Opinion: In defense of Ahmed

Lucas Misera

In light of the recent wrongful arrest of Ahmed Mohamed — an affront towards Islam — presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson recently made comments implying that Muslims should be of concern for the United States.  

At a rally, Trump controversially failed to correct a supporter who wrongly stated that President Obama is a Muslim, prefacing a question that branded Muslims as a “problem” in the United States. Trump would eventually clarify that he only sees radical Islam as an issue, not the religion as a whole.

Carson on the other hand, stated a Muslim should never be considered a candidate for the presidency. He went on to say that Muslims are suitable for Congress — just not the presidency.

Such rhetoric stemming from two leading candidates in the Republican Party is concerning. It’s strange how quickly time can change the political landscape.

Nearly half a century ago, John F. Kennedy was considered too Catholic for the White House. Now, it seems as if much of America could overlook strong Christian ties.

This is precisely why religion and politics become a grey area. If a Muslim is running on a platform consistent with many American’s values, why not vote for him or her? Should a difference in the god we worship actually shape our political landscape? It appears as if major leaders believe so.

The irony is we critique the Middle East for its theocratic governments, yet we seem to be concerned with the religious affiliation of U.S. politicians.

As of 2010, there were nearly 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, a number projected to rise rather quickly in the future. Unfortunately, America only sees the small fraction that can be considered “radical,” taking to more extremist views in order to defend Islam.

Ahmed was a victim of such discrimination, experiencing the treatment of a dangerous criminal instead of a creative, innovative student.

We need to collectively understand Islam better in order to better understand its followers. We need to realize that, despite violent outbursts by its most radical followers, Islam is a religion built upon an extremely peaceful foundation.

In order to better understand the religion, research The Five Pillars of Islam. To many Muslims, Islam is about passion, charity and a devoted lifestyle. Many Americans choose to see only the jihadists, ignoring a vast community of peaceful individuals.

As of 2010, there were approximately three million Muslims in the United States, a number that has presumably grown since then. The harsh rhetoric from Trump and Carson unfairly targeted many productive citizens across the country. To support such ignorance is unjustifiable.

Ahmed, more Americans stand with you and the Muslim community than you could ever imagine. Ben Carson argued the Islamic community is “inconsistent with the values and principles of America,” but such close-mindedness is inconsistent with the world’s melting pot, the United States of America.

Keep building Ahmed.

Contact Lucas Misera at [email protected].