From Ben Carson pontificating that he will never vote for a Muslim in office to Donald Trump nodding his head away in response to a bigot suggesting the extermination of all American Muslims -– Muslim bashing seems to be the top political trend this fall.
Not only are these kinds of sentiments coming from people that want to potentially lead this nation, but saying hateful things actually seems to be creating a bump in the polls and lots of media attention for anyone bold enough to discount Muslim voters.
Well one Muslim girl decided not be silent of the growing Islamophobic sentiment in the country and bravely asked Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders a question during his talk at George Mason University. Passion and truth echoed in her voice as Remaz went on to say the following:
As an American Muslim student who aspires to change the world…hearing the rhetoric that’s going on in the media makes me sick, because I as an individual, I’m constantly trying to raise awareness and making sure that everyone is treated equally in this country. So, to the next President of the United States, what do you think about that?
Remaz acted as a trailblazer and didn’t just go for the traditional questions lobbed at presidential candidates. She could have very easily asked about policies on student loan forgiveness, or marriage equality, the pay gap — all things that candidate Bernie Sanders would certainly have been ready to answer. Instead she went for the jugular and asked the big Islamophobia that all, if not most of us, are asking. What is the president willing to do for us?
At a time when Muslims are being neglected and treated as others in their own country, we heard a refreshing young voice advocating for our rights. She brought to attention that the rights of Muslims, too, need to be included in the conversation of bringing change to America. After all, religious affiliation has nothing to do with nationality or patriotism.
Sanders gave an emotional, yet vague reply about the great need in this country to erase racism and hate crimes that stem from Islamophobia, along with a heartfelt hug for Remaz. He then noted the amount of pride he felt seeing so many young people that cared about the Democratic process.
That’s all fine and dandy but Sanders’ politically correct response to Remaz’s question shows us something incredibly important. Politicians and leaders won’t always have the solutions. They might contain part of a plan but an entire endeavor’s success will not rest easy on one person’s shoulders.
John F. Kennedy told us not to ask what our country could do for us but what we could do for our country.
Remaz has shown us something we can do for our country. Her question not only shined a light on an issue often overlooked on the political stage but it also served as a peaceful means of reaching across the aisle. We can all take that first step towards someone who may have different opinions than ours. We can question those in power. We can be brave. We can hand out hugs. We can be hopeful. We can invest in the future of the U.S. no matter our station in life. At the end of the day we’re all human and we’re all striving for the same thing: a country that doesn’t suck.
Written by Sabena Chaudhry
Image via US Uncut