Justice for Allby Representative Al Green
Posted on 2015-12-15
GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today and I stand in the
well of the House as a proud American.
I love my country, Mr. Speaker. Because I love my country, I have tried not to forget those who go to distant places, those who go into harm's way. They do it because they love the country. Many of them do not come back the same way they left, Mr. Speaker. They are the men and women who serve in our military. I never want to forget the sacrifices that they make.
Today I want to salute and honor them for the many causes that they have taken up and for the many times that they have left their homes and their loved ones to stand up for liberty and justice for all, to make real the great American ideals, and to provide us the safety and security that we have today.
But I also stand here today in the well of the House, Mr. Speaker, to announce my solidarity for justice, my solidarity with the Muslim community for justice, because I understand what it is like to be a part of a community that is treated unjustly.
I lived through segregation in the United States of America. I know what it is like to go to the back door. I know what it is like to drink from filthy ``colored'' water fountains. I know what injustice looks like. I have seen its face. I know what it smells like.
I have been in waiting rooms where only Blacks could sit. They were for Blacks only because there were other places for others. I don't want to see anything like that, similar to that--anything that is remotely similar--occur to someone else.
I am standing here today in solidarity with the Muslim community because of the injustice that is being perpetrated against Islam.
I am a Christian. My grandfather was a Christian minister. But I stand here to support Islam today, one of the great religions of the world. I do this, Mr. Speaker, because to demean Islam by adding the word terrorist with it is an injustice to the religion.
Islam is a peaceful religion. No religion condones the taking of innocent lives intentionally. Let me repeat this. No religion condones taking the lives of innocent persons intentionally.
This is why I am here, because I want to make it clear that Islam does not condone this. We should not be talking about Islamic terrorists. Why not call them what they are: people who commit dastardly deeds. If you do it in the name of a religion, that doesn't make what you do a part of the religion. People ought not be found guilty by their affiliation with a religion.
What these people are doing--ISIL, al Qaeda, Daesh, ISIS, any name-- is evil, and we ought to call it such. It is not Islam. We ought not, as a result, decide that we are going to bar all members of the Islamic faith from this country. That would be wrong, Mr. Speaker. To even consider it is something that I find repugnant: barring all people because of their faith.
The Islamic faith is not--is not--the motivating factor behind all of this injustice that we see perpetrated by ISIL. They can claim what they want, but the members of the faith have spoken up.
In Houston, Texas, we met just recently and discussed this at length. Every Muslim in that room denounced what was being perpetrated and perpetuated by ISIL, by ISIS, by any name--evil. We ought not do this to a great religion.
I stand for justice, and I stand for justice for the Islamic faith. I believe that persons who are in harm's way in Syria and in other countries ought to be given an opportunity to escape harm.
I believe that the Good Samaritan was right. The Good Samaritan didn't ask: What will happen to me if I help this person who is in harm's way? The Good Samaritan posed the question: What will happen to him if I don't help him? That is the question we have to ask ourselves as it relates to our brothers and sisters. They are our brothers and sisters because there is but one race. That is the human race.
One God created all of humanity to live in harmony, to quote Dr. King. But the question we have to ask is: What will happen to them if we don't extend the hand of friendship? The Good Samaritan went so far as to take the person to a place where there was shelter, where the person could receive some attention, and said to the innkeeper, if you will: Extend me a line of credit. If this person needs more than what I can give you today, I will come back and I will take care of my line of credit.
We owe it to ourselves, as a great leader of the world, the world leader, to make sure that we extend justice to Islam.
Mr. Speaker, I include for the Record a list of the persons who were in attendance at the meeting.
[[Page H9313]] House of Representatives, Washington, DC, December 13, 2015.
Topic: Meeting with Community Leaders to Discuss Various Issues of Importance that Impact America, our Community, and Future Generations.
Hosted by: Congressman Al Green.
List of Participants 1. Tahir Javid, President, Pakistan Association of Golden Triangle 2. M.J. Khan, President, Islamic Society of Greater Houston 3. Mehmet Okumus, President, Turkish Community 4. Muhammad Sheikh, President, Houston-Karachi Sister City Association 5. Mian Nazir, President, Pakistan Association of Greater Houston 6. Mustafa Carrol, Executive Directory, CAIR USA 7. Shahnela Nasim, President, South Asian Chamber of Commerce 8. Shah Haleem, Chairman, Bangladesh Association of Greater Houston 9. Khalid Khan, Vice-Chair, Bangladesh Association of Greater Houston 10. Murad Ajani, President, His Highness The Agha Khan Council 11. Jamal Entlique, Vice President, Houston-Abhu Dabhi Sister City Association 12. Matloob Khan, President, Shah Latif Cultural Institute 13. Syed Akhtar, President, Pakistan Chamber of Commerce- USA 14. Ilyas Choudry, Islamic Circle of North America 15. Shabbir Hussain, ICNA Houston Chapter 16. Representation from Arab American Community Cultural Center 17. Abuzer Tyabjee, Dawoodi Bora Community 18. Latafat Hussain, Indian Muslim Association of Greater Houston 19. Syed Shahid Sunni, President, Muslim Consul USA 20. Akhtar-Abdullah, Al-Noor Society of Greater Houston 21. Mohammad Junggua Community Member 22. John Shike WAA TV 23. Saeed B. Gadi, (P.A.S.T.) and Pakistan Post.
24. Mahmud Dahri, Shah Latif Cultural Institute 25. Abdul Sattar Quereshi, PAGH.
media 1. Shamim Syed, Pakistan News 2. Tariq Khan, Pakistan Chronicle 3. Kamran Jilani, Pakistan Journal and Pakistan Chronicle 4. Mahmood Ahmed, Urdu Times 5. Tariq Hameed, Geo News 6. Zahid Akhtar Khanzada, Geo News and Jang Group.