While you're still horrified by the mosque shooting, I'm going to share something I don't normally share. Because tomorrow, it won't be so fresh, and that feeling you have right now, where even a small, kindhearted country like NZ isn't safe won't be filling your heart the 1/
way it is right now. That feeling? That fear? That is the feeling that many of us feel every time we set foot in a Mosque. I used to attend one of the larger Mosques in San Diego. It was beautiful and was one of the few places I felt at peace. I took my young niece 2/
every week, and she couldn't wait for us to don our hijabs and drive to the Mosque for Friday services, community, and a meal many of us would share together. Then the hate started. I won't share everything that happened, but one day, someone duct taped firecrackers 3/
two the underside of several cars while we all prayed. Luckily, they didn't cause the cars to explode, but it changed everything. More things happened, forcing us to hire security guards around the clock to keep us safe. Things began to happen to me outside the Mosque, and 4/
One day, someone saw me driving with my hijab on and ran me off the road with a toddler in the backseat. I realized that exercising my freedom of religion and practicing a religion I had practiced in rural KY without issue was putting my family in danger. I stopped wearing 5/
hijab and I started parking really far from the Mosque and walking down the winding streets, stopping to cover my head just before I entered because I was so scared. Not for myself, but for my family. As time went on, things only got worse, and there came a point where 6/
I couldn't listen to the Khutbah any longer without watching the door, and wondering if today was going to be the day that they would stop trying to get us in our cars and attack us when we were sitting ducks. I moved to Texas, and the haters were even more vocal here. 7/
My middle child came home crying because the World Cultures teacher told the class that all Muslims were terrorists no matter what we said to try to hide who we were. My children were bullied for who I was, and I withdrew even more. Then the shootings and the fires started 8/
Nowhere was safe. Not school, not houses of worship, not my own car. It took a while to find a Mosque here. They're not as bold here, tucked away in small communities. I have been to the Mosque here. It is beautiful, and the people are friendly. But every time I step foot 9/
In the Mosque, my anxiety skyrockets and I feel like I'm going to die. I've been in two active shooter situations in my life. I have been spit on, shoved and cursed out. And once, a man with a gun on his hip turned to me and said something that made my blood run cold 10/
Because in his mind, he was the good guy with the gun, despite his t-shirt that clearly proclaimed to "shoot 'em all, and let G-d decide" with the dead bodies obvious Muslims. Nowhere is safe. And this feeling that you have right now, this is how some of us feel every time 11/
we leave our homes. Because every Friday prayer could be our last. Today, families went into Mosques in NZ, ready to sit with loved ones and pray and they were slaughtered. The current climate allowed this. This isn't about some unhinged loner in his parents' 12/
basement. When Islamaphobia is normalized, this could be anyone. Because people are afraid to stand up, or if it doesn't affect them, maybe they "mind their own business". Anytime you hear Islamaphobic remarks (and antisemitic remarks because Jewish Americans are not safe, 13/
in this climate, either) and you say nothing, you are letting them know that their words mean nothing. You cannot be an ally if you shy away from confrontation. When your family members and friends joke about stereotypes and you avoid conflict, you feed the beast. 14/
We need you all to speak out. We can't be the only ones to stand up to the hate. This is the time when allies make a marked difference. We need you to stand up. To say that there is no such thing as a harmless joke or a funny stereotype. Don't say that your father/brother/ 15/
grandmother/boss didn't mean "regular Muslims". You can't just let this stuff go, because it grows and it builds up until there is nowhere safe for anyone to worship. Or live. Or breathe. My daughter deserves a world where my heart doesn't skip a beat every time she comes 16/
out of school wearing a hijab she snuck in her backpack. On holidays when the kids can come to Khutbah, I shouldn't wonder if "Thanksgiving Massacre at [name] Mosque" is going to be the next headline. To be forgotten a week later. This is our daily life. When the headline 17/
Is replaced with another tragedy & memories of today fade, we will still be in danger in our homes, spit on, yelled out, our Mosques burned, vandalized, and our women unsafe because of a piece of cloth. Don't just speak up today. Don't think a hashtag dedicated to the victims 18/
makes you an ally. Speaking up anytime you see something, boycotting celebrities who spread antisemitism & Islamaphobia, & educating your family is how you show your allyship. We need you. Your voice matters. Please, speak up and don't stop until this world is safe for us all.
