We are living in dark times politically. We have a President who fans the flames of discrimination that harken back to the darkest days of American history. His rhetoric, specifically his vile invective regarding the Muslim community, has emboldened racists and bigots to come out of the shadows and promulgate hate.
If there is one silver lining I have found from all this, it is that the strength and health of interfaith dialogue in the Atlanta community has been made stronger as a result. For years, I have led efforts at my synagogue to sponsor refugee families from Syria and Iraq.
Donald Trump's attacks on Muslim refugees seem to have inspired more and more people from all faith backgrounds to get involved and help these hardworking families get a new start in America.
As a candidate for Congress in Georgia's Sixth District, I have had the pleasure and privilege of making deep and lasting friendships with many members of the local Muslim community: getting the chance to visit the Roswell Community Masjid for Friday prayers, speaking at the annual IPAC Unity conference, and attending an ACLU panel discussion on the implications of President Trump's xenophobic Muslim travel ban.
At these events I have been awed by not only the resiliency of the Muslim community in the face of these attacks on their way of life but at how people of all faith backgrounds have come to together to speak up for what is right: a better, more just America for everyone.
There are so many reasons to be cynical as we see story after story in the news about a President who does not represent our values as Americans. But I have found that from this hate, our communities have been strengthened. While our President may seek to divide us along racial and religious lines, his actions have in fact helped to tear down those walls and encourage good people of all backgrounds to work together.
Kevin Abel is a candidate for the Democratic nomination in Georgia's Sixth Congressional District. He is in a run-off election on July 24th.
-- Kevin Abel 770-883-2660 www.kevinabelforcongress.com
Twenty-five years of family, business, & community in the 6th