Yes, February 3rd I wore a headscarf in solidarity as I went about my business: taking the bus, buying groceries, and visiting the Islamic Center of Southern California where I joined many allies who turned up to show support and solidarity of our Muslim friends and neighbors.
I joined in the prayer service and was so impressed with Dr. Aslam Abdullah’s sermon. How to Deal with the Challenge We Are Facing Today.
I wish I had a transcript, but I am linking above to the audio recording of his words. I think it’s so important to share this because we mostly just hear about the inflammatory and violent rhetoric of the most radical imams. I think Americans are being habituated to thinking Islam is dangerous and violent and so we need to hear the sorts of sermons that are more typical in US mosques and Islamic Centers.
Some high points for me of Friday’s khutba (sermon):
I loved when Dr. Abdullah said, “Those who hate are not our teachers.”
He went over the high % of Muslim American physicians, IT professionals, engineers but said contributing to society isn’t enough. A Muslim must also engage with the community, with issues like housing the homeless, feeding the hungry, keeping peace in our neighborhoods, improving our schools.
The Koran teaches the unity of humanity. It is humans who create division. The Koran teaches all human beings have dignity and rights and a Muslim stands up for all, for Muslims no matter how they worship, Christians, Jews, those who reject Islam, those who reject God, all have dignity. He spoke of compassion and love and asked people to have compassion and understanding for those who have made decisions we don’t like because they too are hurting.
He reminded people of the Muslim Africans who were brought to the US as slaves who suffered more than any Muslim in the US today and stayed strong and persevered.
He referenced the Holocaust and how humanity had pledged Never Again and we had to stand up for that pledge.
He thanked the allies for attending the service and showing support and he thanked God for bringing Muslims to America, the only country with 100% Muslim literacy, with respect for all religions and cultures, a model for the world.
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And here’s a link to the local CBS report on our act of solidarity. It’s a pretty long segment but if you’re curious, I appear toward the very end carrying the sign We Are All America.