“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
These words in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence – preserved in the National Archives behind me – are the essence of what we celebrate each Fourth of July and state a universal yearning for freedom and justice.
American Muslims celebrate Independence Day knowing that our faith supports these eternal truths.
The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: “All humankind is from Adam and Eve. . .a white person has no superiority over a black person, nor does someone who is black have any superiority over someone who is white — except by piety and good action.”
In the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, God states: “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God.”
At a time when our nation is pulled apart by those promoting division and mistrust, let us all – regardless of faith or background – recommit ourselves to the self-evident truths enshrined in our nation’s foundational document.
Happy Fourth of July and as-salaamu alaykum, Peace Be to You.
I am Nihad Awad, National Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR.