I found this to be an interesting approach. A group of like-minded community leaders proactively submitted the resumes of 45 of the nation’s most qualified Muslim-Americans to the White House in an effort to get Washington to hire more Muslims, according to the LA Times. There are an estimated 8 million Muslims in America, but none have been appointed to key positions in the administration so far. The group believes that having Muslims in key positions would give the community a chance to show their patriotism, support, and give them recognition as citizens who care about this country.
It brought to mind an iReport I had submitted a few weeks ago to CNN. Read An Open Letter to the President below:
“Dear Mr. President
While you have taken remarkable steps to address the global tension between US and the Muslim world why is it that the Muslim-Americans have not heard from you?
We are the silent majority who lead the great American lives. We rarely appear in the media because we power no conflict and raise no red flags, hence we are essentially non-newsworthy to the media. We are law-abiding citizens of this land and have whole-heartedly adopted the laws of this land, while contributing much to the development of this country by working in fields of importance such as communications, technology, and education. We pay our taxes regularly and participate in the celebrations of this land just as we hold dear the culture of the land we left behind. We raise wholesome children––multilingual and multicultural with pluralistic hearts. We build bridges with other communities and have a diverse circle of friends. We put up lights around Christmas time and celebrate the traditions of the land we live in. We take the best of both worlds and shape our lives and future. At least, we try.
For many of us, our parents or grandparents came from distant lands to settle here in search of better lives, where their children could be freer and lead their lives without fear. I remember as a child growing up in Karachi, having our mother whisper to us at night time, “if you hear the sound of gunshot, don’t go near the window,” and I reflect on those words as I put my own five year-old to bed in a much safer Austin, Texas, where it is so quiet that even fireworks on fourth of July startle my young daughter. How different her life is and how much we cherish the safety of our generation, the opportunities that this land gives to them and us, and the remarkable ways in which this country comes together always after a tragedy––more united, more coherent, and more accepting.
Should we not expect our leader to embrace us like the rest of America does? What I as a Muslim-American would like to see is for you to have regular meetings and dialogs with members of our community. Appoint Muslim-Americans to high-profile positions and seek our suggestions. Make us an equal contributor in lifting this nation out of its present crisis. We have ideas; we might just have the solutions. Make us visible and that fact alone will help in significantly improving the relationship of US and the Muslim world. Reach out and you will find that our hands have been unclenched and waiting for a really long time.
We are here and we are for you. We are for this country because for many, many years we have been loyal citizens of this land.”