Article Op-Ed

Bernie, Will You Have Our Back?

Bernie, Will You Have Our Back?

Author Nusaiba Mubarak by

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I don't know about you, but when I watched Bernie Sanders invite a young Muslim woman to join him on stage during a campaign event this week, I was surprised, delighted, and teary-eyed.

The incident occurred at a town hall for students in Washington, DC. When Remaz Abdelgader rose to speak, Sanders not only allowed the young hijabi to voice her concerns--he signaled for her to come on stage, where he applauded and hugged her. Sanders showed his support for Muslims before as well. When Ahmad Muhammad was arrested for building a clock, Bernie Sanders tweeted his support for Ahmad.

What Bernie Sanders did should not have been exceptional. But in a time when other presidential candidates are suggesting that Muslims are not fit to lead this nation, the senator’s act was extraordinary. In a time when Muslims feel increasingly marginalized, Bernie’s small gesture spoke volumes. His message to young Muslims: your pain matters, your voice will be heard, and you, too, can one day become President.

That's why I plan to approach Senator Bernie Sanders' campaign. I want to tell him that if he truly represents Muslims and listens to our concerns, even after he becomes President, then he will have our vote. We don't mean the kind of photo-op representation that we have with our current President, who invites us to White House iftars and then uses entrapment and surveillance tactics on our communities and drops drones in Muslim countries.

We liked your response to Abdelgader's question, but we want to know specifically how you plan to end the unjust racism that Muslims, and even Sikhs, of various backgrounds experience daily.

We want real representation. Black and immigrant Muslims want to feel safe around law enforcement. We want to know that our families back home will not have to fear the sound of American drones. We want to know that our lives matter today and tomorrow, after we have put Sanders in the Oval Office.

If Muslims can have that kind of representation, then Bernie Sanders will have our votes and our donations. If we, as young and aspiring Muslims, know that Bernie has our back, then we will volunteer in Bernie campaigns on college campuses across the country.

Before we do so, our question is this: Bernie, will you have our back?

If you want Bernie's campaign to listen to us, share this post and let us be heard. We are waiting to hear from you, Senator Sanders. #WillYouHaveOurBack


A Muslim Woman and Panther for Bernie

Nusaiba Mubarak is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Sociology at Georgia State University. She is an activist in her community and promotes dialogue to clear misconceptions about Islam. Nusaiba is involved in organizing and participating in projects to raise awareness on topics such as Muslims in America, Muslim contributions to society, and Muslim women. Nusaiba was born and raised in Panama City, FL and moved to Atlanta, GA in 2012, where she currently lives with her husband and cat.

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