[Ed. – Ignore the 800-pound elephant in the room.]
In times of real or perceived danger, this proposition [that all men are created equal] has been tested: In the Civil War, of course, but also in 1882 with a sweeping prohibition on the immigration of Chinese workers. In 1919 and the 1950s, the “red scare” caused many innocent Americans to be unfairly accused of being communist sympathizers. American Jews, Catholics and Mormons faced decades of prejudice and often violence. After Pearl Harbor, over 120,000 Japanese-American citizens were forced from their homes and placed in camps. Not to mention Jim Crow and quite a few other examples.
Today, it’s the 5 million to 7 million Americans who happen to be Muslim who have been stereotyped and demonized.
Even as Muslim-Americans find themselves at the center of today’s heated political debate, it’s important to remind ourselves that Muslims have been a proud part of the American story from the founding of our republic, and that the founders sought freedom for all — including Muslims — when they conceived our great nation over two centuries ago.