Op-ed: Connecting with campaign on shared values of faith and freedom


It’s Friday at 1 p.m., the most important time of the week at the Masjid Darul Quran, my mosque on Bay Shore, Long Island. 

Masjid Darul Quran is my refuge; every week, I gather with 1,000 of my neighbors, mostly immigrants, for Jumu’ah, or the Friday prayer. We live in suburbia now, but we were born in every corner of the globe, including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Morocco, and Egypt. And after this service, we welcomed a representative of Mike Bloomberg’s campaign to hear the former mayor’s vision for the country. 

Simply put, the values of the Masjid Darul Quran are aligned with Mike’s values. 

We hold interfaith dinners with local churches and synagogues to encourage communication and collaboration — Mike has long brought people together with different perspectives and backgrounds to achieve shared goals. 

We host blood drives to make our pocket of Long Island healthier and better equipped for emergencies—Mike has invested unbelievable resources into public health campaigns, from anti-tobacco programs to maternal health initiatives. 

And we believe in empowering the next generation through education. We have youth mentoring programs and Mike has a plan to help more low-income students enroll in college and career-launching apprenticeships. 

Those of us who immigrated to this country are especially aware that, as president, Mike will work to reclaim America’s reputation as a place where all are welcome. 

When I came to America in the early 1970s, I thought I would get a degree in electrical engineering and go back to Pakistan. But I immediately found that merely being in this country afforded my family unimaginable opportunities. 

I think of myself nearly 50 years ago, and wonder if I would have come to the U.S. if there had been the same anti-immigration rhetoric there is today. 

If anyone were to question Mike’s integrity or commitment to the Muslim community, I would point to the solidarity he showed us after 9/11.

At a time when there was widespread fear and mistrust, we could not have asked for a better advocate for our community. He believed – and still believes – that treating Muslims differently than anyone else would be profoundly un-American. 

To put these words into action, he visited masjids across the five boroughs and reaffirmed to worshippers that they were an essential part of the city. 

Mike supported us then, and we remember that. The Muslim community stands for love and tolerance, and we expect the same of our president.

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