I’m so sorry. For my home state’s bullshit, for the haters, for the insecure rednecks who have persecuted you and your family. We have a long history of glorifying ignorance in Texas, of the good ol boy culture, and this is its horribly natural conclusion: fear of differences.😞
to be honest, this is somehow everyones life though. theres a LOT of massacres/shootings in the US, what seemed like every single week for a while, without any religious or racist target and a week later it was forgotten. because there was the next. the real problem is the USA.
Thx for sharing but why do we give so much power to man-made structures/religious figureheads & turn it into culture that tribalises. It's used as a weapon to accentuate our differences not what unites us. Wonder if we'd be better off if religion was private, contemplative
wearing hijab in solidarity is huge. I once had a coworker who just decided to fast Ramadan with me one year because I was the only one fasting and it was AMAZING. I never forgot that kindness. Befriend her parents, and maybe even find out when 'eid (holiday) is
Sister. Sikhs understand this. We stand with you. Let us help carry this burden. Each time you feel unsafe practising your faith, look around for a Sikh to keep you and your family company. We're a community born in pain to take the pain of others. Letting us do it is a privilege
If people allowed religion to be a private thing instead of taking someone's religious choices as a personal afront would be better. It's not like I can hide my religion? Rather than hiding, we need openness and love. We need to see everyone as just as good as we see ourselves
Listen and understand me very clearly. I denounce ALL forms of religious violence no matter what religion (or no religion) the perpetrators identify as. ALL hate in this world, and all religious persecution needs to stop and we do care. No one should ever worship in fear.
This REALLY gets me. Ik it isn't nesrly the same thing, but bystanders in general make a DIFFERENCE. I was being bullied by a group of younger kids once and DAYS after the situation ended, someone else from the group messaged me and said they were too scared to say anything +
before and when I told them "hey for next time, please don't be a bystander, even one person can make a difference by speaking up", they then told me smth like "I don't agree w/ bullying, but at the same time I'll never speak out about it" and then I just- oof, it's just sad how+
many people have this mindset about MANY things. "Oh I don't like that sure, but I'm too scared to speak out about it" like you could literally help save a life? Not to mention how utterly terrified ppl are to be GOING THROUGH THIS? You may not have to deal with ever having to+
I agree, but in practice knowing how violent we are as a species, sometimes I think organised religion allows evil to coalesce around it - either to control from within or attack from the outside. Maybe if it was a spiritual inner world those forces would find it harder to grasp
I went to the school and had a very long talk with the Principal. She ended up having to apologize and they had someone come in and reteach that material, but the damage was done. How could someone teaching World Cultures be like that? Of all teachers. It's heartbreaking
couldn´t agree more. unfortunatly the little part of muslim does not agree with you..and now hate around the world is going to be the new normal, because the muslim religion made sure to do that..its a shame but its true..No one should ever try to impose their life style/religion
Fabio J Bacha
As a lifelong Texan, I am so sorry that you are experiencing these awful things. You deserve to worship safely however you choose. You belong & should feel welcome. Please know that these vile beliefs are not supported or encouraged by many millions of Texans & we wish you peace.
This happened in my San Diego? I had no idea there was this level of hatred here toward Muslims! Yes, this is the most conservative large city in California due to the large military/retired military presence, but still -- this breaks my heart. What can I do to help change this?
Ruth screams #NOIranWar! 🆘
When you see something, say something. It really is that simple. If you see a woman in the store with hijab, smile, say hi. If someone cuts her in line like she's not there (happened to me), speak up. Your voice is your power.
That this was taught IN SCHOOL burns my blood more than anything else short of the killings! Did no other parent before know they were teaching this, and did no one complain until a Muslim child was present?! 😫
I pray your child sees a better world from now on. Somehow. 🦋
Gabriella-I'VE BEENAWAY SO LONG!! 🍃
No one! And I do mean no one should be so afraid because of hatred. My heart sank and a feeling of, yet again, a group is singled out with hatred. We don’t all have to agree, but we need to respect. Since when is murder normal? Sadly, it’s becoming a “normal” occurrence. 😥
You must be a seasoned writer to sap emotions with the fine use of words. Violence breeds violence. Terrorists and terrorism became mainstream words with the rise of Muslim suicide bombers. I'm sorry but every time I see a Muslim stranger I can't help but think is he one of them
I’m so sorry. There is a girl that wears a hajib at my child’s school. We don’t know her but my daughter has her back. She watches out for her and knows what to do if she sees anything off. I went to my local Islamic center today to say I AM here and I WILL stand up. Much love.
