Be Aware and Act: I Am Muslim

What does it mean to be compassionate when we see others in distress and know that proposed policies are causing that distress? President Elect Trump’s team has proposed a policy that would be similar to the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System implemented by the Bush administration, which essentially applied to Muslim countries. It was phased out in 2011, but not because it violated civil liberties, but rather because it was redundant. In other words, we already had systems that did essentially the same thing. The ACLU has promised to bring a legal challenge if such a policy is reinstituted, but reality is that controlling entry to and exit from the country is within the authority of the President. A Muslim registry is clearly discriminatory and clearly draws into question how seriously we take freedom of religion, but it probably isn’t unconstitutional.

I’ve seen petitions and much outrage on social media about a Muslim registry. Sign the petition and say you will register as a Muslim if this policy is implemented. The question is what can you do now that is more obvious than signing a petition that no one else sees? I suggest that if you are serious about standing with Muslims that you change your religion on Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere else you have it publically listed to Muslim until the election. My sad speculation is that for many people religion is so much a part of their identity that despite the moral stand they hope they would take they won’t be able to make this little change to show solidarity with Muslims.

My challenge, can we get 1,430,000 people to change their religion on social media accounts to Muslim and leave it that way until the inauguration? 1.43 million is currently Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote. As a Catholic, I confess that it is easy for me to say, but it was hard for me to change my religion online as Muslim. Try it and see if you have the moral fortitude to stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters, against discrimination, and for religious freedom.



It was a Great Day for the University of Missouri System

The day isn’t great because the President stepped down or the students won a victory. The day is great for the system because the University of Missouri as a whole supported students who found their moral voice and stood together to say when one of us is intimidated, mistreated, held down, or marginalized we all suffer. They said loudly to the entire system and the nation we stand as one.

We look at a single graduate student and may ask how hard is it to go on a hunger strike? Of course, people that ask such questions do not realize the physical and emotional suffering that comes only days after beginning a hunger strike. Quickly the student body stood in solidarity with him and again people my question what they had to loose. When the football players stood up, they did so knowing the risk to future professional careers and their visibility at this critical point in the season, and no one doubted what they had to loose. When the coaches stood to support them, then the nation was forced to admit their cause was just.

It is a great day for the University of Missouri system because the students exemplified what it means to live in the Show Me state. They showed us all what moral courage looks like and what it means to find one’s moral voice. I’m sorry the President lost his job. I’m proud of the parents, professors, coaches, and curators that helped to make these young men and women morally courageous. Education is about more than what happens in one’s mind; it is also about what happens in his or her soul. Today the students are men and women forged in courage and moral integrity and have proven they are leaders ready to make the world a better place.



Leaders are called to stand
In that lonely place
Between the no longer and the not yet
And intentionally make decisions
That will bind, forge, move,
And create history.

We are not called to be popular,
We are not called to be safe,
We are not called to follow.
We are the ones called to take risks,
We are the ones called to change attitudes,
To risk displeasure,
We are the ones called to gamble our lives
For a better world.
–Mary Lou Anderson