Updated: Jul 2, 2022
I was told this—that I must be feeling loss and anger—shortly after the attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand last month. I took it as a question and quickly replied back to the contrary. If I had been in a position to defend my fellow humans from the attack, then I surely hope I would have. But that was not the case. When the attacks started, I was in a US university chatting about Paulo Freire, the Socratic method, and Bloom’s Taxonomy. Shortly after the attack I would enjoy an Einstein’s bagel with cream cheese. I feel a bit embarrassed, actually. And, hurt. The Prophet Muhammad, peace on him, said, “The parable of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever” (Bukhari 5665; Muslim 2586). But let’s not forget that every day Muslims are being killed in Syria, where twelve million of those alive need emergency humanitarian aid. Yemen is being choked. I’ve seen unedited footage of Muslims being burned alive in ditches in Myanmar, also cut into chucks like at a butcher shop, the pieces laid out on planks in front of their proud murderers. Again, I feel embarrassed, but I also have a lot of hope for all who were cut down unjustly while they believed in a return to Allah. Not suicide bombers full of rage, but simple people who went about caring for their families and communities like anyone else.
Meanwhile, hundreds have entered Islam in Christchurch, New Zealand and so many more have made contact with Muslims and their places of worship, dispelling ignorance and hatred. Moreover, a wave of goodwill went across the earth. Pictured above are roses, along with condolences, a Jew brought to my local mosque, one of many bouquets, cards, and gifts received. Allahu akbar.