Muslims’ concerns following Donald Trump’s election as US President

Last week saw the election of Donald Trump as President of the USA. As a result, many British Muslims are concerned because of some of the things Mr Trump said about Muslims while running for office.

Accordingly, both the CMF President Lord Sheikh and the CMF Chairman CMF Mohammed Amin have written to the US Ambassador to convey their concerns. There is nothing confidential about the letters, and we have published them here for two reasons:

  1. So that our members and friends can see what they have said.
  2. As an illustration of the style one should always adopt in communications. It is essential to be courteous and to use measured language at all times.

Letter to US Ambassador sent on Lord Sheikh’s House of Lords notepaper

His Excellency Mr. Matthew W. Barzun
Ambassador of the United States of America
United States Embassy
24 Grosvenor Square
London, W1A 2LQ

16th November 2016

Your Excellency [manuscript]

The people of United States of America have spoken and decided democratically to elect Mr Donald Trump as their next President. The elections were fair and decisive and we must all respect the will of the people.

We would like to congratulate Mr Donald Trump on his conclusive victory and very much hope that he will be a wise and able President in the present world where there is a climate of turmoil and insurgency.

As a Muslim politician and leader I am consequently in touch with Muslims here in United Kingdom and other parts of the world and would like, with respect to make you aware that amongst some quarters of Muslim community there is disquiet and apprehension at Mr Trump’s possible actions against the Muslim population.

Mr Trump has made some unsavoury and to some extent frightening comments relating to the Muslims.

I hope that these remarks were rhetoric and Mr Trump will take conciliatory, calm and understanding approach towards Muslims in your country, Muslims entering your country and Muslims generally in the world.

There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and 3.3 million in the United States and 3 million in the United Kingdom.

Nearly all the Muslims are peace loving and hardworking people who have done well in every walk of life and contributed towards the advancement and wellbeing of the country where they were born or in the land of their adoption.

There is of course a tiny minority of Muslims who have created problems and who have an incorrect understanding of Islam.

I am actively combatting radicalisation and extremism and I feel it is not right for anyone to tar all members of a community with the same brush.

We need to interact and engage with the young Muslims to dispel wrong impressions and understanding of our glorious religion. To enable us to do so there must be a positive and holistic action taken by the Government, Local Authorities, Police, Schools and the Muslim Community itself.

I very much hope that after his victory Mr Donald Trump will soften his stance which he has hitherto taken in regard to the Muslim community.

I shall be most grateful if you can forward this correspondence to the appropriate person or department in Washington.

Kindest regards,

Your sincerely [ manuscript]

Mohamed Sheikh [ manuscript]

The Lord Sheikh

 

Letter to US Ambassador sent on CMF Chairman’s notepaper

9 November 2016

His Excellency Matthew W. Barzun
Ambassador of the United States of America
United States Embassy
24 Grosvenor Square
London
W1A 2LQ

Your Excellency

As someone who has followed US presidential elections closely since 1960, I am writing to congratulate you on your country yet again conducting a peaceful election notwithstanding the wide political divisions within your electorate. Your transition of power on 20 January will again set an example to many countries around the world on how power should pass from one democratically elected government to another.

The Founding Fathers worked well when, almost 230 years ago, they created a Constitution that has served your country well and survived many trials. With its provisions for equality before the law, freedom of speech and religion, it remains a beacon for many around the world who are denied such rights.

Given the importance of the USA, people around the world listen closely to your government officials from the President downwards, and also to the words of candidates aspiring for elective office.

In that regard, you cannot fail to be aware that some of Mr Donald Trump’s comments while seeking the Republican Party’s nomination were interpreted by Muslims in Britain and in many other countries as indicating a desire to introduce a religious test for entry into the USA, with the prohibition of entry by those who are Muslim.

Such a policy would be of great concern to almost 1.5 billion Muslims around the world. As someone who has visited the USA on many occasions, both for professional and personal reasons, and whose son may soon become an American citizen, I would be affected personally as well as being concerned about the impact of such a discriminatory policy upon others.

While I claim no legal credentials, I did read your Constitution while in my twenties. It is my opinion that, in addition to being unwise, such a policy would also appear to be unconstitutional.

Please could you convey to your government my concern that any policy of discriminating against Muslims, whether against Muslim visitors to the USA or against Muslim American citizens, would alienate many of your country’s friends around the world.

Yours sincerely

Mohammed Amin

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