A Call for Unity: A Muslim American Perspective on Current Events

By Suleman Malik, 3L, Cardozo School of Law

As you know, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently called for a ban on Muslims from entering the United States.  As a Muslim immigrant, I’m deeply concerned about Islam’s perception in America.  And as an American, I’m disappointed by how many people have supported such a policy so contrary to our values.

Yet, I remain hopeful.  I believe we can continue to strengthen America.  But, we can only do so together. 

First, the Muslim community itself needs to accept responsibility and denounce terrorist attacks committed in the name of Islam, via outreach or an organized introduction of programs.  There needs to be a unified approach to not only combatting terrorism but also “Islamophobia.” 

Second, at the same time, we all need to understand this simple truth: Islam does not equal terrorism.  In fact, terrorists that commit these heinous acts are not members of the Islamic faith.  Instead, terrorists signify and embody an agenda that is contradictory to the core principles of Islam.

Third, we need to continue this dialogue – at our workplaces, inside our classrooms, and even at home.  It is through civic discussion that we can brainstorm, enact, and enforce comprehensive solutions or legislation.  Otherwise, if we fall victim to Mr. Trump’s ideology, then we too may endanger our national security.

Recently, I was pleased to be part of a focus group of Muslims Americans on CBS.  We discussed a number of issues in light of Donald Trump’s comments and the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.  I’m grateful I had an opportunity to relay my remarks and I hope I can continue to contribute to this widely debated topic.

Suleman Malik is a third-year law student at Cardozo Law School and a graduate of Emory University.  He is a Law Clerk at Newman Ferrara, LLP practicing complex commercial and civil rights litigation.  He currently serves as the Executive Editor of the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution, in which he has published an article entitled, “Where Do We Fight?: A Way to Resolve the Conflict Between a Forum Selection Clause and FINRA Arbitration Rule 12200” (17 Cardozo J. Conflict Resol. 215).