The 2016 election left me feeling hopeless. My Muslim community was highly vulnerable. Having spent over a decade of building interfaith relationships, I felt deflated that my fellow Americans did not care about such a dangerous outcome for my Muslim community. I posted angry messages on social media and told my interfaith allies that they should not have let this happen. I felt the Muslim community was on its own now. Sure enough, the Muslim Ban was enacted shortly thereafter.
But I could not have predicted what happened next. As soon as the Muslim Ban went into effect, people flooded the airports, sent in legal support, showered arriving Muslims with welcoming cheers and flowers, filed lawsuits in our court system, and got an immediate injunction that temporarily halted the ban. Make no mistake – the Muslim Ban is still fully in effect and was even upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States. But the immediate impact was profound. It made clear that, even after an election, our democracy was still fully at work, and none of us were alone. We are a nation of people who will, even against all odds, use every tool available to us within our democracy to make sure our nation upholds justice for all.
The above excerpt was originally published in eJewish Philanthropy.
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