my best friend hasn’t been responding to my texts. i was really annoyed/angry at first bc he tends to this but now i’m kinda worried… i hope he’s ok. duas would be appreciated
Sultan Ahmed Mosque from Hagia Sophia @ Istanbul, Turkey
My father was always fond of his beard. It was dark brown, always neatly trimmed, and framed his face perfectly. It had been with him since he was a teenager, his most distinguishing feature. It was what his children liked best, what his wife found comfort in – an identifier almost as important as his name. I remember coming home from school one day to find that it was gone; to me, it was simply an unexpected change, but to him it was a true loss of identity. In the days following 9/11, as he was riding the bus home from work, a group of men openly discussed their grievances against Islam. They loudly declared that Muslims should be persecuted for their “crimes against humanity,” going so far as to suggest that they all be “exterminated.” They continued to jeer at my father, growing only more emphatic as he became visibly uncomfortable. The beard he wore so proudly for twenty-five years was now a danger to his own life. As more hate crimes against South Asians were reported daily in the news, my father realized he wasn’t left a choice. At the time of 9/11, I was seven years old and we had only been in America for one year. Our neighbors were so curious—they asked about our home in India, about the languages we spoke, and the Gods we worshipped as Hindus. I attended one of the most diverse elementary schools, which fostered an environment where everyone’s traditions were welcomed and celebrated. Although I remember the news stories and subsequent chaos of that day, I can’t recall much else. It wasn’t until I talked to my father one month ago that I realized I was missing some key pieces to our story. I never knew the loss my father experienced due to such intolerance and prejudice. Moreover, I never recognized how this day only further polarized an already deeply divided group of people: Hindus and Muslims. Growing up in India, I became familiar with the culture of mistrust between Hindus and Muslims very early, something that had pervaded our nation for almost a millennium. With 9/11, Hindus now had more reason to dissociate from their Muslim brethren. We did not want to be misidentified as the other. But what we failed to see was that we could not criminalize an entire belief system for the fault of a few fanatics. At its core, Islam sought the same peace as my Hindu doctrines. Prophet Muhammad taught, “Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself.” And if we seek peace for ourselves, so too should we seek it for those still marginalized following 9/11. Never again should someone have to shear a part of their identity to appease bigots and radicals. This is what is at stake and what my passion for interfaith cooperation stems from. We should not look for more reasons to separate, but rather find opportunities to come together.
I wrote this once.(via yesmishmish)