With the general public becoming increasingly polarized towards President Trump, not only resulting from his ultimate victory in the elections, but even more so now with his executive orders regarding temporary bans on entry into the U.S. for certain groups of people, I feel it is important for the Muslims living in this country to shed some light on the Islamic way to deal with this situation.
First and foremost, I think the most important thing that every Muslim must keep in mind is that he or she is obligated by his or her religion to abstain completely from any and all forms of protest, even if it be peaceful in nature. This includes participating in gatherings where government policy is challenged and verbally attacked and openly inciting opposition to government policy, which includes executive orders. Both the Qur’an and Hadith categorically forbid that a Muslim living in a certain country participates in any activities that spread opposition to the leader(s) of the nation, and both enjoin that even when a leader deals unjustly with its subjects, Muslims are not permitted even to disobey the rulings of government, except in cases where they involve engaging in things that have been forbidden by God.
As a Muslim, I must say that it was quite disappointing to scenes like those at O’Hare International Airport, where there is open protesting and general disorder to the point that those who were themselves held for questioning upon arriving for entry into the country were not able to find their families amidst the sea of people, and ended up having to call a cab to take them home while their families remained waiting for them. Was this the purpose of such protests?
President Trump may not be the most popular candidate to have taken office according to a large portion of the public, but is it worth it to take to the streets and start creating disorder in the very country in which we reside? We have all witnessed the sensitive climate in recent months surrounding the elections and how much conflict has been bubbling up to the surface where by people are injured, attacked, abused, and overall communities are separated from one another. On one hand we all want to live in a civilized and peaceful nation that is tolerant and united in a world increasingly on the brink of serious conflict, yet when a leader is elected, we are ready to break out in anger and opposition to him with little measure of patience or level headedness. Although President Trump’s order may seem harsh and unnecessary, and I do not say that I agree with everything that he said prior to his taking office or that I condone his choice of words in many situations, however as a citizen of this country, how can we start crying out against decisions he has made and measures he has taken in order to try and protect the nation from potential threats from groups like ISIL that have made clear and open threats against the U.S. and have wreaked havoc wherever they have gone?
Many people refer to the ban as a ‘Muslim ban’, while the President has clearly stated otherwise. Unfortunately however, the reality of the situation is that such terrorist and extremist groups are spreading their distorted ideology under the banner of Islam. If the people of the U.S. desire to maintain the liberty and freedom that they claim they are fighting for on behalf of the refugees and immigrants coming from the countries under the ban, then I would urge that it be done in the way of researching and learning the truth regarding Islam and its teachings. It should not be a surprise that the best way to undermine and uproot such terrorist organizations is to reveal the baselessness and absurdity of the ideology upon which they stand. This is precisely what the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam has been doing from its inception in 1889. The current leader of this worldwide organization, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, has been traveling the world and meeting with government and state leaders in order to rectify the image and name of Islam that has been hijacked by extremist organizations. These organizations not only cause destruction in the lands in which they are active, but cause the uninformed general public to begin to fear and hate a religion that is as characterized by tolerance and the spreading of peace as much as it is by beauty and wisdom.
I would once again urge the American public to maintain a sense of order and respect towards the government administration in place, and to maintain their sense of unity, patience and tolerance not only to the foreigner but also to their leader. Those who were not in favor of Trump becoming President should overlook whatever feelings of dismay they may have had and give him the benefit of the doubt. They should help him to better lead the nation if they feel he is going in the wrong direction, in a civilized and orderly manner, through the means provided for by the government. Every Muslim should know that they must be obedient to those in authority over them, and should shun all forms of protest, even though it may be his or her right. To create polarization and to marginalize is the first step towards turning a nation that was once looked at as a beacon of hope and peace for the oppressed across the globe, to one that is feared and turned away from.