Madison New York

Anti-Muslim discrimination and refugees

While Americans, under the first amendment, are protected to freely express and practice their religion, hundreds of countries are not protected by their government. Instead these citizens are harassed for their beliefs. Now, the United States of America is mimicking those characteristics as Muslim Americans are being harassed daily due to conflict in the Middle East.

Dear future President of the United States,

           This past election was definitely something. Words exchanged and emotions showed played a large part in citizens choosing which candidate they wanted to represent them, but now it's all about your actions. No more promising or predicting just doing. Of course many issues are prominent and deserve attention and resolution. The topics I'd like to focus on in particular are Anti-Muslim discrimination as well as the refugee crisis in the Middle East.

          As stated in a article on, “Equality and religious freedom are our bedrock values. They enshrined our constitution-” there should not be any arguments or disagreements on religious freedom in this country. America was raised on the foundation of different religions and ethnicities yet daily Muslim Americans are being harassed and shunned from society. Islamophobia is an ignorant response to the uncontrollable acts of terrorism that have been centralized in the Middle East. The term “ Islamic terrorists” is not accurate nor should it ever be used as a technical term.

        The religion of Islam is quite a peaceful religion with values similar to those found in Christianity. A similarity in both religions is that killing is considered a sin. If a terrorist identifies him or herself as an Islamic extremist it is incorrect due to their acts of terror resulting in breaking the code of conduct for Islams. Can terrorists be spiritual or religious? Yes, I would think so, however one cannot directly associate their acts of terror with a religion. I hope that as president you will eliminate the stigma that associates Muslim with extremists. Innocent until proven guilty, is that not the motto expressed during trial? Why are Muslims any different?

        Thousands of Muslims wish to seek refuge here in the U.S. from their horrid lives in the Middle East, however they are being rejected and turned away due to actions and crimes that they individually and personally did not commit. I do understand concerns related to allowing refugees in because there is that possibility of correlation between refugees and extremists. That is why I would propose a rigid screening test and monitored living arrangements.

        Mr. or Mrs. President, I urge you to not only think about the lives of the citizens of the United States, but also those of refugees who can be saved with America's acceptance. It is easy to see the burdens of accepting refugees but what isn’t easy to see is their perspective. American citizens are not living in a war zone worrying about when the airstrike will come. Non-Muslim American citizens are not concerned with whether or not they should leave their house or worry what will happen if they do. It is easy to make judgments and decisions based on what we see and not what we experience.


Madison, Grade 11