Our political landscape is riven by divisions that can seem impossible to overcome. But cooperation is possible, and indeed thriving, among people of different faiths, nationalities, and political stripes. This week’s forum with Barbara Comstock and LuAnn Bennett, the candidates for Virginia’s 10th Congressional district, demonstrates that unity is possible.
   The forum is hosted by the All Dulles Area Muslims Society (ADAMS) and attended by members of St. John Neumann Catholic Church. Some of us are first-generation immigrants; some of us have long-established roots. Some of us worship on Sunday morning; some of us worship on Friday afternoon. All of us agree that the need to care for creation and vulnerable people is urgent — and that it shouldn’t be a partisan issue.
   We are all affected by climate change. Neighbors like us are affected by the increased asthma, allergies, and extreme weather that climate change contributes to. Others around the world are threatened by rising seas and worsening droughts. We’re parents, grandparents, and homeowners. Regardless of where we worship or whom we choose in the voting booth, the effects of climate change are catching up with us all.
   Solving climate change is not a partisan issue. It is a leadership issue, because we need our elected officials to take decisive action to deal with it. But it’s fire and foremost a human issue. That’s why we are uniting to ask Comstock and Bennett about their plans to mitigate the worst of climate change and help affected communities adapt.
   Climate change is real, it’s here, and we’ve got to do something about it. Muslim or Catholic, Democrat or Republican, we’re all affected. We’re in this together, and we must solve it together.

Saqib Raheem, ADAMS Center

Bob More, St. John Neumann Church

(This piece was authored by both Saqib Raheem and Bob More, and was published 10/20/2016 in the Loudoun Times-Mirror.