I waited up all night to hear the results. Being 7 hours ahead of the States, I couldn’t do it. I finally fell asleep fitfully only to be awoke 3 hours later by a call. My best friend from home in the USA is shaken, due to the results just being read.
“Tammy, how can this happen? How can this hateful man be our President?”
I was absolutely shocked. “What?? Please tell me you aren’t saying he won!”
We sat on the phone for over 2 hours crying, yelling and pondering what will happen next to our country. Will there be chaos in the streets? Hate crimes occurring daily everywhere? Would I be able to come home? While campaigning, Trump had mentioned that Muslims, even American Muslims living abroad, wouldn’t be able to enter the States. Living in Egypt for the past 3 years, going home to the States to visit the family was always a highlight of my year. But now, I’m frightened.
See, Trump has given a legitimate voice to all of the racists, Islamaphobes, homophobes and bigots. His supporters can’t wait to ‘Make America Great Again’ and apparently, that means dispelling all of us Muslims. A large portion of these supporters, I would assume also are gun owners. Hmmm, let’s see, gun owner with a hate-filled heart and a President that says it’s okay to feel that way….well, I just don’t see anything good coming out of it.
In my little state, there’s a very small population of Muslims, in fact, we don’t even have our own proper Mosque. There are even less ‘noticeable’ Muslims, i.e ladies that wear hijab. So, when someone sees a hijabi, they all stare suspiciously. I can handle the stares. I’m only home for a month to visit family. These people that stare so openly at me, I’ll most likely never see again so stare away Mr.Starer!
BUT, now we have President Trump! He has given voice to those that hate. The next time Mr.Starer stares, will he approach me? Will he assault me even though I’m American?
After getting off the phone, my heart was filled with sorrow. I needed to pray. With a heavy heart, I cried in sujood and spilled out my heart for Allah the Almighty. I stayed in sujood until I felt peace.
Clarity came. I had a thought. Mr.Starer is scared of me. He doesn’t know any Muslims. He doesn’t know that I’m scared of most likely the same things as him. ISIS scares me. 9/11 broke my heart too. It was then that I realized that we need to do more as American Muslims. We need to show America what a Muslim really is. It’s not the scary people doing terrible things on the News.
I believe now more than ever, we need to practice the teachings of our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings upon him). We need to be good to those that want to harm us. We need to spread love in the face of hate. We ultimately need to ‘kill them with kindness’.
See, it’s hard to hate someone when they are being nice to you. We need to feed them. Help them. Care for them. Love them and forgive them, for they never knew a Muslim before and they were just frightened.
It’s time to move away from the keyboard and go outside. Meet our neighbors. Join the community clean up programs. Volunteer at the nursing home. Volunteer as much as possible. Everywhere. You see a group of people outside working, stop, bring drinks and food. And don’t get all preachy and start doing dawah on them, we just want to show them what a Muslim really is, a person that cares about all of humankind.