From Huffington Post
President, Islamic Society of North America
As an imam and as the president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), I know all too well the many challenges that American Muslims experience on a daily basis. We struggle for inclusion, for acceptance, and many times, just to feel comfortable and safe going to the mosque to pray. The shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and the fire at an Islamic center in Missouri last week have been harsh reminders of the challenges many minority communities face.
However, these challenges pale in comparison to the challenges faced by minority communities in other countries, where religious freedom is far less supported by the government and far less cherished as a societal value. The beautiful thing about America is that in the midst of our struggles, we have found great support and friendship from other religious communities, who believe strongly that an attack on one religion is an attack on all religions. When someone vandalized my own Islamic center in Virginia a few years ago, I was comforted and heartened by the immediate outpouring of support from the nearby Trinity Presbyterian Church. And when my community members in Reston, Va., needed a space to pray closer to home, the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation opened its doors to us. At a national level, 28 religious organizations showed their solidarity, including financially, by joining an interfaith campaign entitled, Shoulder-to-Shoulder: Standing with American Muslims; Upholding American Values.
Each time anti-Muslim sentiment rises up in our communities and on the airwaves, prominent religious leaders rally together to voice their solidarity with American Muslims and their commitment to an America where loving one’s neighbor is the value we are known for around the world.