While the right thing to do for anyone running for the highest elected office in the land would be to squash bigotry whenever it rears its ugly head, quite frankly, the American Muslim community does not need Donald Trump to come to our defense nor do we need Ben Carson to affirm that a Muslim can one day be president.
Article VI, Section 3 of our Constitution already paves the way for a Muslim President. It states "No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or Public Trust of the United States".
That's really all we need.
Unfortunately, throughout this nation's history there have always been the few that fan the flames of fear and suspicion aimed towards minority groups. Just as I expect my fellow Americans to not judge me based on actions of the extremists within ISIS who profess to share my faith, I will not judge Republicans as a whole because of the actions of the extreme elements within its current leadership.
When given the choice, American people have shown time and again that they reject the message of bigotry. We look back at the dark chapters in our history where fear got the better of us with a sense of shame.
You see, despite what politicians and pundits may say during an election cycle to score political points; America at its core is a meritocracy. Those that are smart and hardworking can reach for the stars and accomplish anything irrespective of their faith -- that's the American Dream. I see proof of my Muslim American community living this dream every day.
I currently lead a bar association of Muslim lawyers. I am proud that among our members are the very best and brightest in America. We are highly educated, trustworthy, hardworking and committed to this country. We know our rights. We know our constitution. We are not victims and we are certainly not waiting for anyone's permission to live our dream.
Muslim attorneys are partners at the nation's most prestigious law firms, professors at the finest law schools, and counsel at major corporations. Every single day American Muslim attorneys are trusted to advise on multi-million dollar deals, trusted to defend the innocent and trusted to prosecute criminals. People value our advice because they trust our intellect and judgment -- our faith never hinders our success.
Of course, it's not just lawyers. Muslims are a highly educated group and America has provided us with opportunities to excel in all segments of society. If a surgeon can save your life you will not care that he fasts during Ramadan.
I have no doubt that America will one day be presented with a viable presidential candidate who happens to be Muslim. I also know that when that actual, living breathing candidate (as opposed to a hypothetical candidate with no track record) presents herself to the American people, the vast majority of Americans will elect the candidate based on her proven accomplishments, intellect, and leadership.
Undoubtedly, there will be those that will try to play on fear and smear this candidate because of her faith. But I am certain that when that time comes, the majority of this country will reject the bigotry and forever cement Ben Carson and Donald Trump's place as those that stood on the wrong side of history.