I’m up at 3 a.m., burping my new baby girl, Nusayba, smelling her fresh, new baby skin and rubbing her soft, bald head.
I often muse about a potential dystopic future when I see the orange, thin-skinned Republican candidate speaking. He has already recommended“extreme vetting” of Muslims and once said he’d “absolutely” requireMuslims to register in a special database. He retaliated against Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the Gold Star parents of an American Muslim soldier. His words unleash casual anti-Muslim bigotry: A June poll found that 50 percent of people surveyed supported his proposal to bar Muslims from entering the country.
I didn’t live in fear growing up in Fremont, Calif., in the 1980s and 1990s. Like the Khans, my parents are Muslim immigrants originally from Pakistan. My parents didn’t keep their own copy of the Constitution in their pockets, but they were known to bust out Mervyn’s coupons and exquisite daal recipes on command. Islam was a vibrant reality for us, comfortably embedded within memories of watching Thundercats cartoons on Saturdays, listening to Dad’s Jimi Hendrix CDs and seeing my mother’s sari collection.