When the Mayflower landed in the New World in 1620, those aboard sought to escape religious persecution in Europe.
As an Ahmadi Muslim from Pakistan I have experienced firsthand the need for the U.S. to remain a religious safe haven.
In Pakistan the members of my community lack the right to identify as Muslims and face severe government-sanctioned persecution.
We are denied service at stores due to minor doctrinal differences. In extreme cases our lives have been threatened by our fellow countrymen.
Following the horrendous events in Paris and San Bernardino, a few extremists such as Donald Trump have begun to publicize extreme plans to deal with the issue.
Mr. Trump proposes to protect the country by banning Muslims from entering the U.S. He seems unable to accept that America was formed as a nation of immigrants.
For Muslims like the Ahmadiyya Community, America has always been an escape from the hardships at home. If the U.S. adopted the extreme measures proposed by Mr. Trump members my community and of other oppressed communities around the world would be left without hope.
As Americans we should understand the need for a nation that welcomes those persecuted for their religious beliefs. Mr. Trump's ideals not only are morally wrong but go against everything America stands for.
Ahtesham Chaudhry, Severn