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.