I am a 21-year-old Muslim American, born and raised in a refugee camp in Kenya before my family resettled in Lewiston. I am a member of the Muslim Students Association and student staff member of the Multicultural Resources Center at the University of Southern Maine. I go to school and study every day. I have friends from all types of religious backgrounds and it has never been a problem.

By signing an executive order to keep out certain immigrants, President Donald Trump showed his desire to transform President Barack Obama’s progressive America into an oppressive America. Trump’s orders to ban an entire religion is deeply harmful and affects Muslims in America in profound ways.

I would point out that Lewiston High School won its first soccer state championship with a team that included players from the Congo, Kenya, Turkey, Germany and Somalia. Other cities can be great by embracing diversity.

Lewiston has done an exceptional job integrating a significant number of immigrants and its overall economy has improved. Lewiston has a very progressive Chamber of Commerce, with active young people who bring new ideas and skills to the city.

I, and many other Muslim Americans, refuse to allow the fear that Trump has created. America is a nation for everyone.

From the Quran, chapter 25, verse 63: “And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the Earth easily (walk in a humble way), and when the ignorant address them (harshly), they say (words of) peace.”

Mohamed Awil, Lewiston

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