We are Americans too

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Originally published in The Sacramento Bee

The merciless murders of three Americans at Chapel Hill, N.C., are troubling. Wait, three Americans? Yes, they were Americans, born and raised, who happened to be Muslim.

Whether this brutality was a villainous hate crime, a response to a petty parking dispute or both remains undetermined, but it has sparked a necessary discussion on the intensifying anti-Muslim sentiment in our country. From the Rev. Franklin Graham to average citizens after watching “American Sniper,” more and more seem to view Muslims as barbarians or anti-American.

I, a Muslim and an American, extend my heartfelt condolences to the victims’ families. But here’s the deal: Many Muslims are in the United States for a reason – for the freedom it offers, for the equal opportunity it promises, for the democracy, diversity and unity. Some of us were born here and some of us are immigrants, but we love this country.

We are Americans, just like you.

About the author

Sajeel Malik

Sajeel Malik is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Cognitive Science with a specialization in Neuroscience. He is currently the West Coast Regional Representative for the Muslim Writers Guild of America and has published in a variety of local and national newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, and the Houston Chronicle. Originally a native of Houston, Texas, he is a basketball fanatic, and he ultimately hopes to become a practicing physician.

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By Sajeel Malik