To my brothers and sisters in America

To my brothers and sisters in America,

I, like you, woke up today and lost a little faith in humanity. And if I, a Canadian in the far north, feels this way, I can’t imagine how you are feeling this morning. Afraid. Terrified. Shocked. 

Today your country elected its 45th president.

You may be Muslim. You may be Hispanic. Black. Immigrant. Disabled. Woman. Any one of those groups that your new president has insulted or demonized. Just know that today, and every day, you are still a human and in the sight of God your worth is not determined by your race, circumstances or gender. You are still worthy of love and respect.

I, like you, would have thought that the country’s collective human decency would pull through, and not elect a man who has none. But the majority of people have spoken. It paints a bleak picture, I know, not just for you but for the world in general. Who knows what the next 4 years of his presidency will bring. To speculate is too frightening.

Even though I live in Canada, I can’t be smug. Partly because it’s rude (I’m Canadian, after all), but also because we also came dangerously close to re-electing our own fear-mongering, xenophobic Prime Minister our own past election. While we may have Trudeau and his fabulous, fabulous hair, we may very well have our own Donald Trump next election (possibly in the form of Dragon’s Den Kevin O’Leary).

Some of you may have had your faith shaken today. You may ask, “Why did God allow a man like that to become president?”
But the hard question that really needs to be asked is, “Why did we as a nation allow a man like that to become president?” It’s easy to dismiss it as half the country getting caught up in the novelty and glamour of a crass business mogul running for office. It’s easy to dismiss it as half the country is just racist. But this wasn’t created in a vacuum. The disenfranchised and disillusioned grew in their disdain and distrust of the establishment, as society pushed them more and more to the fringes. After 9/11 the world became so frightening place, and now walls both physical and metaphorical are popping up between you and the rest of the world. And now, with that in mind, ask yourself how we can effectively change that.
We can blame God all we want for the troubles in the world, but let’s be real: the troubles of the world are troubles of our own making, collectively, as a species. We may have caused the problem, but we are also the solution.

While Canada has a place for you (we are , you’re needed where you are. You need to stay strong. You only need to look at Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) for advice. He said the best jihad is to speak the truth in front of an oppressor. He and his followers were hunted, killed, tortured, humiliated and still they kept their faith strong and struggled to reform their society.

I could send you all the platitudes and inspiration on earth. But they can’t change the fact that your country is about to change. The global landscape will follow. You can’t change the world all at once, or fix all the problems that ail you. But what you can do is work. Work every day to make it known that you’re as much a part of this society and this world as anyone else. Be kind. Do good. And when the ignorant address you, respond with words of peace.

I like to hope that your country’s institutions and laws and common sense will reign him in. Hopefully the passion of getting elected will fade and your president will realize that running a country isn’t like running a reality TV show. Hopefully, your nation will never experience what most of the world already knows – – that is, what is like to wake up every morning under the boot of a tyrant. Hopefully the better nature of people will come through. Hopefully.

Hopefully.

Hope.

Always keep the hope.

The darker things get, the more light you need to see the way. So always keep the hope.

May God bless you all, guide you all, and give you a better country and a better leader and a better tomorrow. May God bless an America worth His blessing.

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