Obama Nominates the First Muslim to D.C. Circuit Court

Dean Satouri, Staff Writer

In early September, President Barack Obama made a historic nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court by nominating Abid Riaz Qureshi, a Pakistani Muslim immigrant. If the nomination is confirmed, Qureshi will be the first Muslim federal judge in the history of the United States. Although the nomination is historic, it is unlikely to be confirmed since the U.S. Senate has been holding out on confirming Obama’s nominees and will not confirm any nominations until Obama’s presidency ends in January.

The nomination of Qureshi is significant to many Muslim Americans in the United States. Qureshi’s nomination would provide me and many other Muslims with with a role model and representative in the government that is not currently present. A big question that people are asking, however, is whether Qureshi’s Muslim faith is actually important.

“I think [that the nomination of Qureshi] is a relatively big deal because of the way Muslims are treated in the media and because Muslims have been seen in a bad way for so long,” sophomore Kynath Shahid said. “This can change people’s views on us.”

Since the start of the election season, the media coverage of Muslims has been less than flattering with the proposed Muslim ban and Donald Trump’s alarming rhetoric toward Muslims and Muslim Americans creates a hostile and uncomfortable environment.  Qureshi’s nomination serves as positive change of pace for Muslims in the media.

“With our election climate right now and the controversy being discussed with Muslims, it is a big deal,” junior Max Read said. “My hope is in the future this news won’t be a big deal, but because of the way Muslims are perceived today, this nomination is a big deal.”

“It is not a big deal; him being Muslim is just one aspect of his personality, and as long as he carries out the law, it shouldn’t matter what religious background he is from,” social studies teacher James MacKenzie said. “It is a step in the right direction for Muslim Americans but it isn’t a big deal for him to fulfill his duties as a judge”

Hopefully in the future, we can get to a point in our society where a Muslim judge won’t be headline news, but unfortunately that isn’t where we are today. The historic nomination of Qureshi sends a message of inclusion and shows that the government values diversity.