A Muslim doctor lost his home and his practice in Pakistan and is now living as an asylum-seeker in the United States after receiving death threats for helping save the life of a Christian patient.
The doctor, who is unnamed for security reasons, shared his story with The Guardian as part of the newspaper's "How I got here" series on individual immigration stories.
He revealed that while working as a doctor in Pakistan, he used emergency medicine donated through Islamic alms-giving to treat a Christian in urgent need of attention. Although the patient survived, the doctor was subject to death threats because he did not know the alms-donated medicine was only to be used on Muslims.
"I did not know the patient's faith, nor did I know that such a law existed," the doctor recounted. "I promptly replaced the medicine, which cost around $20. But it didn't end there. "
A representative from a conservative Islamic NGO was infuriated by the doctor's actions and attributed his lack of knowledge about the alms laws to the fact that he belonged to a minority Muslim sect.
"The workplace discrimination gave way to threatening phone calls and vandalism of my car and bike," he said."They found out my family lived in America and that I was alone. This made me an easy target. I was threatened with death at a medical conference."
Eventually, the doctor was forced to flee Pakistan and claim asylum in the United States. However, he is unable to to practice medicine in America and described the "hard" life of an asylum seeker.
Currently, the doctor is working part-time and studying the rest of the time in an attempt to obtain a licence to practice medicine.
But he is "deeply troubled by the discrimination of Muslims in America". He wrote: "I personally feel this country is abandoning the very principles its based on."
He also expressed concern over the possible election of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who announced in June that as president he would "suspend immigration from areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe, or our allies."
Evangelist Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, similarly wrote on Facebook that the country should "should stop all immigration of Muslims to the U.S. until this threat with Islam has been settled.
"Every Muslim that comes into this country has the potential to be radicalized - and they do their killing to honor their religion and Muhammad," Graham wrote at the time. "During World War 2, we didn't allow Japanese to immigrate to America, nor did we allow Germans. Why are we allowing Muslims now?"
The doctor lamented that the "demagogues emerging in this election campaign make me feel that I have no place to seek refuge anymore."
"My native country is a bedrock of religious fanaticism and presents a certain death for me," he wrote. "Meanwhile my country of asylum is fast enveloping in Islamophobia."
While facing overwhelming challenges, the doctor doesn't regret helping the Christian patient, as he believes that "humanity is the core of any religion."
"I knowingly went out of my way to help a human in need, without a thought about his religion," he wrote. "I faced backlash that would change my life forever. But, in the name of humanity, I deem that it was all worth it."