So far, it does not seem to bother a majority of Americans that Dr. Ben Carson, the new frontrunner in the race for the White House – who in some polls beats Hillary Clinton by as many as 10 points — is dangerously hostile to one of the fastest-growing religions in the United States...
This week, the Libyan affiliate of the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) horrifically murdered twenty-one Egyptian Coptic Christians. IS seems to have forgotten the peaceful religious teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). When our religion started, Christians in Abyssinia (modern-day Ethiopia) gave shelter to Muslims who faced persecution on the Arabian Peninsula. They saved Islam when all Muslims in Makkah were on the brink of extinction.
Yes, I am Muslim, and I am a Republican – and that's why I was at the Heritage Foundation panel on Benghazi last month, where I asked the now-infamous question about how conservatives deal with the vast majority of people of my faith who are peaceful. Americans don't expect minorities – especially Muslims – to be Republicans, and it happens often in conservative circles that I am the only Muslim woman in the audience.
I became Republican because I felt that my Islamic values – pro-life, pro-traditional family, pro-business, pro-trade – aligned best with the Republican party platform. I identified as a Democrat for several years when I was younger, but found it hard to defend liberal values as they were so often in conflict with my deeply-held beliefs.
Too many people define me by what’s on my head instead of what’s inside my head. I wear the Islamic headscarf to cover myself modestly as required by my religion. It is a part of who I am. Islam is a way of life that governs every aspect of my being. But that doesn’t make me any less American. I was born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. My family legally immigrated to the United States when I was 12. I grew up in Oregon and recently moved to Washington. I have a bachelor’s, MBA and JD degrees, and I am pursuing a master’s in law and government at American University. I started a lobbying firm a few years ago to help government officials understand Islam and Muslims. I regularly attend Congressional hearings.