A Muslim ex-Marine took a bold stance by posting his ID card on Twitter. He tells BBC Trending what happened next.
Tayyib Rashid's post was prompted by remarks by Donald Trump, the presidential candidate who's leading his Republican opposition in many early polls. In a recent interview, Trump said that he's open to the possibility of special security and surveillance measures targeting Muslims.
Rashid took a photo of his military ID and put it on Twitter along with a barb directed at Trump: "I'm an American Muslim and I already carry a special ID badge. Where's yours?" Others soon began posting their own identification cards under the hashtag #MuslimID, which been used more than 10,000 times in the last three days.
"I thought it might get a few likes," Rashid said of the original tweet. "I cant believe it's gone viral."
The controversy was initially kicked off by an interview Trump gave to Yahoo News. When a reporter suggested a Muslim ID card or registering Muslims in databases, he didn't rule those ideas out.
"We're going to have to — we're going to have to look at a lot of things very closely," Trump said. "We're going to have to look at the mosques. We're going to have to look very, very carefully."
Rashid said he heard about the comments from friends. "I immediately responded with the tweet," he said. Police officers, lawyers, doctors were among those who joined the conversation:
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Rashid is part of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, members of which have faced persecution in Pakistan. In 1974 the Pakistani government declared the sect non-Muslim because of theological differences with mainstream Islam, and Rashid moved to the United States with his family when he was 10 years old. Rashid told BBC Trending he was glad his message got so much attention.
"It gives me the platform to show that this is the Muslim community to which I belong and it is a peaceful community," Rashid said. "I have had so many messages of support from people of all religions and of walks of life including veterans and serving members of the US armed forces."
"When we moved [to the United States] my father told us: 'You have the freedom to practice your religion here but with that comes responsibility to the community in which you live. Loyalty is part of your faith.'" He said his father was supportive of his decision to enlist in the Marines in 1997.
"I am a proud American Muslim and for me there is no conflict between the two identities," he said.
Blog by Rozina Sini
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