First they came for the Muslims, but I did not speak out - Because I was not a Muslim...

George Calvert's vision for Maryland was a religiously tolerant colony where citizens would be entitled to live as landed gentry.  Lord Baltimore had embraced Catholicism, though much of Europe was turning to Protestant puritanism. As a consequence, Maryland became a refuge for all faiths; for Catholics especially.

It is not unlikely that there were even some Muslims among those who settled early in Maryland, but most came later to the colonies as slaves. It is estimated that up to 1/3 of the slaves in the colonies were Muslim. Their faith did not flourish in the new world, however, as religion was just another part of their liberty that their Christian overlords decided to withhold.

Repression of Islam by American society (like that which occurred in the early years of our democracy) has surfaced again since we became embroiled in constant war in the Middle East. A homegrown propaganda industry has warped many Americans' perception of Islam no less than the Russian propaganda machine slandered Mrs. Clinton, while boosting DJ tRump. DJ Blowhard's popularity going into the election was also enlarged by his stance against Muslim immigrants. Yet, we saw the blowback as soon as the vote count was announced with marches decrying his racism. Many of those aroused by this issue were college students. If deportation of Muslim student immigrants were to commence (the specifics of each case, no doubt, remaining classified), it would not surprise me to see a revolution begin on campuses across the country, led by sympathetic millennial cohorts.

By Andreas Hierling

The Green Party is sympathetic to the plight of American Muslims who have suffered greater persecution lately and are in a state of alarm over how the new administration views them. Rephrasing the steps from the Green Party report on Islamophobia, Greens are encouraged to take the following public actions:

  1. Educate others in your circles and correct blatant misperceptions voiced over Muslims and Islam.
  2. Seek information and advice from Muslim leaders on current issues as to how they are seen by the Islamic community.
  3. Be conscious of how your own words and manners can be oppressive or demeaning to Muslims.
  4. Diplomatically intervene on behalf of Muslims being oppressed, subtly or overtly.
  5. Build bridges between your own faith and others of different faiths.
  6. Work together on common goals and projects in the community, with an eye to improving cross-cultural understanding.

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