My question to the Muslims is, what are you sacrificing? What are you leaving behind? Because there are Muslims that came before you that sacrificed everything so that you could be Muslim in this country. What is our generation doing?”
Political activist Linda Sarsour reminds us just how necessary it is for us to keep on speaking up and speaking out.
Pull quote 1: “There is nowhere in the deen that says, ‘Stand up against the injustice only when the injustice is happening to the Muslims.’”
Pull quote 2: “There are Muslims that came before you that sacrificed everything so that you could be Muslim in this country. What is our generation doing?”
Pull quote 3: “You live in a country that has politicized your deen. Every day you turn on the television, and someone is calling us a terrorist. Someone is putting forth the policy that is impacting our communities.”
“If you woke up today in America, and you are Muslim, then you are inherently political.”