Today, whole new generations of Muslim refugees are permeating the United States. These are not children of the Muslim refugees like my parents, who embraced assimilation into the United States with open hearts and minds in pursuit of conforming to American values and customs.
I am a Muslim minority female from Afghanistan. My parents immigrated to the United States by happenstance in the late 1970s. They arrived with their three infant children for what they thought would be a short visit — but due to the Russian invasion in Afghanistan, they were never able to return home.
We do not hyphenate our identity. We are Americans who believe in the Constitution, as well as value the laws and traditions of the generous land that welcomed us.
Imagine leaving everything behind — your family, friends, parents and possessions with no choice but to rebuild your life from scratch in a new and unfamiliar country. That is what my parents did. By the early 1980s, my father became a successful entrepreneur, opening restaurants in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Georgia. He never once felt entitled or received any handouts. And he never asked.
Muslim immigrants then did not expect any special treatment. They worked hard and conformed to the laws of America. In contrast, much of this new generation of Muslim refugees has been ruled by Sharia Law — a radical, extreme, and dangerous legal code developed from scholars of the Islamic faith.
Liberal immigration policies fail to address the dangers that come with allowing those who practice Sharia Law into the United States. It is true that Muslim refugees are escaping war and turmoil in their native homelands, yet they fail to recognize that the United States has its own set of laws that govern behavior and oversee its cultural style of life.
Refugees who come to America with an entrenched commitment to Sharia are bringing with them beliefs that encourage the abuse of human rights. They are less likely to embrace America’s cultural ideologies and customs because they do not recognize any law other than Sharia Law. Rulers in their home countries — the Taliban in Afghanistan, for example — used Sharia Law as a basis of control and to institute law and order.
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Muslim extremists believe that it’s a moral imperative to follow this guiding principle. They believe that they are improving moral injustices of society, which is why we are seeing a wave of mass beheadings in the Middle East and honor killings — not to mention terrorist attacks on our own soil, including the most recent attack on the gay community.
It is the stated goal of Islamic extremists to spread Sharia Law within the United States as part of their objective to establish an Islamic caliphate worldwide. Should they eventually succeed, we will have a problem so big that even we will not be able to control it. Our culture will disappear as we cater to their cultural “needs.”
The topic of Sharia Law should not be a liberal-versus-conservative issue. It is a fact that Sharia Law poses a danger to American civil society. America is a land that innocently accepts everyone and lives by a simple philosophy: “Love your neighbor.” We cannot guarantee that incoming refugees will abandon their native traditional principles in order to embrace ours. At what cost should we take this risk?
We as Americans are compassionate human beings and open our hearts to those who pledge to the American flag and believe in our doctrines. America does her part in opening her arms wide to everyone. Muslim refugees need to do their part in assimilating and joining hands with Americans of all sexes, creeds, and religions to help create a more perfect union.
My siblings and I are children of hardworking immigrants who became Americanized while keeping our faith, along with embracing the faith of our neighbors and friends.
We do not hyphenate our identity. We are Americans who believe in the Constitution, as well as value the laws and traditions of the generous land that welcomed us. This should be the attitude of every refugee who has graciously been given the opportunity to come to the United States for a better life.
Freshta Tabibi is a Diversity and Inclusion Strategist and a first generation immigrant from Afghanistan.