“You Belong. Stay Strong.” A Texan’s Message for American Muslims

One man in Texas has an important message to Muslims in America.

Justin Normand, a 53-year-old Texan, held a small sign outside the Islamic Center of Irving, spreading a powerful and positive message. The small sign held a big message. The words “You Belong. Stay Strong. Be Blessed. We are One America” symbolized the spirit of America at its finest.

“You Belong. Stay Strong.” A Texan’s Support to American Muslims.[/tweetthis]

Normand came into nationwide prominence when a passersby took a photo of him, dressed in a checkered shirt and cowboy hat. The photographer than shared it through Twitter on November 26, from where it rapidly became a viral sensation. He also had the attention of the Islamic Center. A representative of the center informed the media that Normand has held up the sign near the mosque for many days.

According to Normand, his intention is to exhibit support for the local Muslim community post the electoral victory of Donald Trump in November. The Republican Party's then nominee's campaign was dominated by promises which if effected, would be draconian against Muslims and their rights in the United States.

Normand, in his phone interview, said that the message is important, not him. He added that he just wrote what was on many people's minds. He sympathized with Muslims over their fear of the Donald Trump presidency. During a live Facebook video conversation with Nick Pelletier of Islamic Center of Irving, it was discussed that Americans should help one another- and the Muslim community needs help. Pelletier is the director of outreach of the Center and spoke with the 53-year-old outside the mosque.

Normand told Pelletier that he is an American and anybody who is in the United States, whether a U.S. citizen or not, is here for one another. He said that he is here only as someone that must speak up and tell others that they are valued and perfectly correct in thinking that they are a part of the United States of America. It is to be mentioned that Trump gave a proposal of a complete ban on all Muslims entering the U.S. during his presidential campaign. He later backtracked, and instead called for a suspension on all immigration from countries which, in Trump's own words, “compromised by terrorism.” However, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), has reported that there has been a dramatic increase in the anti-Muslim incidents across the United States after Donald Trump got elected to the presidency. A number of California mosques and one Georgian mosque were targeted with letters containing the threatening message that Trump will tackle Muslims the same way Hitler tackled Jews.


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