President Donald Trump’s order to restrict travel and refugees from seven Muslim countries has received a negative reaction, mainly from Democrats, anti-racism groups and, of course, from most Muslims.
Opponents deem Trump’s actions and statements against Muslims as hateful rhetoric and unconstitutional, as well as contradictory with principles of the Founding Fathers.
From my view, if we carefully read his statements, he didn’t attack or assault Islam as a religion but took a stand on the Islamic radicals.
This position is not only justifiable but also inevitable, especially with our nation in particular and the globe in general facing a massive security challenge after 9/11 terror attacks and ongoing attacks from ISIS, the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world.
As Americans, what responsibilities and duties do we owe country?
One of the chief responsibilities the Muslim Americans must take is to strengthen the spirit of engagement with America’s issues through integration and positivity. Loyalty to our nation is vital to fortify our country from enemies willing to interfere with America’s sovereignty or violate the law.
During the Cold War, for example, the Russian community in the United States stood beside the nation against the former Soviet Union; they preferred patriotic loyalty to the ethnic/race loyalty.
Moreover, American Muslims — particularly religious scholars, community leaders and stakeholders — must promote coexistence and peace among their communities, as well as take a firm position against the hatred speech and antipathy culture. They must fight terrorist ideologies and extremism teachings and jurisprudence. Also, the Muslim clergymen must fully cooperate with local law-enforcement authorities by reporting all groups, centers, mosques or associations that sponsor or back up hateful rhetoric.
I am aware that governmental security agencies are legally responsible for chasing terrorists and tracking their ties. However, the Muslims in the United States should play a vital role by reporting suspicious acts and suspected terrorism.
American Muslims can participate in Neighborhood Watch activities and report the social media sites of bigots to law enforcement in a timely manner.
I believe in the motto: United we stand, divided we fall. Do you?
Ahmed Al-Jumaili, of Lexington, is an Iraqi lawyer pursuing graduate studies in international affairs, counterterrorism.