"What is going to happen to me?"
This is the message I awoke to this morning as Islamic societies find American Muslim students frightened about their future when they go home.
It is questions like this that make us all uncertain about the future ahead, in the wake of Trump's increasing policies of exclusion, marginalisation and divisiveness. On Friday 27th January, President Trump signed an executive order temporarily banning refugees and citizens travelling to the states from seven Muslim majority countries to stop 'radical Islamic terrorists'. This ban is a blunt instrument and does not safeguard anyone. Refugees are searching for shelter instead the Trump administration assumes they seek to bring violence.
The world remains shocked that the President of the most powerful country of the world, built upon values of liberal democracy is attacking the weak and vulnerable. The news has been filled with stories of Trump as he continues to carry out his pledges for a greater America. Sadly, all we have seen are greater attacks to human dignity, further oppression of refugees and marginalised communities.
In such times of uncertainty we have to ask ourselves, what is our responsibility and what should we be doing?
The policies of Trump are a concern for everyone. They seek to harm and destroy what makes up the very fabric of society. Edmund Burke eloquently expressed: " All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." History is full of too many examples of the consequences of inaction.
The increased politics of hate and islamophobia can only act as a driving force for us to unite with all, to defend the rights of all marginalised and minorities and to maintain the values of what makes us human. It has therefore been a testament of our communities strength, that as Trump continues, a tremendous force of good from all backgrounds, faiths and sides of societies; those voices are speaking up and saying we cannot allow this divisive legislation to continue. The level of solidarity that has come forth inspires me and the many campaigns now happening, the protests and rallies as well as those comforting messages being shared by friends, colleagues and even strangers that we are not alone in this struggle.
The recent attack in Canada; six people were killed and another 18 wounded after several gunmen opened fire at a mosque in Québec City, in an act condemned as a "terrorist attack" by Canada's prime minister. The response from the people and political representatives has been one of love and compassion, an example for all of our communities to follow.
As FOSIS (Federation of Student Islamic Societies) we are clear in our message for all that have been affected, we are here with you. We stand firm with our friends, the Muslim Student Association of America (MSA) in carrying on their work to ensure Muslim students can carry on building a future in their country. We call for our own political leadership and representatives to stand up against this ban.
Islamic societies across the country will also be standing up against this hatred, working with Universities to support for fellow american students on campus. The month of February marks the beginning of our Believe and Do Good campaign, alongside hundreds of events for Discover Islam Week, in which islamic societies will be supporting community projects such as feeding the homeless, donating blood as well as opening prayer spaces for all to visit and events to understand more about Islam, President Trump is welcomed to attend and learn.
FOSIS we call upon all Muslim students to carry on being the drivers of change and a source of good for our communities. Let us carry on building relationships and not allowing creeping hate to enter our world.
To check out the FOSIS Believe & Do Good campaign: http://www.believeanddogood.com/