Hate cannot drive out hate

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Since the Paris Attacks and now the San Bernardino Shootings , and even more so, since finding out the killers happened to be Muslims with backgrounds from Pakistan, our hearts have been extra heavy. Cannot write in words, how very sorry we feel for the lives cut short and those forever affected from such tragedies. These people that kill in the name of the same religion that I love and practice, in the name of the same Prophet who I wish to emulate in my life, have also killed and injured scores of Muslims all over the world (like this horrific incident just last year). Yet to the rest of the world, they are us and we are them!

After this latest incident, the next morning as I woke up Anya and got her ready for school, I couldn’t stop thinking about raising a Muslim-American in today’s times. It’s scary. As is becoming more mainstream after every such incident, the cycle of hate keeps growing. And it breaks my heart. Will this girl of mine be hated by some around her as she grows up for the color of her skin, the faith she practices or because her parents were immigrants? This girl of ours, who loves asking questions about God who she calls Allah, who loves to link all the beauty she sees around us to Allah and who loves talking about Him, this girl who once made a song about Allah and was singing it loudly as I shopped and tried my best to not let my nervousness show. Is that day coming sooner than we thought when she will realize she can’t publicly do that anymore? My proud little American-Muslim, at what age will she realize we have to be careful about certain aspects of our faith in public because of the misrepresentation and how someone else might take it? (eg: AllahoAkbar a common phrase used by Muslims and a part of the daily prayers has been used by militants before attacks and hence has become one of those phrases we try to avoid uttering too loud when we’re in public even though some of us were used to casually saying it in conversations) Will someone around her one day tell her to “go back to her own country”? She loves her America. How will it feel if one day it doesn’t love her back quite the same? It saddens me beyond measure as I imagine a world around her that is fearful of her very presence, where she could possibly be required to carry a ‘Muslim ID’. Where because she is Muslim she possibly can’t dream of being the President of her own country. Just last week she spent the whole evening pretending to be president so she could ‘rule’ us!

I watch her these days, her confidence, her talkative, proud little personality, and I pray for a better, more peaceful world. Where the voices of love are louder than those of hate. Perhaps that is exactly what is wrong with the world, what is required to end this cycle of hate. That we respond to hate with love. In our own little worlds, in our surroundings, in our interactions with people, lets all respond to any hatred we get however hard it can be at times, with love and break this cycle. Like they say what goes around comes around and maybe one day just one person at a time, this might be a better world for our kids.

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One thought on “Hate cannot drive out hate

  1. Absolutely awesome. Nataliya, you have summed up some of my concerns, as your mom and Anya’s Gran mom. When I see all this, I feel good to realize I chose to live in Pakistan. So, you all will always have a home ‘back home’. Don’t worry. Muslims and all humans have experienced this kind of hatred in one way or another: Jews, Christians and now Muslims. As my Mom once said “Whats the use of a religion, if we use it to kill others? Aren’t all religions for spreading love and peace?” Our Quran teaches us to face evil with goodness. That is what it teaches. To forgive, and to be good in return. Most important of all, being patient and tolerant. Americans too are good humans who are over-reacting right now. They need to live in Pakistan to see how much terrorism we face on a daily basis. Can you imagine how I felt letting Waliya go to school in a bus, knowing there is terrorism in the city? We all are in it together. Whether, we call Him God or Allah, He is the same God for all of us. May He help us through these times. I can see there are more sensible Americans out there. No need to worry. People like Dr. Wyne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Opera Winfrey and Stephon Covey were products of USA. No worries. Things will be fine. Yet, its important to be careful.

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