Alternatives to Muslim database need to be explored


Originally published in The Cleveland Plain Dealer 

Some reports from Trump and his surrogates point to a database that will include Muslims, even those who are U.S. citizens. If Trump decides to create such a database, he risks not only alienating Muslims in general but also innocent Americans who have no connection to extremism and are actually fighting the extremists elements.

Developing this database will mean very difficult questions will have to be answered. The first of which is what this database will actually do.

If people on this database will undergo more scrutiny by security agencies then obviously extremists will do everything they can in order to not be in this database. Recently, a Somali refugee who appears to have been a moderate Muslim went on a rampage. However, in the past, even American born white men with “American” sounding names have become “Islamic” extremists.

Anyone can be inflicted with the disease. It may very well be that President-elect Trump has good intentions, but there is no empirical support that such a database would be effective. However, there are many other ways we can tackle this “un-Islamic” extremism.

Muslims should themselves take the initiative of opening their mosques to the community at large and especially law enforcement. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has already taken the lead in this regard. His Holiness, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the spiritual leader of this community, has stated, “The sermons in all the mosques should be monitored. The government has the right to hold that information.”

This community’s mosques have always been opened to the general public and no Ahmadi Muslim has ever been indicted let alone convicted for terrorism.

We also need to pick sides. We need to recognize that what ISIL and other extremist groups do is not Islamic. When we say they are motivated by the Qur’an or the Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, instead of simply being a fringe group, they become a representation of a group of 1.6 billion people. Everyone and anyone who reads this article can prevent this from happening by signing their name on The True Islamic campaign which has been endorsed by members of Congress Mike Honda and Zoe Lofgren among many others sends a powerful message to extremists that they alone are responsible for their actions and not the entire Muslim community which includes millions who they have brutally killed.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community regards disloyalty to our country as a great transgression. We would gladly die to protect America, our beloved country, the synagogues and the churches that dot our country’s soil. In fact, the Qur’an commands us to.

So it also makes sense that we will not sit passively while Trump considers enacting legislation that will be against the fundamental principles of our great nation. Instead, we will call for effective solutions to be implemented.

In the past few weeks, President-elect Trump decided to call Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan. It behooves Trump to take note of the growing trend of extremism in this country, which is promoted by blasphemy laws that result in the death of innocents.

It also behooves Trump to instead work with Muslims in America and kill the cancer that extremism is, once and for all.

About the author

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Zohaib Zafar

Zohaib Zafar is currently a third year student at Davidson College in North Carolina. He is from the Cleveland area and is majoring in Economics and minoring in Arab Studies.

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