Muslim fourth-grader’s letter to Donald Trump begs him to be accepting of her faith
While the country reels from the stunning outcome of last night’s election, we have a lot of thinking to do. There’s reason now for so many citizens of our country to be deeply afraid, and that means even the littlest Americans are going to feel it. A few days ago, a Muslim fourth-grade student wrote a letter to Donald Trump expressing her concerns over his views on her religion.
Now that he’s president, (vomit) we can only hope he’s listening.
Nine-year-old Sakeena Ahmed of Oak Brook, Illinois is experiencing the results of Islamophobia at a very young age because of Donald Trump and his deplorable campaign promise of banning Muslims from entering our country. She was rightly concerned about our future if he is elected (this was written before the results came in) and outlines her worries in a heartbreaking letter.
According to The Huffington Post, Ahmed’s mother, Aamina, shared her daughter’s letter on Facebook and Twitter explaining thatthe little girl had been worrying over Trump’s feelings about her family and the Muslim faith. She posted the letter saying, “She was very upset at how he was making people feel about Muslims, asking me “why does he say Muslims are like this? Why doesn’t he find out more?” So I suggested that maybe she write a letter to him. Her eyes got wide and she asked if she really could write a letter to him. So I said, “Why not?
Sakeena writes, “Being Muslim is a little difficult. Imagine if everybody hated your religion.” Ahmed then explains the discrimination she’s already witnessing and experiencing. “My mom wears a scarf around her head. I go to the store and people just look at me.”
She describes how her cousin, also nine, doesn’t wear shorts for soccer due to the family’s beliefs. Her teammates questioned her and she explained it was part of her religion to cover herself. She later overheard those girls saying, “She’s just not our kind.”
This brilliant child asks Trump, “I mean, like, aren’t we all human? If that was you, wouldn’t that hurt your feelings? You said you want to make American great again. Can you show me?”
Yes, please show us. This is all we have left now. Faith in this horrible man. That maybe he isn’t as horrible as we thought.
Ahmed asks, “Don’t we all have the same plan? We all just want to live in peace and not war.” She then asks Trump to write her back. “You are saying we are mean and cruel, but we are not! We are nice and giving! You are saying we are terrorists. We definitely don’t do anything that you say we do.” She tells Trump her dad is a doctor and cites that as proof that they’re good people. “We are not bad. We want peace just like you! We cover our bodies because our god told us to.”
With Islamophobic hate speech being a huge part of Trump’s campaign platform, this child’s fears are more valid now than ever. There are children terrified their parents are going to be deported. That their families are going to experience even more hate and discrimination than before. And that should be shameful to all of us.
Sakeena’s mother tells The Huffington Post she’s tried to ease her daughter’s worries by telling her they’re American citizens and as such, have rights that can’t be taken away. “Additionally, that there are so many American citizens who believe in those rights and will fight to protect them and the greatness of this country. Although I personally have my own issues and fears about this, it was the only way I was able to make them feel better and not fear the outcomes of this election.”
Are there? Waking up this morning to an electorate that voted for and endorsed open racism, bigotry and hatred it will now be even harder for families like Sakeena’s to believe there are enough Americans willing to stand up and defend her. It’s a sickening thought. And we can’t imagine how families like the Ahmed’s are feeling this morning. This is a dark day for our country.
Sadly, he’s our president. There’s no going back. All we can do is hope like hell that he will hear these voices. That maybe he isn’t as horrible as he spent an entire election convincing us he was. We have to believe things will be OK. Because the alternative is too bleak to contemplate.
Ahmed closes her letter pleading with Trump, “My only wish for you is to be good. And I hope this letter does make you good.”
We hope so too. That hope is all we have right now.