Response to Christchurch Shooting: "I believe we are more alike than we are different."
إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un
“We belong to Allah and to Allah we shall return”
On any given Friday all across the globe, millions of Muslims go to their local mosque on their holy day and give their spirituality over to Allah (God). We listen intently to the Imam and silently pray along with the Qutbah (sermon) with our children in our laps or sitting beside us as they squirm and giggle unable to sit still. Though exasperated by their behavior you smile to yourself in gratitude that they are with you on this holy day. Now imagine as a stranger walks through the door and though you greet him with a warm welcome, “Welcome brother” he chooses to literally take out a semi-automatic rifle and start opening fire into a sanctuary meant for prayer and peace. That is exactly what happened at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15th, 2019.
Let me tell you what this blog post is NOT going to be about:
How hate crimes have increased since political rhetoric seems to give permission to it. (Against Jews, Muslims, the LGBTQ community & People of Color)
How when the 50 plus names (and counting) of the people killed in cold-blood were read at a local mosque vigil you realized that one of them was a 3-year-old little boy, and the flood gates of emotions finally broke you because you were holding the hand of your baby boy only a few years older than him.
How the gun-control laws are horribly flawed and outdated in our country and now apparently around the world.
How our children confused and scared don’t know how to cope with their identity as American Muslim because they feel they will not be seen as “American” enough even though their blood bleeds red, white, and blue and they have NO connection to any other country but America, simply because of their faith and in some instances their non-white appearance.
How your teenage son, who by the way has never known a world without Islamaphobia, was enraged to know that the S.O.B who dared to come into a place of worship live streamed the entire (BLEEPING) event and the event was not labeled a “terrorist attack”.
How you then have to calmly teach a whole generation of American Muslim kids who play basketball with YOURS, who invite you into their homes without any thought, who think of themselves ONLY as American...that there are people who think they aren’t “American” enough.
I will focus on the dozens of emails/messages/phone calls I received on a personal level from friends, neighbors, inter-faith community leaders. I will focus on the outpouring levels of love and support from the greater community. I will focus on the children I see on a daily basis who though I do not share blood feel a level of love, pride, and kinship because I have the knowledge that THEY are the future of America. I will continue to focus on raising my four amazingly flawed and beautiful children to love and respect everyone not only for our similarities but BECAUSE of our differences. I will focus on love and peace and NOT hate because at the end of the day we are more alike than we are different.
I want to end this with a prayer for my brothers and sisters in New Zealand.
To Allah we belong and to him we shall return. Oh Allah, help me in my calamity and replace it with good.
I grieved for my friend or my brother;
I went about as one who laments his mother,
bowed down and in mourning.
Those who are worn out and crushed by this mourning, let your hearts consider this:
This is the path that has existed from the time of creation and will exist forever.
Many have drunk from it and many will yet drink.
As was the first meal, so shall be the last.
May the master of comfort comfort you. Blessed are those who comforts the mourners.
--Jewish Poem of Comfort
Until Next Time,