An Open Letter to Xenophobes, Bigots and Racists Alike!

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Religious intolerance is becoming more and more widespread and commonplace - mainstream even; Islamophobia has become rampant. This can be blamed in part due to the effervescent incite of fear mongering tactics across right wing media outlets. Everyday, more and more people - who are both incapable of reasoning for themselves and have received their PhD in taking things for face value - swear their allegiance to likeminded bigoted news reporters/politicians who publicly issue the 'Muslims are Violent' 'Islam is Violent' narrative. Such are the people who typically after reading a news article or watching a news clip, channel their anger to their social media outlets - or another infamous platform: the comments sections across the internet. Ironic, because this rhetoric, while claiming to 'condemn' violence, tends to elicit violence itself. Almost exclusively toward Muslims who are accused of being terrorist sympathizers or even terrorists themselves, though they are not. Though we are not. We should ask ourselves though, as this finger of terrorism is being pushed into the faces of Muslims, accompanied with the hot headed vulgarity it is usually followed by and the very real potential of imminent threat, who are the real terrorists?

Terrible enough as the cyber harassment is, that is far less a destructive route than the animosity we have come to witness as of late from those who take their brewing hatred and manifest it in real life settings. Such is the case in Huntington Beach, California. Where a 17-year old boy was stabbed for speaking Arabic. By an off duty police officer nonetheless. Stabbed twice - for speaking a tongue that he has been blessed to inherit. Our languages should be cherished. Instead, we find they become an open target for: dirty looks, vile comments and in the worst cases physical violence.

These are not isolated events, just 5 months ago in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, Asma Mohamed Jama was brutally attacked with a beer mug for speaking Swahili in a local Applebee's. The examples are many, endless and recur day by day in varying extremes. This is outrageous, terrifying and utterly inhumane.

The insecurities of one who feels uncomfortable by others speaking a foreign language lie deep; rooted in hatred and ignorance. They are backwards who claim to fight for 'safety' with these displays of violence.

Well dear Mr/Ms. Xenophobe, Bigot and which ever else racist this may concern,

Though you have been persistent in your war on my faith, language and immigration status I stand strong. Your attempts have proven futile. You will never stop me from the use of my mother tongue. You will not have me questioning my place in society. You will not stop me from expressing my faith whichever way I so choose. I refuse. I refuse to give you that power. You deserve nothing from me. My anger, dismay and horrification are valid and justified but I choose to rise up instead of being broken down by you. In fact it is this very dismay and horrification that drives me to be better, the best version of myself. So I may one day be both an inspiration to others and a voice that speaks out for injustice. That, is something you can never take away from me. You can never taint my belief in myself. My hopes and aspirations for the bright future ahead are founded and rooted in my Creator. Were it so that I rooted my hopes in the people, I would have been defeated long ago. And so I thank God for being a constant source of stability and assurance that:

"Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease." [Quran, 94:6].

I will never give you the power to allow my heart to hate. I will never give you the power to control my emotions. I will not allow you to let my heart hate. Your actions, as repulsive as they are, will never change the person that I am. My character and actions are mutually exclusive from your propagation of hatred and the sadistic manifestation of the feelings you harbor. I will never allow you to let my heart hate, because the person I am is independent of the person you are. I leave you with the words of my beloved:

"Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong if they do evil." [Sunan At-Tirmidhî]

- Muhammad, may the perpetual peace and blessings of God be upon him.

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