By Khalafalla Osman
Bismillahir Rahman Ar Raheem,
Allah (SWT) said in Surah Al Baqarah, ayah 264: “O you who believe, do not cancel out your charitable acts with reminders and hurtful words.” And with that, I begin my article.
In the ending of 2012 a huge series of unfortunate and heartbreaking events have occurred in the world such as the mall shooting in Aurora, Colorado; the drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen; the civil war in Syria but most recent out of these past events was indeed the tragic shooting of an elementary school known as Sandy Hook which is located not too far from Albany, in Newtown, Connecticut. A lot of more tragic events have happened but – we are not going to be talking about them; the reasoning behind bringing up these events specifically is because of the way Muslim Americans, and other minorities reacted to the tragedies.
On Facebook, you see a lot of people expressing their stances – which in my opinion is a great tool for communication; I believe that everyone has the right of voicing your opinion freely, but I also believe that if you are going to express yourself – you must understand the consequences. A lot of young Muslims on the internet are very passionate masha Allah, and they have a lot to say about world events; but a lot of them use that energy the wrong way. When events like the Aurora, Colorado shooting happened; the United States was mourning their losses, but what did some Muslims and other minorities do? They made a time of grief their time to broadcast their agenda. On facebook during the mall shooting, all I saw was a picture of the murderers and in big bright white letters you would see “If this man was Black, he’d be a menace to society; if this man was Muslim, he’d be a terrorist; but since he’s white… he’s mentally ill.”
I remember what I was doing when the shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary became breaking news on CNN; I was cleaning with brother Ayman at the masjid enjoying the company of my community after jumuah salaah. I was on my iPhone and I consistently began seeing pictures of propaganda about the issue already! They were talking about how foolish America was for crying over the loss of elementary school students and teachers but when Obama sends drones to kill innocent civilians in Pakistan and Yemen – nobody cares… Is that how we should respond to such a tragedy as Muslims? Sure, this is indeed a very sad fact in world news and they are not lying about the fact that these events are happening outside of America – but does that mean Muslims should confront the issue in such a manner?
I am just opening the discussion, starting the conversation on the policies American Muslims use to express their political views. First off, I want to say that these little babies are not politically active; they wanted to celebrate their holidays with their mommy and daddy; they do not see a Palestine vs Israel, America vs Islamic countries, or any of that. So why are we making their loss, our moment to scream and blame America? Not only is this action a disservice of the da3wa a Muslim can make in his non-Muslim community; but it is also a way to tune out the voice you have – once you say something as insensitive like that, who’s going to hear you out again?
Oh Allah please make it easy on the children and civilians of Somalia, Palestine, Syria, Pakistan and all over the world not just Muslims. We as a Muslim community need to understand that there are times when we need to confront issues, and there are times when we need to shut up and listen – in the future, when there is time to mourn a loss; mourn with the people and keep your two cents at home insha Allah.
Wa Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatu
Picture Reference: http://davidcrank.com/think-before-you-speak-blog