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Combating Hate with Love

Sr. Kaity's Blog 

12/18/2016

Islamophobia has been present in America for decades. However, after it became clear that Donald Trump would become President- Elect, there was a sudden rise of hate crimes against American Muslims.  Threatening letters have been sent to American Muslims containing phrases like, "go back to your country' or ' take that piece of cloth off your head'. This is not what America stands for. America is the land of the free with equality and justice for all.

Contrary to popular perceptions, Muslim Americans have always been at the front lines of defending and supporting other faiths. They have always sought to clear the blurred picture of what Islam truly represents by educating the public in interfaith forums.

CAIR, a national civil rights organization, launched a campaign at the beginning of 2016 to counter Islamophobia by distributing a cure in pill form called "Islamophobin". The satirical twist was that the campaign aimed to spread love. The warning label on the box cautioned, " May result in peaceful coexistence". The fear that has filled our hearts has lead people to hate one another. We must learn to accept our differences, and not let them divide us; but strengthen and unite us.

While average American Muslims had worked hard to spread peace and love before this election, they might have to work harder to try to maintain whatever positive image they were able to create. Meanwhile, this shouldn’t be seen as an obstacle, it merely reflects the values of what Islam teaches: Kindness and Peace.

Martin Luther King once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." In the spirit of Dr. King’s profound words, I have recently started an initiative, called “From my Muslim Neighbor”. I will be giving out Christmas cards this Holiday season to families in my city. While this is a simple gesture, I hope it will send a powerful message of acceptance and love amongst everyone who receives it.

Sr. Kaity Assaf is a Freshman at Rutgers University,The Founder of Eid in Clifton NJ, and an Intern at CAIR-NJ

 

Why should you go out and vote?

Sr. Kaity's Blog

11/02/16

Voting is accessible, but people are still on the verge of voting or not. Voting is extremely important. Your vote is your voice. It's not only about choosing from the lesser of two evils, but it also could show that American Muslims do play a role in Politics. They are here to be a part of making history in the United States.

When most of us weren't even born yet, activists such as, Susan B. Anthony were fighting to grant women the right to vote. Voting is a privilege that we must not take for granted. The belief that a candidate is chosen from day one and your voice does not count is false. If your voice did not count, President Barack Obama would not have made history by becoming the first African American to become President.  If your voice did not matter, we would not have affordable health care. If your vote did not matter, there would not be Social Security. If your vote did not matter, there would not be worker’s compensation.

Whether you are a Democrat, Republican or an Independent voter, I am not going to try to persuade you to vote for anyone in particular, however, I will say this: A vote for a third party candidate is not a vote for Hillary or Trump. Some activists are claiming that your vote for a third party candidate will go to waste because America always had two major parties. If we continued to believe that change will not occur; nothing will happen. This election might be a turning point for a third party to emerge out into the spot light.

Anything is possible, it just requires hard work, and believing in change. Let us value the efforts leaders before us have made by going out on November 8th, and voting.

Sr. Kaity Assaf is a Freshman at Rutgers University, The Founder of Eid in Clifton Nj, and an Intern at CAIR-NJ


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