Thanks for Standing Up for Muslims — And for America

By Ishaq Pathan, INGYouth Coordinator.

This speech was delivered at the National Day of Jewish Action for Refugees rally held in Mountain View, CA.

My dear Jewish sisters and brothers, I want to thank you, as a Muslim, and on behalf of Maha Elgenaidi and of all of ING, and, I’m confident, on behalf of all American Muslims, for standing up for us in these critical times. I deeply appreciate how, in the face of your own history of enormous suffering, you are ready to speak up for others who suffer.

But I know too that it’s not just your history that has brought you here to stand by our side—it’s your faith, what your prophets and sages have taught you for centuries. As a Muslim, I can’t but feel a strong kinship with you—we are both children of Abraham, our common father; and Moses, from whom you received the Torah, is among the most revered prophets of Islam, mentioned more often in the Qur’an than any other prophet, including Muhammad. And the values of hospitality, of standing up for the afflicted, the refugee, the vulnerable, are taught with equal insistence in the Torah and in the Qur’an, by our scholars and saints and by your prophets and rabbis.

Finally, I know that we both come here as Americans, committed to the values of justice, inclusion, and pluralism that define us as a nation. I thank you again that you are here for us, and promise you with all my heart that we will be there for you.