• Editor's note: This is the full text of Muslim high school student's message to members of First United Church of Lombard.
My name is Zahra Irfan, and I am a freshman at the College Preparatory School of America here in Lombard. I am an American Muslim, but I believe I am no different than any other American.
I may pray differently than you, but we both worship the same One God, even if we refer to him by different names. I understand the importance of faith, but I also know how important it is to stand in solidarity with my fellow Americans, no matter their religion. Islam is a peaceful religion by nature, even if the media portrayal of it often seems otherwise.
I was deeply concerned by the recent immigration ban passed by President Trump. The banned countries have a majority Muslim population, and most of them are war-torn right now. Millions of residents from these seven countries have fled and hope to find asylum elsewhere, and many were even preparing to come to the United States, but they were stopped by the sudden ban. These refugees had nowhere to go, and staying in their homelands meant almost certain death. America was built upon the ideals of equality and justice for all, and now is no time to abandon these basic principles.
I greatly appreciate all the support you have shown to Muslims, and it makes me feel so much better to know that I am not alone in my concerns. Islam teaches us to stand for justice and instructs us to care for the helpless and the oppressed.
I was recently driving past your church and to my surprise, I saw your digital sign with the message "Jesus was a refugee." That message alone says so much coming from a church, and I am so grateful for all the support you have shown to the less fortunate and the warm welcome you are offering refugees from war-stricken countries.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there in this time of confusion and difficulty. I believe that standing in solidarity with people of other religions is very important, and I hope to learn more about your religion. I thank you again, and hope we can learn more about each other.
May God bless you, and may God bless America.