Hoosier uses Trump’s proposed "ban on Muslims" as call to action

Hiba Suleman

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States has generated strong opinions on both sides.

The comments have proven hurtful for American Muslims in Indiana and around the country. However, one Plainfield family is turning the frustration into action.

"Personally, as someone who was born and raised in the home of the brave, I really think this is the time to be brave and not let fear cloud our judgment when we hear comments like Donald Trump's," said Hiba Suleman, daughter of Babar Suleman and sister of Haris Suleman.

Babar and Haris Suleman died in July 2014 during their attempt to fly around the world in 30 days on a charity mission. The father-son duo's single engine plane crashed in American Samoa.

"Though the journey itself was what made headlines, it's actually the people that they were that really changed other people's lives," Hiba Suleman said.

The goal of their trip was to raise money for an organization called "Seeds of Learning" which helps build schools for underprivileged students in Pakistan.

"If there's one thing that my dad and brother can show, is that they loved this country. And that was part of the reason why they wanted to give back in Pakistan, because they realize that this country is what allowed them to come up from where Pakistan is now," Suleman said.

Hiba Suleman was hurt by Trump's proposed "ban on Muslims" and felt compelled to speak up.

"It's casting this negative shadow on not only Muslims around the world, but also on my dad and brother," Suleman said. "I might be able to stand for it because I can speak for myself but when it comes to Donald Trump’s comments casting this doubt on my dad and brother's character, that's not something that I can sit idly by and just quietly take."

Suleman decided to turn to Facebook with a call to action.

"Why not support a project highlighting the contributions of two Muslims that lived and died promoting education and peace?" she said in a post.

That project is a documentary about her father and brother. Learn more here.

"This documentary, what my dad and brother did, they did because they were in America. They did because once they moved here, they were able to improve their lives in a way that they might not have been able to when my parents were still in Pakistan," Suleman said. "Even though they didn't want to be politicized, I think they can really improve the conversation about Muslims in this country when people know that kind of positive impact they've had, I think that will really change people's minds."

The film is now in its final stages, showing a side of the story Suleman believes people need to see, especially now.

"I really think that this documentary is an important way for people to see that keeping Muslims out of the country or discriminating is not the answer, because they are making positive impacts in our local communities and around the world," Suleman said.

Seeds of Learning is still accepting donations in honor of Babar and Harris Suleman. Make a donation here.