Originally published in The Asbury Park Press
I was born in Pakistan but immigrated to the United States in 1998. The primary reason that I left Pakistan was the persecution that I faced because of my religious beliefs. In fact, an amendment to the Pakistani constitution in 1974 declared my sect, the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, “non-Muslim,” thereby opening the door to state-sponsored persecution.
Now in America, I enjoy complete religious freedom. In contrast to the Pakistani constitution, the American constitution upholds my basic right to practice my faith without any fear of persecution.
What makes this possible? It is due to our brave servicemen and women’s willingness to give up their lives so we can enjoy the freedom granted to us by our Constitution. As a Muslim-American, I am grateful for their willingness to sacrifice their lives to uphold this great American value.
So whatever you plan to do this Memorial Day, please take some time to honor those who gave their lives to defend our freedom.