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We all know about Ben’s Carson’s discriminatory comments about Muslims, including his claim that Islam is inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution and that a Muslim should not be in charge of leading this nation.
I wondered if I had the chance to meet Dr. Carson, what would I tell him? I could tell him about Muslims who served this nation, such as the two Muslims whom I found in the cemetery at the funeral of a friend, who fought for the United States. If Muslims can serve this nation by fighting for it, are they still not fit to lead it?
One person took it upon herself to answer that question for Dr. Carson. When she received an invitation to a fundraiser for the Republican presidential candidate, she decided to use the opportunity to educate Carson about American Muslims.
How best to do so? For ideas, she approached the Executive Director of the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta, Soumaya Khalifa, who sent a book to Dr. Carson that highlights some of the amazing contributions Muslims are making in Georgia, The 100 Influential Georgia Muslims.
Khalifa included a note with the book.
“The note basically said, ‘These are the Muslims you’re talking about. Just notice how accomplished they are and what they contribute to American economy and society,’” Khalifa said.
When asked if she thought The 100 Influential Georgia Muslims could help Dr. Carson change his views, Khalifa said, “We are always hopeful for change.”
Khalifa has not heard back from Ben Carson’s campaign, but that does not stop her from continuing to pour hard work into interfaith education.
In the near future, ISB plans to partner with The Temple and the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding to host an event for people across faith traditions who seek to stop bigotry and hold accountable politicians who perpetuate bigotry.
Khalifa is continuously motivated because, in her words, “As a community we have a lot of work ahead of us on so many levels.”
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