“…then he (Moses) went back to the shade and said, “My Lord, indeed I am, for whatever good You would send down to me, in need.” [28:24]
My name is Hazel Gomez.
I am a Mexican and Puerto Rican woman born and raised in Chicago.
I am the mother to two young boys.
I am the wife to a Black and Native American Muslim man whose safety I pray for every time he steps foot out of our home.
I am the daughter and granddaughter of immigrants who woke up at 3:30 every morning to work in low-paying jobs in order to provide food and a roof over our heads.
I am a Muslim woman who has been harassed and yelled at to “go back to my country.” I come from two immigrant families who met in America. For better or worse, America made me.
I am not going anywhere. We are not going anywhere.
Eight years ago, my family was torn apart. My father got deported to Mexico, a land that he and my grandparents left when he was only a year old. My dad had spent 41 years of his life here. 41.
When I walked across the stage at my college graduation, and I looked over at my proud family screaming and hollering with excitement, the only one missing was Pa. When I had to walk down the aisle at the mosque on my wedding day, my two grandfathers walked by my side; my own father could not be there.
In the past weeks, I have seen the mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters being taken away like cargo, and I have seen the overwhelming fear and sadness on the faces of young children. We should do everything we can to have them graduate with their parents’ smiling faces present; we should refuse to have them spend joyous occasions looking longingly over at that empty seat.
When news of the Muslim ban swept across social media and news outlets, I feared for my safety as a visible Muslim woman, an easy target for hate because of the way many of us choose to dress. Who knew trying to look like the Blessed Virgin Mary would be so difficult? I feared for the safety of our mosques, our sanctuaries in this world. I feared for the well-being of our sisters and brothers from the Somali, Libyan, Sudanese, Yemeni, Iraqi, Syrian, and Irani communities.
Deportation is not only a Latino issue. Immigration is not only a Latino issue. This is the story they feed us to divide us, keep us preoccupied with our own backyards. In reality, we are stronger together. We share the same family values. We all want what is best for our families, our neighbors, and our communities. We are the majority, and we must remain united, we must fight together. Fear will not drive us away, fear will not make us hide; we will resist.
We will continue to build relationships with one another, many of us want the same thing in this country.
As a Muslim, I want to practice my religion without the fear of being hurt or killed because of how I choose to represent my faith.
As a Latina, I want the ability to speak my language around law enforcement without fear.
As a mother, I want my Brown and Black sons to walk freely down the street and have no fear of being stopped-and-frisked and, God forbid, become another hashtag.
Everything that is happening now is not new. Let’s learn the history, especially of Black Americans and Native Americans in this country. Let’s protect and defend each other, let’s come together with what unites us.
We must ask ourselves, “How much are we willing to have one another’s back?” We all want freedom. We must fight and not give up!
Hazel Gómez is a community organizer, convert mentor, and avid reader of all things Muslims in America. Hailing from Chicago, she currently lives in Detroit, and is interested in the research and creation of an authentic Latino Muslim experience.
Immigration, Raids, Deportations:
politics/la-na-pol-trump- immigration-explained- 20170222-story.html
indepth/features/2017/02/ immigration-deportation-raid- 170214213550603.html