The Kansas-Nebraska Act, a law Congress passed in 1854, delivered a moral dilemma to white settlers in Kansas to choose by popular vote whether or not to allow slavery within their borders. The pro-slavery settlers identified with Missouri, a slave-state, and many Missourians infiltrated the territory of Kansas to rig the popular vote in favor of slavery. After an unfortunate bloodshed, in 1861, the people of Kansas entered the Union as a free state. Rejection of slavery, this graceful part of Kansas history, will always define the moral fiber of the people of Kansas, regardless of race, religion, or national origin.
It is an irony of local history that the current Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (KK) left his job as a law professor in Missouri and infiltrated Kansas to devote his life in making it difficult for “undocumented” native and naturalized citizens to vote in general elections. Obviously, KK wishes to tilt the Kansas popular vote in favor of “conservative” causes. Fortunately, the Kansas judiciary rejected the KK’s recidivist legal adventurism to deny the right to vote to thousands of Kansans.
KK is now wooing the Trump transition team to give him a job of hunting down Muslims not only in Kansas but throughout the United States. KK champions the idea of tracking Muslims so that Muslims cannot live freely and must toil under the shackling burden of threat to national security. Targeting groups rather than individuals is the age-old philosophy of wretched prejudice, frequently resurrected in the United States to monitor vulnerable groups.
Despite facing possible prejudice, Muslims will continue to serve the free state of Kansas as engineers, physicians, lawyers, and in businesses located in rural and urban areas.
KK is highly unpopular among the people of Kansas, but still holding a state office that controls many key aspects of life in Kansas. His twisted nativist ideology soils the good name of Kansas. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri repulsed the idea that KK could be the United States Attorney General in the Trump administration. “I know too much about Kris Kobach. There’s no way I could ever support him,” she said. The Trump transition team also (surprisingly!) rejected the notion of a Muslim registry. “Trump has never advocated for any registry or system that tracks individuals based on their religion, and to imply otherwise is completely false,” spokesman Jason Miller said.
I have lived in Kansas for more than 30 years. I know the people of Kansas. I know they are mostly tolerant and free staters at heart. Of course, there are a few rotten apples scattered here and there, as they are in any community. I am a Muslim and I know firsthand that after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, many Kansan Jews and Christians expressed a sense of solidarity with local Muslims to thwart any wholesale scapegoating of Muslim immigrants. They would visit the local mosques to offer a shared sense of belonging.
Despite facing possible prejudice, Muslims will continue to serve the free state of Kansas as engineers, physicians, lawyers, and in businesses located in rural and urban areas. Inshallah (God-willing), even under the changing times, the state of Kansas will remain a free state even though political opportunists, cowards, race supremacists, and morally inferior minions, whether they are born here or they infiltrate from other regions, would try mighty hard to confuse our noble sentiments.