Friday morning, I was asked by Alex Collins, a BBC World Service reporter, to come on the “Have Your Say” segment. We were asked to speak about our reactions to Mr. Khzir Khan’s speech at the Democratic National Convention and what we thought.
Personally, I thought it was great for Muslims to receive more exposure on national television, especially in the capacity of a fallen veteran who many in America might otherwise not know exists. This may be especially shocking to those in the GOP who may not know that we, as American Muslims, serve in the military in every capacity. Although Khan’s claim to the 14th Amendment and protecting the rights of travel by Muslims is faulty at best, I agree that it is a futile move that cannot be properly enforced and would do nothing but grow the size of government agencies and money.
On the show, the other interviewees were just as excited as I, but to a fault. I brought up the point that Democrats will claim to be our friends and they’ll say nice things to bring us into that camp, as opposed to the opposite at least when it comes to Donald Trump. But what exactly is the point of it all if Democrats will bomb Muslims half the way across the world anyways?
President Barack Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner of 2009, promised to end the war in Iraq. But within almost two years, President Obama redeployed my old unit, the 82nd Airborne, to Iraq to include combat multipliers such as the Rangers and Special Forces. He has also increased both the numbers of drone strikes and countries where drones are operating. When comparing the numbers, President George W. Bush had launched 51 Drone strikes while President Obama launched 503. Today, the United States is also involved in multiple countries in which President Bush did not involve us, including the failed intervention in Lybia, Syria, and Somalia. President Obama also extended our footprint in Afghanistan to at least 2020.
When looking at the current Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, her past leadership and current platform are extremely hawkish . As Secretary of State under the Obama administration, she helped pursue strong military adventurism. Clinton’s influence ranged from suggesting the arming of Syrian rebels and intervention in Lybia to drone strikes and sending the George Washington into the Yellow Sea.
It would be foolish for American Muslims to embrace Clinton as their presidential candidate. She is far more of a war hawk than even Donald Trump, and would do no favors to our Muslim people in the Middle East if she is to hold the power of war. With the US Constitution already ignored by the two parties, and her willingness to ignore congressional authorization for committing troops overseas, we would only see more bloodshed at her hands.
Donald Trump may not be a natural friend to American Muslims because of his dangerous rhetoric pitting the fears of non-Muslim Americans against American Muslims. But that does not make Hillary Clinton any safer of a vote of confidence.
During the interview, I made the point to include the rise of bullying against American Muslim children from classmates because of Donald Trump’s rhetoric. I do not stand for ignoring bullying, but it builds character. When my family moved here in 2000, we did not foresee the 9/11 attack. But I survived being called Osama Bin Laden’s and Saddam Hussein’s son at the same time. And I learned over time how to build my arguments against the childish statements. If we as Muslims do not recognize the issue of Islamic terrorism and defending moderate Muslims at the same time, how are we to survive by being coddled?
My issue with Donald Trump this week is that he attacked and slandered the Muslim couple and disrespected the service of their son. But this is to be expected since he did not respect John McCain’s service either. Attacking a Gold Star family like that is one of the last things I personally expected a “Republican” to do, and that fact that his supporters are silent about this shows the degree of this cult of personality.