Dear Donald: For the First Time Ever, I Am Scared to Go Home | Aleena Karamally
Don’t you see, Donald, that the threat you pose to all of us, to America as a nation, is so much greater than any physical threat ever could be? Don’t you see that these words condemning me and so many of my friends and family and fellow citizens, when received by people who don’t know any better, who have never tried to understand the values of Islam, or met a Muslim person, are the basis for hatred and stereotypes and misconceptions?
Your calls for a ban of innocent refugees, for the closure of mosques, and, most recently, for the ban of all Muslims from entering the United States were amusing at first, in all honesty. I know that there is no way that any of those policies could ever be implemented. But then I realized that these words do, in fact, have an impact. They shape people’s perceptions of Islam and of Muslims and of me.
They are the reason I am scared to fly to Pakistan to see my parents this winter break and then to come back home; scared that I will be stopped or questioned or judged or worse. By changing the way people view me, you are taking away my sense of security and belonging. You are taking away my home.
This is not some abstract political issue, Donald. This is real and personal. It is close to my heart and makes me, as a proud American and a valuable contributor to my society, feel personally victimized. It makes me sad and hurt and anxious. In the midst of finals week when I, just like every other college student in the country, should be looking forward to seeing the people I love most in the world after six months, it makes me scared.