Dr. Ayaz Virji is a prominent citizen of Dawson, a small rural farm town in Minnesota. At 42, he’s happily married to his wife Musarrat and together they have three children. Born in Kenya, Ayaz is of Indian descent and was raised in Florida. And as far as anyone knows, the Virji’s are the first Muslim family to live in Dawson.
Before the election, Dr. Virji says he felt safe in the town where he had risen to become the top doctor at the local hospital. But things have changed since the election after he discovered that nearly 60% of his neighbors voted for Donald Trump and appear to support xenophobic policies. At first he was angry but soon decided to make a difference by offering lectures about his faith and culture to his neighbors and patients at community centers and churches (also reported in this Washington Post piece).
On a recent episode of Carvell Walace’s podcast “Closer Than They Appear,” Dr. Virji discusses “activism, faith and practicing forgiveness.” CLICK for the podcast.