Isn't it sad that on the 9th anniversary of this blog, I'm content posting content I wrote years ago?
I had some good material prepared for the third part of the I.LEAD review. I wish I finished that while it was still fresh. Sigh.
November 25, 2013
I wrote this editorial back in August 2005. I'm reposting it because I like the helium metaphor here.
There was a time, not too long ago, when many of us were indifferent to current events and had little interest in world politics and policy. One dreadful Tuesday morning, all of this changed. All the days to come preceding that Tuesday would bear changed that no one could ignore. Battle lines were being drawn, and many of us reluctantly took sides. This month, the lines became more pronounced when the London transit system was attacked twice."Inflating our hopes with helium". That was a good line.
The Muslim response was as it has always been: several organizations issued statements condemning the bombing. In theory, the unity of the Muslim ummah in condemning the attacks should be a sign of hope. In reality, the condemnations have become predictable and mundane. Unfortunately, whatever hope and optimism that emerges from the Muslim response tends to fizzle and become irrelevant the next time the Muslim community comes under attack.
The difficulty is that today we are inflating our hopes with helium; they rise only until the surrounding environment changes, at which point they burst and crash to the ground. As the pressure increases, our optimism wanes and ignorance and prejudice prevail. Outwardly, we have not done enough to make generalizations about the Muslim community seem irrational and baseless.
That will only change when we take it upon ourselves to become true ambassadors of the deen. Today, we are “that Muslim guy in the corner office”, or “that group of Muslims that usually sits at the back.” In truth, we are supposed to be the representatives of the Quran and Sunnah, and Allah has put us where we are for a reason. If we uphold the sunnah truthfully, then any attacks against Islam can never hold water.
All this, of course, is easier said than done. It comes in a hadith that “the believer who mixes with people and endures any harm that they cause him has a greater reward than that believer who does not mix with people, and does not endure the harm they cause him.” Hence, when faced with these difficulties, we should take solace in the fact that they are not going unrewarded. Ultimately, hope for our community and our future will be born on the backs of those who will always push on in the face of adversity.