With tears in our eyes, heavy hearts and a feeling of inability to help, we pray for Egypt, Rohingya, Yemen, Somalia, and everywhere that people suffer regardless of religion, race or ethnicity:
We call upon you with your Asma-ul-Husna (beautiful names),
Ya Rab (O Sustainer) – Ya Khaliq (O Creator) – Ya Shafi (O Healer) – Ya Malik (O King) – Ya Rahman (O Merciful One) – Ya Muhaymin (O Protector) – Ya Adl (O Just One) – Ya Raqeeb (O All-Watchful One)
Please heal the hearts of those who lost loved ones and the hearts of those injured.
Please bring justice to the families of those murdered and injured.
Please bring peace to all the people who suffer under the scourge of Islamophobia, hate, fear, and greed.
Since the presidential election, we have all seen a whirlwind of activity at–what some may say–is an unprecedented level. Muslims in America feel that whirlwind at a more intense pace. I started writing this article on Egypt at the request of a Muslim student but soon realized to address Egypt and not other atrocities would be wrong. Egypt is one of many attacks against Muslims yet it is not even the largest, in terms of the death toll, against Muslim civilians in 2017. There is also the Rohingya Muslim crisis, which is ethnic cleansing led by the Burmese government and Buddhist monks that has created more than 600,000 refugees.
In November alone, there have been 38 attacks against Muslims across the Muslim world. In 2017, there have been over 8 attacks with casualties numbering more than 100. This includes an attack in Somalia on Oct. 14 that killed 512, in comparison to the recent attack in Egypt’s death toll of 309. We often don’t hear of these tragedies. When the news chooses to cover some tragedies but not others, it is implying that some lives are more valuable. It’s time we stop exclusively viewing Muslims as perpetrators of violence and start seeing them as victims. Victims who deserve a Facebook flag. Victims who deserve media coverage. Victims who deserve our help.
Many of you may be wondering what you can do to help. The root of hate that perpetuates this violence is fear and hatred. Ignorance is best combated through education. If we are to break this cycle of genocidal policies we must first know one another. Approximately 60 percent of Americans have never met a Muslim, and Islam is the most disliked religion in America according to Pew Research. GenocideWatch.org lists the first step towards genocide as the classification of its victims as the “other.” The solution is finding common ground and enjoying it together. For example, we all enjoy air, food, gifts, hospitality, good jobs, water, peace, and so much more. Each tradition has untold richness on all of these topics that we can all benefit from.
To address Islamophobia, I encourage Wesleyan:
STUDENTS to use me for events, programming, as a resource for your projects, papers, and questions; and to visit our weekly Jummah sermon and prayer currently at the Bayit (shout out to the Jewish community for their generosity).
PROFESSORS to invite me into their classrooms when curriculums include Islam, Muslims, or related topics. I am also ready to help arrange local Mosque visits for your classes.
AREA COORDINATORS, HOUSE MANAGERS & RAs to invite me to host programs. I have three main presentations: Islam 101, ISIS & Islamophobia.