I was honored to be invited to speak against hate at a vigil in our fair city of Fort Wayne, IN yesterday.
Here is the body of the speech as the recording is not the best
We stand here today in a vigil for yet another massacre
49 people have ruthlessly lost their lives
Here come the hate mongers from one side beating the drums of xenophobia, theophobia and fear
Here come the apologetics from another side trying to defend themselves from guilt by association
Here come the fervent media debate but unfortunately, hate continues to dominate.
I stand before you today mourning such a tragic loss of life
I stand before you today as a person whose faith compels him to stand with the victimized and the oppressed
I stand before you today because, as I have learned in my Quran God says “whoever kills a soul unjustly…it is as if he has killed the entirety of humanity”
I stand before you today because I, just like you, see the utter dangers of a “label”
Because when you give a group of people a label,
then marginalize that label,
then that group of people become an "it" and becomes easy to hate, abuse and even kill
Yesterday's massacre was not a Muslim-American killing gay Americans. It was an American, killing Americans, using American made assault weapons bought in an American store.
It's time to take a deeper look at ourselves
It’s time to address the politics of fearmongering and hate
It’s time to address our gun glorifying culture….and yes, that is a crucial part of this debate
The existential threat that we face as Americans today is our own biases fueled by ignorance
Our lack of understanding of one another
Our lack of appreciation of the value of the life of the “other”
I stand before you today, asking myself the same questions we ask ourselves after every tragedy
but when will we ever learn?
When will we look at causes beyond the convenient labels
When will we look at our society's ills,
I stand before you today because, like MLK said, I choose love over hate
Thanks to John Gevers for the great photography
Palestinian, Muslim, American, Husband, Father, Academic, Pharmacist, Coffee Addict, Nutella phene, Pseudo writer, Soccer player, former Canadian, Community servant, Pinch hitter imam, interfaith ninja, Intellectual vigilante, and the undisputed KING of snark