Failure to take action after Jan. 6 would be an existential threat to America

Rioters break into the Capitol in Washington, on Jan. 6, 2021.


The hearings held by the House Select Committee on Jan. 6th have laid bare to the world just how close the insurrectionists came to disrupting the peaceful transfer of presidential power in our country. The hearings have also highlighted how dangerous Donald Trump and his “Make America Great Again” ideology are to America’s continued survival as a democratic republic.

Trump kicked off his presidential campaign labeling the vast majority of Mexican immigrants as criminals, drug dealers and rapists. His statements and actions from that day on have not only encouraged white supremacists, but also emboldened ordinary, everyday racists to proudly express their bigotry by stigmatizing and marginalizing immigrants and people of color under the guise of patriotism.

Thus, the Jan. 6 committee’s work is especially important as it is literally an indictment of what the MAGA movement stands for: an ideology that favors authoritarianism over democracy and racism over the guarantees of equal protection for all under our Constitution.

From an American Muslim perspective, in order to understand what Trump’s MAGA movement represents to us, one has to first appreciate the make-up of our community. According to a Pew Research study, the American Muslim community is almost 58% first generation (those who immigrated to the U.S.); 18% are second-generation (born here in the U.S.); and 24% are U.S. natives (those whose families have been here for multiple generations.)

First-generation American Muslims who fled tyranny, lack of freedom or lack of equal opportunity in their ancestral homes — whether it be Pakistan, India, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, or Iran — do not take democracy for granted. They know first-hand how fragile democracy really is and how quickly it can be lost if not properly preserved.

These Muslims watched in horror as then candidate-Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” based on his irrational fear that “Islam hates us.” Following these shockingly Islamophobic comments, upon being elected president, he instituted an arbitrary ban on all travelers from Muslim-majority countries, without exception for even the most desperate refugees trying to escape imminent death.  

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Second-generation American Muslims and their young kids see Trump’s MAGA movement as a direct threat to the full rights and protections guaranteed to them under the Constitution. During his presidential run, Trump seemed open to the shameful idea of creating a database of all Muslims in the U.S. Trump even rewarded Ben Carson with a cabinet position despite Carson’s highly offensive comments that he did not think a Muslim was fit to become president.

For the rest of the American Muslim community, comprising mostly Black …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times


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