Perhaps you might say where have you been? Probably living under that rock, to be unaware of the sadness and injustice of recent events. Who in the world has not heard about George Floyd? Or seen the videos surrounding his death?
I am not here to defend my non- mainstream news watching ways or my casual disinterest in social media. Or my ignorance around the pressing issues of the day.
But I have literally just heard and read about Shukri Abdi a few days ago.
The human in me, the Muslim, the mother, the writer, could not just keep silent and not add her two cents to the conversation.
I feel so angry and outraged. Not just for Shukri. For Iyad. For George. For Breona. And for the countless others whose lives have been cruelly and callously snuffed out by hard-hearted criminal hands.
I feel so helpless and yet none of us is. There is always something we can do. We can always call out inhumane, unfair, and unjust words, actions, and laws.
We can make others aware, we can make donations, but more importantly……
We can search our own hearts for any bigotry, prejudice, and notions of superiority.
I am a proud Muslim and I know my faith abhors and denounces racism and any other kind of ‘ism’ that denies fellow humans their dignity and their right to life. Leave humans aside, it even denounces the inhumane treatment of animals.
That being said, whatever our faith, do we really consider all humans equal?
Consider them in our hearts, not just out aloud (when we are being politically correct) consider them to be worthy as the same rights and privileges as us?
Do our actions mimic our words?
Hate is taught. No child is born hating or judging another person based on the colour of his skin or his faith. HATE IS TAUGHT.
Are we teaching it to our kids?
Maybe not in words, but maybe our body language, or in the nuances of our speech? Or in a passive-aggressive manner?
Let us look within, let us cleanse our hearts and attitudes towards our fellow humans.
It is the very least we can do. But it can make all the difference.
May the Almighty God forgive us all. Ameen.