Thank You… America!

This is the America that tens of millions of immigrants like me know and appreciate

Thank You, America.

As an immigrant, as the son of an immigrant, and as a US Army Veteran with four brothers who each served our adopted country honorably — 2 Army, 2 Marine — and from far away Sweden (on a visit, but not seeking asylum), I could not help but admire and be proud of America and the hundreds of thousands across our great country who showed solidarity against the ban on Muslims and immigrants entering the United States.

No one can deny the needs of our country to be vigilant against terrorist attacks or “lone wolf”. However, an Executive Order banning entry of Muslims from five predominantly Muslim countries overlooked the fact that the 9/11 “terrorists” did not come from those countries.

For many years since 9/11, the United States has put in place a solid and effective “vetting system” for all immigrants from the Arab and Muslim worlds, keeping in mind that no other people suffered more from the American Occupation of Iraq and its spill over consequences and from “Islamic Jihadists” than those countries listed in the ban, adding Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Egypt to the list.

It is so ironic that the newly designated “Countering Violent Extremism” or CVE has been revised and is limited to “Islamic Extremism” leaving out White Supremacist, Extreme Nationalists, Zionist Nationalist, and racist Islamophobists, among others.

But the protesters comprise an America I knew as a boy in high school – welcoming; the America I knew working after school in a Greek restaurant — welcoming. In high school, when Mrs. Goldman chose to stay after school to help me with extra classes in English, this America was welcoming.

Or Mr. Ed Burns, the funeral home owner who gave me my first full time job out of the Army. Or my fellow steel mill workers at Inland Steel, who are welcoming.

_________

This is America, where good decent citizens raised over a million dollars to rebuild a Texas mosque burned to the ground by arsonists, and where a Jewish synagogue in the same town handed over its keys to the Muslim congregation for worship after the fire. Only in America can such acts of kindness take place.

This is the welcoming America I knew when I was drafted in the US Army and was given special meals to accommodate my faith.

This is America, where I have life long friends from high school and the Army — welcoming. America is a welcoming country, and President Trump with his executive orders will never change the nature of America or who we are as Americans.

I had to recall the overwhelming support, both calls and physical presence, for my family in Fairfax from our friends and our neighbors, and members of the PTA and teachers of our children’s schools after the September 11 attack on America.

Sami (L) on volunteer outreach

This is the America that tens of millions of immigrants like me know, love and appreciate, a country unlike any other country in its welcoming of refugees and new immigrants.

One can only appreciate America and what it stands for in that moment when new immigrants passing their citizenship stand up and give loyalty to America, our adopted country.

These are the new citizens from Europe, from Southeast Asia, from the Middle East, North Africa, Africa and Latin America — diverse in color, faith and ethnic origin but united in our loyalty to our adopted country. And who can doubt that?

Here in Sweden, I am so proud when I speak with Swedes and talk about the demonstrations at major airports across the country. I am proud to see companies like Lyft donating to the ACLU to help fight racism and bigotry; I am proud of Starbucks offering to employ 10,000 immigrants; I am proud of AIRBNB offering a free stay for newly arriving immigrants.

Let us also remember those businesses and banks that failed to speak up in support of the free immigration to America. If we can vote politicians in with our votes, I am sure we can make our money vote for us too.

I am proud of the many governors and mayors who took time out to show support and solidarity with those affected by President Trump’s Executive Order banning Muslims and immigrants.

I am not so proud of the hundreds of members of the House and Senate who chose to remain silent in the face of this shameful act. In November 2018, we will hope that those who spoke against the executive order will remember which members of Congress chose to be silent.

Of course, we all remember the shameful time in our history when Jewish refugees escaping Nazi Germany were denied entry to the US. We also remember the times when Congress passed immigration laws favoring those from European counties and limited the number of immigrants from “colored” countries and from those of faiths other than Christianity. We are not so proud of the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII — made more shameful because the most liberal Supreme Court justices supported their interment.

But then America is free, proud, home of the brave; and we will make sure that this administration and the administrations to come live up to the ideals that make America who we are, a welcoming country.

My proposal for all the immigrant professionals, especially doctors and lawyers, is that it is time to step up to the plate and show in real service our commitment to this country and its people.

With tens of thousands of medical doctors from immigrant backgrounds, the best thing we can do is to organize nationwide free medical clinics, not only serving urban poor but serving rural Whites — and show them our appreciation, not by words, but by deeds. I am sure those who incite and promote Islamophobia and anti-immigration sentiment would be surprised at our contribution to our adopted country.

In the coming weeks, and following the recently set up free medical clinics by Muslim doctors in Orlando, I will be contacting all medical associations to organize and set up these free medical clinics all across America, as a token of our appreciation.

From Goteborg, Sweden, thank you America.

_____________

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21 Responses to "Thank You… America!"

