Originally published in Moscow-Pullman Daily News
My family has been in the U.S. for almost three decades now. We have celebrated the July Fourth holiday every year; however, this year is special. My younger brother took his citizenship oath a couple of weeks ago – making him the last person in my family to become a U.S. citizen. This year more than others I am grateful to be a citizen of this great nation.
I have seen many Ahmadi Muslims like myself migrate to the U.S. to escape persecution they face in their countries of birth. They have been denied their rights by their governments. Therefore, as an Ahmadi Muslim and as an American who enjoys the right to free speech and the right to practice his religion, I want to say that Muslims love this country because Prophet Muhammad has taught us that love for one’s country is part of one’s faith.
While our differences can definitely be divisive, I think the best thing is to look at how the people living in this already great nation are similar to each other. At night when the fireworks begin, we will all look at the sky the same way, excited about the lights – we will all be in awe of the show the same way. When the fireworks are done and we go home, we will all be tired but safe in the same way.
I pray to God that you have a happy and safe holiday. May God bless America and may God bless our troops.