Local view: America must cling to its founding principles of freedom and equality

Source: Duluth News Tribune

After a surprise election win, President-elect Donald J. Trump acknowledged the need to “bind the wounds of division” and pledged to be “the president for all Americans” in his short victory speech. This was a refreshing detour from his earlier campaign rhetoric of building walls and banning Muslims in the name of making America “great” again.

M. Imran Hayee

M. Imran Hayee

Trump’s vision of a “great” America will remain uncertain until he shapes his administration and formulates his policies.

In the meantime, being a Muslim American of Pakistani origin, I would like to share a short history lesson with Trump to help him solidify his vision of a “great” America.

There are striking similarities in the origins of America and Pakistan. Both countries obtained their independence from a long British colonial rule in the name of freedom and equality. There’s a common perception that Pakistan was established in the name of religion; in fact, its founding principle was no different than that of America’s. After the announcement of independence from British rule, Muhammad Ali Jinnah,the founding father of Pakistan, proclaimed in his landmark speech of Aug. 11, 1947, “We are all citizens and equal citizens of one state. You are free. You are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or cast or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the state.”

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