  1. Sami Jamil Jadallah  February 5, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    JohnZ, partially true, however we must admit and recognize that Obama did his best to windup the war in Afghanistan and he was partially successful withdrawing over 180,000 from Afghanistan and tens of thousands from Iraq. And yes he continued to use the drone as an cost effective tool in fighting terrorism. Many innocent people died. But for the Bush/Cheney administration, I doubt if America will have the problems and conflicts we have now. True, the Left is not very consistent with its adaptations of issues. No doubt.

  2. Peter Johnson  February 5, 2017 at 9:53 am

    That America is gone.Habibi.

    I came there for the same America and left when I realised that my cuildren were at.risk in the New America.

    • Sami Jamil Jadallah  February 5, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      Peter, for sure, the America I knew when I came here in the 60s is not the same, we hardly finished with one issue, Civil Rights to having face many issues, collapse of our industries while Reagan ruled supreme, the collapse of the Saving and Loan, the disaster of the Junk Bonds, Enron. the burst of the Dot Com bubble, the collapse of the stock market, and of course the the collapse of the financial system and the very costly wars we got engaged in. The future does not look very promising with the division we see now. However we must keep hope and try to do something about it.

  3. Sami Jamil Jadallah  February 4, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Edward, again to follow up. of course the social and economic integration of “Christian immigrants” from Europe even South Europe made it easier over time for the Italians, the Poles, the Slaves, the Russians to integrate. The Muslims immigrants must use what I would refer to as the “Jewish Model” for social and economic integration. This was done through education, and education and skilled labor and mercantile forces. The Jews from Russia and East Europe were able to make not only inroad but succeed beyond any measures in America and Europe and they did it through a well established culture of education and learning, and they did it without ever giving up their faith or tradition. But then the Jewish leadership both the religious and intellectual played a key role in such successful integration this is where the Muslim and Arab immigrants lack.

  4. Sami Jamil Jadallah  February 4, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Edward thanks for the feedback. No question the large influx of refugees to Sweden ( 250,000) from countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria does and will have consequences for Sweden especially since there is a very wide cultural gap between the Swedes and those refugees. Also no doubt the “Arabization of Islam” during the last 40 years fueled by metro dollars will make it very difficult for these immigrants to fully integrate into Swedish society. Not sure how can any educational or cultural orientation overcome 40 years of such “arabization”. It is a very very tough case of social and economic integration. I do not have the answers, but all I can say, it will be difficult, unless these newly immigrant take the first step toward integration. Sweden is a country of capitalism that works for the people and a country were family values prevails and one can see it everywhere. Nothing short of mandatory and long term social integration will work.

  5. Sami Jamil Jadallah  February 4, 2017 at 8:32 am

    The West has engaged in restless wars agains the Middle East from North Africa to Southeast Asia, destroying countries and dividing countries resulting in the death of tens of millions. No one can deny what colonialism did to these countries. When the West destroys these countries, it is natural that it should take full responsibilities for its doing. Algeria and Morocco did not invade France, nor did India invade England, nor did Afghanistan invade Britain , Russia or the US, certainly Iraq did not invade the US. Accepting refugees is the least thing the West can do having destroyed many countries.

  6. zman  February 4, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Wow, that rant is a perfect example of the winner writing history…and the population taking it as reality. It is amusing (actually quite sad) that you do not mention that there was no large scale immigration to the west or terrorism until the west decided that the oil, which you mentioned briefly, should be taken at all costs with no regard as to how it was acquired. Corporate deals with western installed heads of state that ignored the owners of those resources, the people of those countries. The majority of immigrants to Europe would gladly return home, if there was one to return to. For you to actually say that there is no connection between western interventionalism and aggression is astounding, that the redrawing of ME nations in the very early 1900s have no bearing on todays events. There is absolutely no logic to that. Are you aware that the common thought in the west about Germans is expressed by the term ‘Hun’? Do you believe that is accurate? The notion in the west is that Germany has always been militaristic and aggressive and had to be subdued. Germany was never forced to go to war, they wanted to. Is that all accurate?…and of course Russia has always wanted to take over the world. Get real.

  7. zman  February 4, 2017 at 7:16 am

    That Obama followed the neocon path is a fact, not a myth. Sanders is a self described ‘left’. Do you mean to tell us all he never contested Obamas policies? If so, you are deluding yourself. You sound like a champion of the ‘right’, with a penchant for bringing up race as a factor. What, pray tell was those that preferred Sanders to Clinton, so adamant about? No more wars. It is what lost Killery the election. Did you miss all that? None of the others that you apparently count as the ‘left’, who I assume you mean to be those such as Pelosi et al. are ‘left’ in any way. They are simply whores that use those type issues to instigate while stabbing their constituency in the back. Any work they do is a double edged sword, worded in a way to defeat any positive change. The denial of free speech is not a left or right subject, it is totalitarian. Left or right ideologues merely use such stances to fool those easily fooled. Those that continually spout about ‘the left’ or ‘the right’ have drank the Kool-Ade, as today the lines have blurred to the point of disintegration. The PC you mention is yet another tool for division, a cruel bastardization of civility turned into a political term by lying politicos who co-opt everything they touch. The main trend today is for politicos to make issues where there are none and getting the easily led to follow. DIVISION…and it works.

