I was struck this week when President Trump had the peaceful protestors forcibly removed from Lafayette Park so that he could stage a photo op, in which he used the Christian religion as a political weapon the way the mullahs have exploited Islam for four decades.

Contrast this moment with President Bush, who, after 9/11, took off his shoes and walked into a mosque to remind us that Americans of all religions were the victims of that great tragedy and not perpetrators or sympathizers.

One of these men was trying to make America more American. And one of them is trying to turn it into something different.

Something that I recognize. Remember: I grew up in Iran.

The violation of Americans’ Constitutional right to assembly disgusts me like nothing in my life. Sure, I have seen worse in Iran—much, much worse. But I expected that. In fact, I expected nothing but police brutality, discrimination, and oppression in Iran. Because that’s the natural state of an illiberal regime.