Vianna, I’m sending u my love & prayer that God surrounds u & ur family with his light. No human can hurt u if God has no willed it. Pls pls spread to ur community to take self defence more seriously. Have someone(s) designated to guard outside while the rest pray...
... organize self self defence lectures for groups in ur mosques & also lectures of what to do while walking alone, what to do if a female is attacked cuz of her hijab..etc. try to walk in groups preferably always a have men from ur community follow behind for protection..
I want you to know that I hear you. I am a single person among the vast citizenry of this Country but I hear you. I am sending you a hug 🤗 and I want you to know that your words have brought tears to my eyes. The bullying that you've described is NOT America. Peace unto you.*
organize lectures for the children in ur community (in mosques or outside) to strength their connection to their faith & explain white supremacy clearly. Explain it like they are adults & instruct them to be carful & report any racist encounters they go through...
... teach the kids in ur community their constitutional rights ( freedom of speech, religion & their right to self defence). Just organise your selves & of course God is always there! .. seeing the victims crying today just broke my heart!!!
Also I know there are many very talented Muslim american lawyers. Have ur mosque engage one office and have them ready for any litigation that any of you might need like that scum bag teacher who spoke about Islam to ur kids! Make an example out of everyone one of them!
Also very very important arrange for someone from the local legislators office or an expert in the constitution to give lectures on citizen rights. It’s best everyone is educated about their rights so they know best way to react in situations. Good luck to you all!
It has awoken us. We are an open and loving people mostly but there is still racial undertones and hate which obviously has manifested in this sick individual. There can be no tolerance for it. We need to call out casual racism, xenophobia and Islamaphobia. It stems from there.
I disagree here. Humor allows many to bond and see others' humanity - even or especially by recognizing stereotypes.
Big difference between humor - true jokes - and hatred. Love and laughter bring people together.
Those denying humor's power do more to spread hate than "jokes."
This view of yours spreads hate, division and conflict. Humor - even playing off of stereotypes - allows people to recognize shared humanity. How we may or may not differ but constructs may be applied.
The typical rebuttal is one means jokes in a certain realm but that is not what's communicated by most. We need love and laughter now.
We don't need restrictive views reducing our ability to see constructs and relate as people as "That joke is offensive and generalizes a group!"
You should be out there making the jokes first, beating others to the punch, spreading joy and understanding. And seeing when others make jokes in the name of the same thing - deconstructing preconceptions (sometimes by referencing them as if valid to note how they aren't).
You'll never stop jokes by complaining. But you can shape them by leading the charge.
Who are many naturally attracted to in a group? The person with a sense of humor about themselves who spreads that joy to others.
NOT the person who says "That was cruel! Stop it or else!"
The latter makes themselves more likely to be mocked, berated, ostracized, etc. Why? "They can't take a joke."
I don't think the humanity of any group should be used to silence fair expression. As that's anti-humanistic.
In society, most accept those who accept themselves.
Although it may take awhile in many cases. But if their means of attempting that "acceptance" of selves is rejecting/restricting others in manners that prevent understanding and instead increase hostility...
People can expect views of any doing that to worsen.
Jokes (including based on stereotypes) aren't the enemy - they're a tool. And if you don't use them and shape them, others - who may not like you - will. But we need them. And not hostility when/if someone somehow misframes.
We all need understanding. And love. And laughter.
I wholeheartedly feel you are wrong about jokes. Please reassess your approach to humor here.
What grows are restrictive worldviews reducing humanity in supposed name of helping it.
We need MORE humor, MORE jokes, MORE understanding of where people were coming from.
I agree and I wish people would accept THAT rather than suggesting we should somehow (socially) "police" jokes that may seem insensitive, generalizing, etc. As noting the disconnect (or lack thereof) between reality and expression is often the POINT of many jokes.