Friday, November 13, 2015.
"Pray for Paris" was all over my facebook newsfeed, which I checked late in the day. You know that means something horrific has happened because that's the language of empathy people use in social media. Sure enough, insanity was writ large across the tv, as I caught up with the day's events.
As I watched the 24 hour news cycle feeds, and scrolled through my twitter for updates, it occurred to me that as all these events unfolded, I was just hanging out and relaxing over wine with a friend. I fed Theo his dinner while we caught up on the past mid term break. We talked about holidays, family, and upcoming plans. The big kids kept themselves amused elsewhere. I don't think either of us imagined what was happening elsewhere in the world.
I imagine everyone in Paris who headed out that evening had been of the same mindset - living their own lives quietly.
So, we begin a new cycle of zenophobia and Muslim bashing. I'm so tired of it. These radicalized cockroaches need to be annihilated. The nihilistic ideology of politicized Islam has no place in the modern world and has to be wiped out with a better world view. I feel distraught that refugees fleeing terrorized countries will now find the borders even more difficult to cross .. Perhaps rightfully so. But it's a shame. I can't think of a better message to send to the world than one of a free country embracing the desolate and weary, welcoming them to our shores and offering them hope.
It's a two way street though, and I say this as a first generation American, born to immigrant Muslim parents.
If you come to the land of the free, you have a moral obligation to accept that our version of freedom means we all get to choose how we want to live. There is no fundamental code, or Shariah or Biblical law that overides the rule of law as it exists in the sectarian world. If you are accepted into the land of the free, you better do your part to become one of us. If you don't like that people drink, dress scantily, marry only one person, or eat pork .. Get over it. It has nothing to do with you. Do what you want and let others do the same.
Live and let live, is a good start. Stop judging. Stop excluding. Work, vote, pay your taxes, send your kids to school, become part of your community in the larger sense, wave hi to your neigbor and invite them over for a 4th of July Barbecue or a fast breakimg dinner during Ramadan, wish everyone a Merry Christmas or Happy Hannukah or whatever you think might work on any given day, .. just recognize we are all humans, all of us, with our own spark of the divine. Celebrate that light, in the land of the free .. and thank whatever God you want for the luck you had in getting here.
Don't deprive others of the same right.
If you honestly believes your religion justifies killing, start with yourself.
Preferably in some excluded part of the woods or desert where your right to religious freedom doesn't intersect with my right to live.