Former Parks and Recreation star Aziz Ansari does not like presidential candidate Donald Trump, and he has a very personal reason for it. Ansari is the son of Muslim immigrants, the very people Trump has proposed banning from the United States to prevent terrorism.
In an op-ed piece for the New York Times, Ansari shares why Trump's "vitriolic and hate-filled rhetoric" makes him worried for his family and friends.
He begins the essay with a text message he sent his mother following the mass shooting in Orlando earlier this month, fearing for her safety: "Don't go anywhere near a mosque."
Contrary to Trump's outlook, Ansari explains, to take away the rights of millions of Muslims because of the actions of a few isn't just discriminatory — it's illogical.
"The overwhelming number of Muslim Americans," he writes, "have as much in common with that monster in Orlando as any white person has with any of the white terrorists who shoot up movie theaters or schools or abortion clinics."
Ansari argues that the answer to terrorism should not be to punish those who are just as saddened by the tragedy as everyone else, but to prevent those who wish to do harm from possessing the means.
While airport security has tightened, gun control has not. "Suspected terrorists can buy assault rifles," he points out, "but we're still carrying tiny bottles of shampoo to the airport."
Ansari ends his piece by making a powerful comparison. He refers to Trump's repeated insistence that he witnessed Muslims in New Jersey cheering the 9/11 attacks. Then he quotes Trump's recent tweet following the Orlando shooting, which began, "Appreciate the congrats."
As Ansari writes, "It appears that day he was the one who was celebrating after an attack."
You can read the full op-ed here.