Originally Published in The Cleveland Plain Dealer on January 7th, 2018
Even though I am passionately against many of the policies of which President Trump is a proponent, I pray every day that Trump succeeds as our president. This practice is part of the character of many religious people in America who want the best for their country and understand that the president is integral to the success of our great nation.
Of course, many Americans who are not religious also share this belief, but we as Americans should be proud of how these religious people put their country above politics — even in their prayers. These Americans are not just Christian or Jewish, among other traditions. They may also be Muslim, like me. However, the tragedy is that Trump has created more division in our country than we have seen in living memory.
Trump will have to leave office after a maximum of two terms. Yet the prejudice he has unleashed against Muslims in our country may outlast his presidency.
As an Ahmadi Muslim, when Trump retweeted tweets from a far-right Islamophobe in England on Nov. 29, I was reminded of what took place in Pakistan. In 2008, a talk show host in Pakistan named Aamir Liaquat brought an Islamic extremist onto his show who told viewers that Ahmadi Muslims are worthy of being killed. Within just two days, two Ahmadi Muslims were murdered in Pakistan.
What Trump is doing is not the same as what Mr. Liaquat did. However, Trump has far more power and respect than Liaquat had in Pakistan. Trump should be careful about what he tweets, and every single one of his followers should admit that he can exercise terrible judgment.
If Trump wants to end terrorism committed in the name of Islam, instead of going to Twitter, he should take a stronger stance on Saudi Arabia and acknowledge how Wahhabi ideology — which stems from Saudi Arabia — has led to radicalization. If he wanted to end terrorism, he would work with Muslims such as the Ahmadiyya Community instead of against us.
Recently, journalists exposed Islamic extremists in Springfield, Virginia, who are against Ahmadiyyat, as well as the United States, but this story has received little media exposure. Trump can monitor these extremists and even condemn them on Twitter.
Regardless of the repercussions of Trump’s Twitter mishandling, whether it is violence against Muslims or hopefully nothing at all, I will never say Trump is not my president, (when he is) nor will I ever stop praying for his success as our president. I have asked my friends who oppose Trump to do the same. But praying for him is becoming more difficult every day.