By opposing the parental rights bill that was recently shot down in the General Assembly and calling it “nonsensical,” Delegate Salam “Sam” Rasoul (D) betrayed the parents in Roanoke.
When Rasoul ran for the Virginia House of Delegate-11th District, in 2014, the majority of people in the local Middle Eastern community, including the Muslims, supported him. His yard signs during the election could be noticed across Roanoke City and in front of most of the Middle Eastern-owned convenience stores.
As a result, the majority of people who voted for him joyfully welcomed him as an elected young Muslim man who would represent the traditional values of people, including the Muslims in the Roanoke Valley. Muslims stood behind him thinking he was holding the conservative, Muslim Middle Eastern principles.
Years later, some concerns have risen about Rasoul’s Muslim faith during his 2021 campaign for Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor. The concerns and questions were whether he would be able to represent all Virginians regardless of his faith or would he be biased. It is noteworthy that the reason for such a concern was due to a large donation from out-of-state Muslim groups. However, he lost in the Democratic primary.
It is necessary to understand that the faith of Islam is composed of specific principles that a Muslim must embrace and follow on a daily basis, and under no circumstances should these principles be twisted or manipulated. Rasoul has ignored these principles as he fell off and moved away to embrace the liberal ideology.
Delegate Rasoul’s latest opposition to parents’ involvement in their children’s lives is a complete disappointment. By opposing the legislation known as “Sage’s Law” that requires schools to notify parents if their children identify as a gender other than their biological sex, Rasoul has participated in an action that will create divisions among families and blind fold parents from being informed about their children in school.
Rasoul’s role in the House of Delegate does not advocate parenting rights in Virginia, and he seems to only care about his political success. His undermining of such common-sense legislation is not only hurting parental rights, but is also creating a gap between parents and schools. Without a doubt, Delegate Rasoul has totally alienated himself from the Muslim community in Roanoke.
Furthermore, politicians must not get involved in and undermine parental rights. It is completely a matter, a concern, and the rights of parents to be notified about how their children are doing in school. Obviously, Delegate Rasoul did not experience the agony of the mother of Sage Blair, for whom “Sage’s Law” is named after. She was an Appomattox teenager who changed her pronouns and was a victim of bullying and sex trafficking. Sadly, Rasoul has no sympathy for Sage or her mother.
Sage’s mother, as she appeared and spoke on WSLS 10 news, believes that if the school had been required to notify her about Sage, the years of bullying and sex trafficking would have been avoided. Conversely, Rasoul sees this legislation as “a nonsensical bill” and claims there is no need for schools to be required to notify parents in these specific situations.
Delegate Rasoul is a complete disappointment for his inability and unwillingness to represent Virginians and specifically Roanokers. Rasoul’s biased act in opposing the parental rights bill “Sage’s Law” and labeling it “nonsensical” was not due to his Muslim faith, but due to his liberal mentality that has become a barrier between him and the parents and the Muslim community in Roanoke City.
Rasoul’s two-year term is up for re-election this fall. Roanoke City can do better and deserves better.
– Serwan Zangana supported Operation Iraqi Freedom as a U.S Army translator before coming to the U.S from Kurdistan, Iraq in 1997 to seek political asylum. He was granted asylum status and years later proudly became a U.S citizen. He currently serves as a correction officer in Roanoke.