As the nation looks to Indiana for our presidential primary on May 3rd, we have an important question to answer: who do we want as the next leader of our country? This election is especially critical because the contrast between the Republican and Democratic contests is so stark. Do we want to be led by someone who uses incendiary comments about racial and religious groups, inciting violence at rallies? Or do we want to be led by someone who knows there is more that unites us than divides us?
Republican presidential candidates have called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" and patrolling “Muslim neighborhoods.” They have called for Syrian refugees to “prove” they are Christian in order to come to this country. They have called for building big, “beautiful” walls around our country and making another country pay for it.
I’m a husband, father, and lifelong resident of Indianapolis. I worked in law enforcement, for the Indiana State Excise and Indiana Department of Homeland Security, and am honored to have represented the 7th Congressional District in the House of Representatives since 2008. I am also Muslim. It is for this reason that I have received threats of violence over my career — for my faith.
That is why I, in particular, am extremely troubled by the hate-filled, divisive rhetoric we have seen in the Republican presidential primary.
Yet I believe, as Americans, we are better than this hateful rhetoric and these divisive policy ideas. Here in Indianapolis, I see Hoosiers proudly practicing their many different faiths, living out the freedom of religion our Constitution grants us. I meet families new to our state from countries around the world. We welcome men, women and children of all faiths, cultures and races to Indiana and to our country. Every American family, no matter their religion or race, income or culture, simply wants to make life a little better for their children and grandchildren.
That is why this election is so important. We need to elect a president who will build bridges, not walls; who has the plans to break down barriers for Americans of all faiths, cultures and races, not set up roadblocks; and who has the plans to raise incomes for working families, not increase the distance between the haves and the have nots. For all of these reasons, I will be voting for Hillary Clinton next Tuesday. She is tested, prepared and resilient. She will bring our country together because she knows we are stronger when we work together, not when we have an “us” and a “them.”
We face great challenges. Whether it be threats from terrorists who wish to harm us and our allies or threats to the good-paying jobs we need to take care of our families, the last thing we need is a president who will stoke fires of violence against Muslims, create fear of immigrants and do not recognize that diversity is what makes our country great. Thankfully, we have Hillary Clinton. Hillary will be a strong Commander-in-Chief, an able defender and creator of American jobs and a leader who knows that we are stronger united than we are divided. I hope you will join me in voting for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, May 3rd.