Dear Editor, 

On June 6th, Governor Ralph Northam announced that the statue of Robert E. Lee in Richmond will be removed. Along with this statue, the Mayor of Richmond also called to have the statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate generals Stonewall Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart removed. 

To understand why these statues are being taken down, it is important to understand American history. Lee was a general who led the Confederate States military during the Civil War - a war fought over the issue of slavery and discrimination towards black people. The Confederate states wanted to keep slavery; thus, many activists wanted the statue of Robert E. Lee to be taken down. Over the past few years, efforts of removing Confederate monuments and statues have led to positive changes. Many schools have also decided to change their names or remove the names of those associated with the Confederacy.

In the Holy Qur’an, God says, “Surely, good works drive away evil works. This is a reminder for those who would remember,” (11:115). These statues are finally being taken down as they do not represent the principles of mankind. We should not memorialize painful symbols of oppression that hurt a community. We should celebrate those who have believed in equality for all and those who brought positive change into the world. No matter who you are, we are all equal as we were brought into this world by the same Creator.

Ujala Yousaf

Centreville, VA

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