Anyone remember Elan Kurdi, the 2 year old Syrian boy whose dead body washed ashore in a foreign land? The day I saw that photo I hugged my two year old a little longer and a bit tighter because as a mother it gave me the chills and made me want to throw up looking at that innocent child who tasted the absolute worst and ugliest tragedies of life at such a tender age. I can’t let go of my child for more than a minute and Kurdi’s father had to let go of his hand and his brother’s in the middle of the ocean, knowing the waves would eat him up.
You want me to believe that Elan and the thousands of others like him, and their parents, who are fleeing terror and war themselves are the cause of everything wrong and malicious with the world? As a mother I find it beyond appalling. As a human being I find it beyond common sense.
I am as fearful of my children’s lives and futures as the average person. My life, and my family’s future is as much at stake as everybody out there being fed with lies and fear mongering. I’ll get one thing straight out. My religion does not even allow stepping on a spider because it helped our Prophet escape assassination. It does not allow cruelty to animals, and excused a prostitute her previous sins because she gave water to a thirsty dog in scorching heat. My religion gives as much rights to neighbors as it gives to one’s family, regardless of whatever religion or ethnicity they belong to. My religion propagates peace. Peace and peace alone. Humanity and humanity alone.
I cannot and do not want to stay silent anymore. I cannot afford to. My life is as much at stake as yours, probably even more because I cover my head and “look” dangerous. I cover my head because Mary covered hers, because Khadijah covered hers, because I feel precious and protected when I do so. My husband has a beard because Moses, and Abraham, and Jesus, and Mohammed PBUH are all respected and honored and loved by him. The reason we look different is because we love our peaceful religion. We’re different than those posing to be us, trying to make the world believe we’re dangerous just because we look different.
And just to reassure you, here are some ways we are exactly like everyone else:
-We love icecream
-We love reading books and long walks in fall
-We love bbqs with friends and beach days in summers
-We hate shoveling snow and every year have car trouble during winters
-My husband and I have a love marriage our parents were forced to arrange cuz we were just so madly in love!
-I crave sleep just like any sleep deprived new mother
-My father has Alzhiemer’s and it affects our family just like it does any other family
-My brother has Down’s syndrome and is like any other DS kid out there, loving and pure
-We cry and we laugh and we get frustrated, and we cry and laugh some more
I’d make this a long, long list but I think I made my point clear.
Whoever you are, whatever you do, please know that I am speaking on behalf of the majority of Muslims who wake up worrying about breakfast and what to make for dinner, to what to wear to work, and go to bed with the same worries; work 9 to 5 yet still live hand to mouth; love our families and friends to death; and also have personal faults like grunting instead of laughing, or having really bad sense of humor as anything related to farts or poop makes us laugh.
We need to use our ears and eyes more, and our mouths less. We need to think before we type/talk or even think. We all have the same colored blood in our veins. It doesn’t matter whose is shed in the name of what. In the end it will always be red, and the ones shedding it will always be driven by hatred and lies. Acts to widen the divide between humans will continue. What we can do is overcome them by showing them we are united. If we don’t act now there won’t be a world for our children to enjoy. Heck, there won’t be any children for the world to enjoy.
Truth always wins. Humanity breeds love. Knowledge overcomes ignorance. I’m human and I’m Muslim, and I have had enough. #notinmyname #islamispeace # children #forourchildren #enoughisenough