If you’re Brussels, then you must be Ankara. If you’re Paris, then you must be Beirut. If you’re San Bernardino, then you must be Oslo. If you’re Newtown, then you must be Peshawar. If only this list didn’t continue. If a city I mentioned is unfamiliar, add the word “attack” after it when you search it. Don’t allow your reaction to an atrocity compel you to be selective in your outrage and compassion. You’ll realize again and again and again that extremism is a brand alone that hangs on the fringe of every belief system that exists. It hopes that you give it a specific name. It begs that you encourage division through fear and ignorance. It prays that you discriminate its perpetrators and its victims. Any city that has experienced an atrocity bleeds for peace, yearns to heal, and seeks our compassion. So after we offer our thoughts and prayers, we must live them in how we respond together no matter the city.
I delivered a Khutbah (sermon) for the MakeSpace community about how Muslim and American values are one in the same when in the service of others even when facing bigoted, divisive, and hateful rhetoric that has claimed this election cycle. Using the example of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Linda Sarsour, and Dalia Mogahed, it’s reinvesting in our voice, our identity, and our civic duty can we truly reclaim our narrative.