“Today, with the presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and others like him spewing hate speech, prejudice is reaching new levels,” Ansari wrote for the New York Times. “It’s visceral, and scary, and it affects how people live, work and pray. It makes me afraid for my family. It also makes no sense.”
In the op-ed published Friday, the Master of None actor and practicing Muslim admits that he now fears for his and his family’s safety; after the Orlando attack, Ansari advised his mother to not attend mosque. “I realized how awful it was to tell an American citizen to be careful about how she worshiped,” he said.
“There are approximately 3.3 million Muslim Americans,” Ansari continued. “After the attack in Orlando, The Times reported that the F.B.I. is investigating 1,000 potential ‘homegrown violent extremists,’ a majority of whom are most likely connected in some way to the Islamic State. If everyone on that list is Muslim American, that is 0.03 percent of the Muslim American population.”
Rather than unnecessarily striking fear in the millions of Muslim-Americans who call the U.S. home, Ansari has another solution to reduce the likelihood of another incident of domestic terrorism.
“One way to decrease the risk of terrorism is clear: Keep military-grade weaponry out of the hands of mentally unstable people, those with a history of violence, and those on F.B.I. watch lists,” Ansari wrote. “But, despite sit-ins and filibusters, our lawmakers are failing us on this front and choose instead to side with the National Rifle Association. Suspected terrorists can buy assault rifles, but we’re still carrying tiny bottles of shampoo to the airport. If we’re going to use the ‘they’ll just find another way’ argument, let’s use that to let us keep our shoes on.”
On Twitter, Ansari summarized his op-ed: