Speech from NBA star and activist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:
Captain Humayun Khan is one of 14 American Muslim soldiers who have died serving the United States since 9/11. His family emigrated from the United Arab Emirates, where Capt. Khan was born.
The first place they visited upon arriving in America was the Jefferson Memorial.
The words engraved there read: “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
Donald Trump’s idea to register Muslims and prevent them from entering our country is the very tyranny Jefferson abhorred.
In 1777, Jefferson drafted the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which later became a model for the First Amendment. Today’s so-called “religious freedom” acts, like the one signed by Gov. Mike Pence in Indiana, are the opposite of what Jefferson wanted: they are meant to allow discrimination.
At its core, discrimination is the result of fear. Those who think Americans scare easily enough to abandon our country’s ideals in exchange for a false sense of security underestimate our resolve. To them we can say only this:
Not here! Not ever!