  8. zman  February 4, 2017 at 6:48 am

    I see you here continually and read your posts. Some I can agree with, some are even intelligent. But this ranting of yours against ‘the left’ is pure HS. Where were the left when Obama did this or did that. They were the ones protesting in the streets, It damn sure wasn’t the ‘right’. The right was continually screaming for more violence. Then you proceed to say that the left has no legitimacy. You are either delusional or just a fool. You fall into the very trap set for those who decide that labels are everything. The so-called ‘left’ used in media today is nothing more than a knee jerk instigation for those that believe that national leaders that are supposed ‘left’ really are. There is no left or right anymore in regards to politicians. To say that there are no self described ‘lefts’ that demonstrate against government excesses is ignorant. Hell, even the ‘right’ demonstrate. If you’ve missed people demonstrating against drone attacks, indescriminate bombing and the increase in troops in foreign lands, then that is on you for lack of observation. But those were common people, not politicos.

  9. Khalid Talaat  February 4, 2017 at 4:34 am

    Hey Ed, you can dish it but you can’t take it. Your fake cover of respectibility is gone. You are a zionist troll and my advice to you is get out of Palestine before it is too late.

  10. Andrew_Bukanov(Russia)  February 4, 2017 at 4:01 am

    Edward, we must not get down to mention our relatives here and personal accusations. Sorry.

  11. Khalid Talaat  February 4, 2017 at 3:43 am

    There you go again with your ghinly veiled racism EL.
    Sweeden… ah the bastion of free se wife swaping and feminism run wild. We hear that Sweedish women can’t find Sweedish men to date. We also hear that Sweedish men head on vacation to SE Asia for sex on their vacations and to avoid being accused of rape. We also heard that a Sweedish woman can have sex with s guy 3 times in an evening and accuse a guy of rape. The first time was ok the 3rd in the morning was ok, but the one in the middle was rape.
    Edward you ate so predictable with your pseudo facts and pseudo intellectualism. Why are you always attacking Arabs and Muslims even when it is off topic. You are a zionist troll aren’t you.? Always with the same talking point corrupting everybodies day.

  12. Khalid Talaat  February 4, 2017 at 3:14 am

    Sami… wonderful capture of a great deal of Americans who happen to be Muslims.
    Next to thr free health care maybe we can reclaim homes for the poor. I will be intouch.

    • Khalid Talaat  February 4, 2017 at 5:06 am

      EL … shame on you troll. Pnly Zionidts destroy cultures.

  13. Sami Jamil Jadallah  February 4, 2017 at 2:05 am

    Andrew, no one can disagree with the principal that each sovereign country can dictate its own immigration policies, however when such such immigration policies are based on certain color or faith or national origin to the exclusion of others that is racism pure and simple and this applies to the US specifically since it is a country made up of “immigrants” and as such one group has no right to dictate the policy. keeping in mind when Russia decided to relocate tens of millions of Russian and sent them to all of the former Soviet republics no doubt no one guestioned such right but now Russsians will question the rights of nationals of these former republics to seek immigration status in Russia. The US more than any other country, recently adding Russia has done more damage and destructions of the Muslim world killing millions and in my mind when the US destroys these countries and uproot its people, the US is under legal and moral obligations to admit them as refugees. To keep the refugees out don’t destroy their country. I think 1,400 years is more proof of tolerance. Muslims did not murder 35 million Russians not did they murder 45 millions during WWII and certainly did not murder 6 million Jews and did not invade Christians or Jewish countries. The invasion has been one way toward the Middle East.

    • Andrew_Bukanov(Russia)  February 4, 2017 at 3:50 am

      Mr. Sami Jamil Jadallah – as Edward said right Christians differ and Muslims differ. I agree and we all know from history that Europeans did a lot of evil to Arabs during their Crusades. My point of view is that USA ruined the life in ME and now nothing changes. People run from the cynic war. Traditionally West and Russia were always military stronger than all Arab world altogether. And now the situation is more unclear, because, for example, in Syria Muslims kill Muslims, Terrorists kill every man. People are in despair and i’m sure that ordinary Syrians can not afford to run to EU because they have no money. So – who are those with iPhones and as they say they paid around 10 000 euro to get to Europe…. i don’t know. People are in troubles, but politics do not hurry to stop this mess. Putin is a good man, but he is not almighty. We can’t afford to spend money on wars and we DO NOT WANT to bomb and we have not SO MUCH money to rebuild Syria. I think: who bombs, than must restore. And never let people be replaced to another lands in such big amounts.

