The last few weeks have been pretty stressful for Muslim Americans, especially for those that are visibly identifiable as Muslim. It’s hard to turn on any news channel and avoid seeing any kind of coverage about Muslims. Even school lessons were not safe as a Virginia school was almost shut down over an Arabic calligraphy lesson, apparently calligraphy is now associated with terrorism. I know personally, I couldn’t tell if a patient was sizing me up when I walked into a room, would they continue to listen to my advice or leave the practice? I was stressed out and had some trouble sleeping for a few days. Then I decided enough was enough. I would not cower to some unidentifiable fear. Somewhere out there, an Islamophobe was also cowering in fear of me. This fear can lead to a vicious cycle that can be hard to break out of. It leads to a cycle of paralysis and can also block feelings of compassion.
Muslims should live fearing one thing and that is Allah, fear that our deeds will not be good enough in the next life. All other fears are inconsequential as they are dealing with this world and nothing is guaranteed in this life. All I can do is pray for my and my family’s safety and take as many precautions as I can but ultimately my fate is in God’s hands. All I can do is live life. I hope that we can all overcome our fears of the “other” in this nation and start a conversation and open a much needed dialogue. If any of my readers have any questions about Islam, please post them and I can try to answer them to the best of my abilities or direct to a qualified scholar.