OPINION: Muslim Families Belong Together, Too

As people gather for marches to protest the separation of immigrant families at the border, we should remember that our brothers and sisters from the south are not the only ones suffering at the hands of this administration.

As thousands of immigrant children wait to be reunited with their parents, people across the country are mobilizing to show their support and to demand that these children return to their families.

This is fantastic. The amount of support that people have shown towards immigrants in the last two weeks has been heartwarming, encouraging, and inspiring.

But we can’t allow ourselves to develop tunnel vision.

As horrific and inhumane as the administration’s treatment towards Hispanic immigrants attempting to cross the border has been, it has inflicted equal pain and suffering on the people of the Middle East by outright banning their entry into this country.

This week the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) upheld the president’s infamous “Muslim Ban,” which prohibits entry to anyone from Yemen, Syria, Iran, Libya, and Somalia — all countries which the U.S. has either directly or indirectly destabilized over the years.

Muslim families may not be held in detention centers or tent cities, but they are being separated just the same — Muslim parents are being separated from their children by an ocean and an executive order.

When ProPublica released the audio tapes of immigrant children crying out for their parents, it resonated with people and moved them because it reminded them that these children are human, that they are just like our own children.

It reminded us of our own humanity, which we were on the brink of sacrificing.

There are no tapes of Muslim children crying in the equivalent of dog cages for their parents, but there are endless videos of Syrian children sobbing in the ruins of their bombed out homes and neighborhoods, looking desperately for a parent who is most likely dead.

There is endless documentation of Yemeni children starving to death as the U.S.-backed coalition drops bombs like bread crumbs.

There are inexhaustible stories of suffering, of bravery, of sacrifice on the part of the survivors, who were lucky enough to escape with their lives but who then face racism, rejection, and even violence in the very places they’ve sought refuge.

A truly moral people do not pick and choose who to save, who to support — they simply recognize that it is simply their responsibility for no other reason than they owe it to their fellow human being.

Families belong together, whether they are black, white, religious, non-religious, abled or disabled, multi-lingual or mono-lingual.

All families belong together.

 

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