I try to keep my page bright and positive, and if I’m not here for a long time, it usually means that I’m not able to find that hope within me to share. But we have to find it somehow; we have to try, and I’ve been collecting it from you and from others little by little every day for a week now. One word at a time. Thank you for that! ❤
Shock. Pain. Sadness. After all of that I’ve just found the ability to think and write again. But I’ve been reading. I’ve read a lot of heartfelt and heartbreaking pieces. Trying so hard to be very selective in what to share, I’ve still flooded my newsfeed. I also took breaks from all social media, not being able to take it anymore, and came right back to search for something hopeful, something meaningful. Thanks to everyone who took the time to write and share something positive – you’re my inspiration. You lit a candle in the darkness making the world a little less dark and a little less scary. And in the process, we felt united in taking a stand against wrong and standing up for what’s right. However, at times, it felt like preaching to the choir. Everyone who probably reads anything I write or share probably shares my feelings on these topics, so why try? On the other hand, there is the loud and vocal media claiming that more Muslims need to speak up against the attacks, so then I wonder maybe I should say something after all?
There are facts that most of us already know. We know that the world is burning. We know that there is some evil everywhere. Some goodness too. We know that some people are ignorant and they let their emotions blind them and fill their hearts with hate to the point that they are willing to hurt others. I’m talking about the people who attacked other people in Paris, Beirut, Syria, UK, USA and Canada etc. If you take away the borders and the labels, we’re all just people. And we, the people, have passed the blame back and forth between who started the wars and who created the terrorist groups that resulted in horrific attacks in the West then a lot more horrific attacks by the West that created more terror groups that did more attacks which resulted in more fear and backlash against more innocents…and what’s next? Please excuse my run-on sentence, but how much more can we take before we lose faith in humanity? Before our children can’t fall sleep at night because they’re too afraid? Before the world is separated and divided and no one is winning because you only lose by being fearful and alienated?
I’m just tired of this cycle of darkness. As soon as a tragedy like this occurs, Media has its buzz-words ready to go and the blame-game begins. Politicians try to twist and use the events to give their platform and agendas leverage. Muslims are asked to start apologizing for their religion, which really has nothing to do with the events. The number of violent hate crimes goes up. Hostility and ignorance run rampant hand-in-hand in online forums and comment sections. Until it all happens again, and keeps building up and blowing up, as long as the powerful people at the top keep getting what they want and need out of it.
It’s time we break this vicious cycle and say we have had enough. It’s time to remind ourselves and others that the heart that holds hate is the one that is darkened. I say this despite, and because, I understand how dark and scary it can feel. We also know what it feels like to fear for our safety. Heck, I’m afraid as a Muslim woman that I or someone I know might get pushed into a train, or worse, but it doesn’t give me the right to attack (in retribution or precaution) any or all white males because of these unfortunate incidents. Violence can never be justified. Blaming religion (specifically or in general) is very simplistic and misguided. If Islam was a violent religion, the murder-rate in Islamic countries wouldn’t be lower than the U.S. If religion as a whole was bad, it wouldn’t guide people to do good or give rights to the weak. I wish everyone could realize that certain individuals and parties will use whatever they can for power and personal greed – whether it be religion, money, race, gender or class. Examples of all of these can be very easily found in history. Do they really think if these terrorists did not have a religion, they wouldn’t be fighting for their country or clan or property? It’s time to explore other reasons behind these horrendous attacks rather than the simplistic ones shoved down our throats everyday on mainstream media. If we let the power players of this world lead us to such a state of fear and one-dimensional, selfish thinking, we are letting all the innocent lives go to waste.
So, let’s take a pledge just like the heroes do in books and movies after losing a loved one, when they make it a mission of their life to get justice by defeating the villain. This heart-wrenching video reminds us that the villain in our society is our fear and hatred of the ‘other’. Let’s pledge that we will not let these or any more innocent lives go in vain. We will not let undue hatred eat away at our humanity and our future. We will not let war tear people’s homes apart and we will not let violent criminals make us fear our peaceful neighbors. This is why we need to talk to people before we judge them and why we need to do some unbiased research before forming our opinions, so that we are not punishing the wrong enemy and living in a cycle of suffering as a consequence. This is why I cannot not read, share, or write about this topic, no matter how much it hurts. This is why I want you to write something too. Write how you feel or at least write down your pledge, because it will make someone feel better, even if that someone is you reading it in your own personal diary. We all want to take the first step to do something to help in some way, but just don’t know how. When we take this pledge, we light a candle which benefits ourselves foremost by driving away our darkness.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
Will you join me in this pledge to spread the light of unity, love and true understanding?