  14. Khalid Talaat  February 4, 2017 at 1:48 am

    Greetings Andree… Man you sound like a mean and hateful drunk. Allah is what Jewish, Christian and Muslim Arabs call the God of Abraham. This is what Jesus called his God, Allah. Western and Eastern Christians are so ignorant of the history of their own prophet’s teachings it is really becoming quiet sad fact, driven home by Christianity’s collapse. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are not 3 soccer teams with fans and fanatics beating on each other, they are 3 messages from the same source. Guess what just like the Jews don’t believe in Jesus’ message you do the same to Muslims. You must seperate the message from the practice.
    Russians today talk about the murderous Americans, yet you forget that Russians killed scores of people after WW2 in Europe, Africa and Afghanistan. Your war crimes in Afghanistan are well documented and in Eastern Europe. You looted and killed. So please stop with your bolshevic leftover programing and stop pointing the finger at problems in America when you have more alcoholism, just to mention one, than anywhere else in the World. Russians are a great nation so act accordingly and stop stereotyping, it is usually reserved for deckhands.

    • Andrew_Bukanov(Russia)  February 4, 2017 at 3:32 am

      Khalid – Russia and alcohol is not at the first place. There are countries in Europe who drink more. It depends on the culture. One may drink a bottle of Vodka and stay quiet at home, another drink the half and go out to look for “adventures”.
      I have a double attitude to what USSR did in Afghanistan, but people there will answer you – who was bad and who was good from USA or USSR. The reply is clear.
      Writing about Muslims – i mean those who live in ME. Most countries lived well and there was no need to run away. So who started all these “Arab springs”? There are many people who run from bombed houses, they belong to generation who saw only wars and revolutions. What can they bring to the new country, if they don’t want to work and to integrate? Soviet Union as a huge Communistic Regime couldn’t integrate Gypsies for all 70 years. Of course i do not keep up the idea of color and religion differentiation, but immigration must be under control.

    • Khalid Talaat  February 4, 2017 at 4:24 am

      Thanks Andrew for your answer. Let us remember that immigration has been going on for centuries. People are different in the time they take to assimilate. We in America know for a fact that most immigrants, Muslims included, loose most of the language of origin by the first born generation. By the time the grandchildren of immigrants are grown up they usually do not know the language of origin. My friend with Italian grand parents does not speak Italian and the same for my Polish and ME friends. My Syrian doctor’s son who is born in the US speaks very little Arabic. His receptionist, a first generation American Russian tells me she speaks very little Russian.
      ME migration to the West is relatively recent, give it some time and it will all even out.
      Ask me if I have assimilated after 40 years in the US? Well, I can tell you this after 4 weeks visiting with my cousins and extended family back in the ME, I am ready to go back home to the US. Where else in the world can you eat falafel in the morning, italian for lunch and jamaican for dinner but in any large city in America America is a microcosm of what the world should be like, a people with the same great, great grandparents living together in a humble respect for each other.

    • Andrew_Bukanov(Russia)  February 4, 2017 at 6:16 am

      Khalid, it is so, when immigration is classical. The same scheme doesn’t work nowadays like in EU. We have many Muslims in Caucasus. But the teenagers forget traditions. When they are at home in the mountains – they obey the law, adat. But when they come to the cities – they do crimes and behave like apes. Strong apes with knives and guns. And Muslim elders say – they feel deep sorrow about it. Those who came to EU are not scientists, doctors or artists. They are orks. In USA the police will never let ’em behave so. In EU they do what they want. Alas. And they know that the law protects them and ordinary Europeans are afraid of them. It is ordinary thing in Russia – if you see the immigrant behave bad – to beat him, teach. In tolerant EU it is impossible.

  15. Andrew_Bukanov(Russia)  February 3, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    If you welcome all people of the world – you must be a totalitarian regime to control everyone. There are new times, new problems, new dangers. If you are so tolerant, so people-loving American nation – adopt all Middle East and move ’em to USA. Africans too. Just adopt like in Europe under Merkel’s plan. Maybe it is better to turn ’em all into USA citizens than bomb ’em in their own homeland? Tolerance without supervising and total control is just a “hippie” Land with some wolves. Otherwise – let those tolerants shut their mouth and start rebuilding their home. Civilizations like Christian and Muslim(like it is in the ME) are not ready to be mutually tolerant. I claim it as Russian Christian, living with Russian Muslims of Caucasus. And i know they are ready to kill for Allah. Their religion is young and aggressive. Anyway – all the worst and mass crimes are committed with the name “God” on peoples lips. Don’t live in silly illusion.

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