“Six people dead. Many more injured.
There was shooting in Quebec
Quebec Muslims are frightened now.”
Words, just words strung together in a sentence screaming
stop, it’s enough.
Stop, I have a family, they need me.
Stop… I want to live.
Stop, I have a heartbeat.
I am just a human.
In those moments when the gunshots were being released into the air, the souls of many were weeping. And now, many more mourn for their Muslim brothers and sisters, their community members, their co-workers, their friends.
And as I sit behind this screen typing more words, I’m really crying in loss, in fear but also with faith that empathy still exists. That love still exists. That desensitization and ignorance can be cured through compassion and knowledge.
Being a Muslim woman in Canada right now, I am having troubles fathoming the condition of our world. However, this shooting solidified all I wished not to be true. It is happening- Muslims are being banned from the United States of America, the country of “freedom?” And there is a trickling affect left behind on Canada. When a place of prayer experiences such terror- is that not a form of violence against diversity? Is that not a blow against our values of pluralism?
Yes, yes it is.
Over forty years ago, my parents left their native countries in hopes of escaping political unrest. They left in hopes of finding a place in the world where being a Muslim was celebrated not targeted. They came to Canada to find a place where they could pray, live, and work without compromising their own identities. And on this soil, where many stories alike and different have made Canada their home, to see such violence, such ignorance and cowardice makes us feel unwanted, afraid, and uncertain about our futures.
But in return, there is still love here. Love that is convincing us that we will be okay. And that love, is ever present in the flowers placed by the mosque in Quebec; it is alive in the many words of prayer and condolences from people all across Canada, the US, and around the globe. The impact of this terror has resonated within every human-being who chooses to empathize.
This fatal attack has brought our somewhat fragmented community together. Together we stand against the bigotry. Together we stand, united and steadfast upon our values of pluralism and love. Together we rise against the darkness of our time.
And to those who aren’t standing with us: Please do not kill us with your words. Please do not speak without completely understanding the truth. Please don’t treat this shooting like an analytic does his numbers, because behind every stat you’re hearing is a human being. A human-being.
And so I ask, please say a prayer for those who have lost their lives to violence and for all those who are continuing to suffer every single day. And please pray that as nation we stand united in our battle against ignorance and hate.
Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un
We belong to God, and to him we return.