Friday, January 1, 2016

Military's Got Muslim Girl's Back, Even If Donald Trump Doesn't

Melissa Chanc Yassini said her daughter, 8. was frightened
by Donald Trump's rhetoric on Muslims and was afraid
the Army would take her away. Members of the U.S.
military responded to this fear in the best possible way
A week ago or so, a woman named Melissa Chance Yassini, a Muslim, put a note on Facebook about her daughter Sophia, 8.

Here's what the message said:

"Sad day in America when I have to comfort my 8 year old child who heard that someone with yellow hair named Trump wanted to kick all Muslims out of America. She had began collecting all her favorite things in a bag in case the army came to remove us from our homes. She checked the locks on the door 3-4 times. This is terrorism. No child in America deserves to feel that way."

Now, technically it's true that Donald Trump is not advocating kicking "all Muslims out of America" but I get the kids point. Trump and his ilk are stirring up all this anti-Islam business and making life pretty scary for law abiding American Muslims.

According to the Huffington Post, Yassini's post went viral, and thousands of people clicked on it or otherwise responded. One of those was Kerri Peek, of Colorado, who is both a mother and a Army veteran.

Peek sent a photo of herself to Yassini, and wrote, "Please show this picture of me to your daughter. Tell her I am a mama too and as a soldier I will protect her from the bad guys."

In the message, Peek also issued a call to "friends in the armed forces" asking them to show solidarity with the Yassinis. "Post a picture of you in uniform with the hashtag #IWillProtectYou to let these children know that we will not hurt them. That they are safe here in America."

As is always the case, members of the U.S. military stepped right up to the plate. A bunch of them responded with just that hashtag on social media like Facebook and Twitter.

"Real soldiers fight for ALL Americans. Because it's ALL Americans who REALLY make America great," wrote JP Thompson on Twitter, to give you a typical example.

Another, veteran David Bruce responded on Facebook, according to Upworthy: "I am not Muslim....But when anyone says the Army that I served with will go on to remove Muslims from my country, they'll have to take me, too."

Yassini was greatful for the support, says Unworthy. "Christians, atheists, Jews, every walk of life, every stage, have reached out to Sofia and I with overwhelming support and love...I read each and every message to (Sofia). And now she understands that we're all part of a fabric which is America."

I know I'm getting all Kumbaya on you now. I know the reality is there are jerks in this nation who are insulting Muslims in the streets, torching Mosques, even physically attacking them. 

I'm hoping the Islamaphobes in this country are the small minority. I'm hoping most of us understand that while a small minority of people who call themselves Muslims are terrorists and generally awful people who ought to be locked up, most Muslims are as peaceful as most Christians, or as peaceful as most Americans.

Not everyone in the military is as nice as those who responded to the #IWillProtectYou social media movement.  But it does give me  even more confidence than I had that the U.S. military really is the good guys and gals.

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