Just Who Are the Muslim Americans Among US
And What Do They Stand For?
By Rick Combs
One of the greatest tragedies of our world is for the smallest and weakest among us to fall prey to the soul sapping, life devouring plague known as Cancer, as well as other childhood diseases. To have such precious and special stars in our lives being destroyed, having their youth and innocence ripped away by such a horrendous ordeal shatters the strongest, most stoic demeanor among us. The sight of these darlings with no hair, or sitting in their hospital beds with tubes in their arms is heart wrenching.
St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital is the wonderful, unique organization that has devoted its entire existence, its mission to helping and treating these precious jewels of our society. According to their website, their research over more than half a century has pushed the survival rate of these little wonders with cancer from less than 20% to more than 80%, with an overall survival rate rising from 4% to 94%! Thanks to their unique and amazing philosophy of providing all care and treatment free of cost, parents and family can focus on being emotionally supportive and encouraging to their children.
When one stops to consider what his entails, it is staggering. Many of the treatments require years of care and can often cost as much as half a million dollars. St. Jude ensures completion of the entire treatment and care at the very beginning of care, including following the patients for 10 or more years after treatment has ended. Considering that they see almost 8000 patients a year, that investment adds up to some mind-boggling numbers. This reveals the depth of compassion and love that pervades the entire organization.
SO, how did this American miracle come to be? Who do we have to thank for it? The inspiration came from Danny Thomas. As a young man with a wife and family, Danny struggled and despaired. He even wondered if he should give up his dreams of being an entertainer. In the depths of his despair, Danny prayed to St. Jude for guidance. Soon, his fortunes began to change until he became one of the biggest stars of his era.
In 1955, Danny encouraged a group of business Memphis businessmen to build a hospital for children. They envisioned a place families could turn to when they had nowhere else. Danny wanted to also remove the financial burden from the families. Frequently, Danny and his wife, Rose Marie would cross the nation seeking support for their hospital. They were known to have once visited 28 cities in 32 days.
In 1957, Danny found his major support. One hundred representatives of the Arab-American community met in Chicago. They formed ALSAC, which had the sole purpose of funding St. Jude and has been responsible for the hospital’s fundraising and financing ever since. Thanks to ALSAC, the hospital opened its doors in February 1962. Everyone involved was committed to Danny’s philosophy that “no child should die in the dawn of life.”
Does this determination, commitment, and compassion fit in with the “Christian” idea of what an American is? Does this example meet the criteria of just who and what we expect from American citizens? Does it surpass that of most native American citizens?
In today’s America, revisiting instances such as this are perhaps a good way to soothe the fears and ease the paranoia that has gripped many of us. These Muslims cared enough to act and take action when many other Americans wouldn’t, spending their own hard earned money to benefit others in their community. Not only did they act, they made a commitment that has endured beyond themselves. Any child, no matter their religion, color, or ethnicity finds the same treatment at St. Jude.
To date, no individual from any of the seven nations listed on Trump’s Executive Order has ever committed an act of terrorism on American soil. Ever. The immigrants that have committed acts of terrorism have been from Saudi Arabia (excluded from ban), the United Arab Emirates (excluded from ban), Egypt (excluded from ban), Lebanon (excluded from ban), Russia (excluded from ban), Kuwait (excluded from ban), and Pakistan (excluded from ban). These figures INCLUDE the 9/11 attack! Six of the nine (10, counting 9/11) terrorist acts on American soil since 9/11 have been perpetrated by native-born Americans.
Ultimately, what does all of this tell us about the fear and hysteria which is gripping many in our nation? How much is that fear, encouraged and enflamed by our politicians, that is based in reality? How much is it pure propaganda designed to create a population ripe for manipulation?
In the end, these are questions we must each ask ourselves. For me, it boils down to, “how honest am I being with myself” and “how much am I making decisions based upon my emotions rather than my intellect.” I know that, for me, if I am making emotionally based decisions, I am probably going to be making bad decisions.