By Simran Jeet Singh
There are certain moments when political leaders target, marginalize and discriminate against minority communities unfairly. This is certainly one of those moments. It has only been a week since Mr. Trump entered the Oval Office, and a number of minority communities have already been shaken by his actions and orders.
In moments like these, it becomes incredibly important for those who believe in freedom and justice to resist such actions. While engaging in resistance, however, we sometimes forget to also reach out to those who are being marginalized and express our affirmation and solidarity.
As people around the world wonder how they can engage in resistance, let us remember that in the context of incredible dehumanization, recognizing the humanity of one another is a powerful act of resistance. Affirming the dignity of the marginalized serves to empower those who are being targeted, to honor the diversity of our nation, and to strengthen our own local communities.
One simple way of making a meaningful impact is to reach out to your local Muslim community and offer some words of love. Such a message would be especially helpful given the unfair targeting and criminalization of Muslims.
Below is a template of a letter that you are welcome to copy and adapt for your own local Muslim communities. Please also feel free to circulate.
Dear Muslim Sisters and Brothers,
We realize that this is a very difficult time for you and your community. We recognize that there are people in this country who have negative feelings about Muslims and about Islam. We also see how these negative feelings are being used to justify the mistreatment of Muslims.
We want you to know that we do not agree with those who mistreat you. We want you to know that we are with you. We want you to know that you are loved and that you are cherished and that you are valued members of this community.
Please remember that you have allies here – people who truly and sincerely care about your well-being. We ask you to please stay strong in these challenging times and to please take care of yourselves and your loved ones. As your allies, we promise to do everything that we can to stand up for your rights and to ensure that you are treated with the dignity and respect that you deserve.
Thank you for being such an important part of our community, and thank you for enduring willingness to help preserve the freedoms that make our country great.
Simran Jeet Singh is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Trinity University where he primarily teaches Islamic Studies. Simran also serves as Senior Religion Fellow for the Sikh Coalition and a Truman National Security Fellow. He is active in interfaith and religious education programs and cares deeply about achieving justice and equity in our world.