I was going to Philadelphia for my family reunion. The question was how would we travel. We were just about to decide to fly and then a terrorist attack somewhere in the world occurred. Well, scrap that idea; off to the long road trip.
I often hear on television people saying, “Don’t let the terrorist win. Keep traveling, etc.”
Yeah, it’s a great sentiment; however, those same people are the ones who will randomly select me. Look at me with menacing growls on their faces. They’re the ones who act like they’re making a phone call and probably taking a picture of me on their phone to send to their friends and families with only Allah (SWT) knows what the message reads. These are the same people who smile in your face but post hateful things on posts throughout the internet. So, it’s off to the road trip we go.
Road trips are fun, that is until we have to stop to use the bathroom or get gas in some rural area where it feels as if you are in the Twilight Zone and someone is waiting to kill you. Or in Deliverance and, well… you know. But, we arrived and had a ball.
Then it comes time to visit my son. Nothing to worry about, right? Well, maybe, accept, you got it, another terrorist attack. Reread previous paragraphs. It gets old, but I learn to live with it. But, should I have to be afraid of my fellow citizens? Should I have to worry that these same people who maybe they, their parents, or their grandparents just came over here will yell and tell me to go back to my country?
But then it gets better, I mean, it gets worse. People are attacked at masajid (mosques) around the country. Then there are suicide bombers in Saudi Arabia! Saudi Arabia!! What is really going on. So, now, I have to worry about those Americans who hate me just because. Those people who are believing whatever narrative some rogue ISIS, because I refuse to call them Islamic State because everything they do is the antithesis of Islam, is telling them to do. I don’t know if I’m safe anywhere but home.
For example, I arrive at the newly constructed masjid that I’ve attended for the past 20 years. They did a Donald Trump. What’s a Donald Trump you may ask. That’s when they built a wall, that’s right, a wall. Not a curtain, not a movable wall, but a solid, cannot penetrate wall between the brothers and the sisters. So, what’s the issue with that one may ask. Well, first of all, they just shut our voices off. The bathroom is only accessed from outside. There is really only one means of egress, which means we open out into the same area. Are they concerned with the safety of the women and children? Only Allah (SWT) knows.
This just pours into my narrative about why I care. I never, ever felt like a second class citizen in Islam until this wall was built. I don’t want to be with the brothers, but if there is a lesson, meeting, etc. I would like to have a voice. How can I ask a question or address my concerns if there is no way for me to get the message to the teacher, imam, etc.? Now to my next reason why I care.
For two days I read about two black men in their thirties gunned down by police officers. One had a few setbacks in his life, the other did everything the right way; however, both met the same ending. To this, there are many people trying to find fault with the murdered rather than the murder victims. My sadness increases as all of these unfortunate events occur. Below is my recommendation on how some of these ills may be diminished if not eliminated.
We have to unite; this idea was brought to me by my eldest daughter. After discussing this idea with her, I have to say I agree 100%. When I say all, I mean all of us, not just in the US, but around the globe must work together. The biggest trick is divide and conquer.
Growing up, my mother taught me you can break a hand by breaking each finger individually when the fingers are spread apart. However, you cannot break a hand when it is balled into a fist. Let us ALL unite regardless of race, religion, sexuality, ethnicity, gender identity, ability or disability. Enough of the separation. Whether you believe what I’m about to type or not is of no consequence, I want to let you know that the first hint of racism began after the creation of Adam (may peace be upon him).
The devil, in the Qur’an is identified as Iblis, was in the group of angels because at that time he was the best amongst the Jinn. When they, the angels and Iblis, were commanded to prostrate to Adam, he refused. When Allah, may He be glorified, asked why he didn’t prostrate. His, Iblis, response was, “I’m better than him, You created him from clay while you created me from fire.” So, when we let our differences divide us, we are letting the chief deceiver win.
Let’s all stand together and make a stance. This is not about marching and praying. We must pray every day anyway. This is about a paradigm shift from what is to what should be. Many may not read this, and, oh well. But those of you that do, let’s brainstorm on how to really make our country, and subsequently, our world great.
They are the reason I care!!
Author Karimah G.