Today’s post comes from our friend Sami Rasouli, who has hosted hundreds of American’s in Iraq over the past decade. He is a leaders in the Muslim Peacemaker Team, which was trained by Christian Peacemaker Teams as an indigenous nonviolent peacemaking force in Iraq.
Dear Mr. Donald Trump,
Warm greetings from Iraq.
My family and I would like to invite you and your family to visit us in Iraq for as long as you would like. We, and many other Iraqi families, will be delighted to have you as an honored guests at our homes. Guests visits as part of our exchange program have been ongoing between citizens of Najaf, Iraq and those of Minneapolis, Minnesota since the two officially became became “sister cities” in July of 2009.
The purpose of your visit will be educational in nature and focused on learning about Arab-Islamic culture and will include opportunities to visit major Iraq historical cities including Babylon and holy cities such as Karbala and Baghdad. You will learn about Hammurabi who wrote the first code of law and visit the countryside in the south where the wheel was invented by an Iraqi woman thousands years ago. You will also personally witness how Iraq has continued to be destroyed by the ongoing U.S. military presence since 2003. We will show you how ISIS is smuggling our oil out of Iraq and who is laundering it into the funds supporting the terrorism which threatens us all.
I’m not rich, but my family and I are renting a house in Najaf where I was born. It’s a small, cozy and full of love. You will stay with us and share what we have and there are other Iraqi families in addition to ours who would love to have you spend time with them as well.
When you, who some call an “infidel”, meet me, who some call a “terrorist”, I assure you that you will find we are all brothers and sisters sharing the same bread and the same universe together. You will even learn that our peoples, to also include the Jews, all share the Old Testament as the core foundation of our respective religions which share far more values than differences. We are all “people of the Book.”
Certainly, your visit will help tremendously in countering the ongoing negative stereotypes about Muslims and will serve to discredit those who promote Islamophobia in America. We fear what we do not understand and the visit we offer will deepen your insight into, and enlighten your perceptions regarding, the part of the world we call home.
In return, should you accept our offer to visit Najaf, I promise you that my family and I will, if it pleases you, visit you in Vegas and even spend some money and have fun despite the fact our faith as Muslims bans us from entering the Sin City. We will break the rules if you come. All you need is to purchase your plane ticket and we will gladly cover the cost of everything else.
I know you’re busy with the Presidential campaign so, if you understandably can’t make it at the present time, our offer will remain open for you to visit us at any time you choose.
Mr. Trump, I guarantee you that you will fall in love with Arab-Islamic culture. Aside from some superficial cultural differences, our people and their desires are really little different than yours and you will quickly feel at home among us, even grow to love us. The resolution of all conflicts begins with a educated, open mind and productive discussions. We can think of no man better than you to extend the offer of this opportunity to. Please give it thoughtful consideration.
Muslim Peacemaker Teams