Anti-Muslim Incidents Warrant Vigilance & Continued Love
During the lead-up to September 11th, a spate of anti-Muslim rhetoric swept the nation. UUs stood on the side of love with the Muslim community, reaching out to local mosques, reading from the Qu’ran at worship services, writing letters to the editor in support of religious tolerance, and holding interfaith events.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, anti-Muslim rhetoric continues. So, too, does anti-Muslim violence.
Just last week, in a shocking and disturbing alleged hate crime, an Imam was attacked on a subway train in New York City:
This is by no means an isolated incident. There are numerous cases of anti-Muslim vandalism, harassment, and frightening rhetoric that make it past most of us without our notice.
The fact is, our lives go on. We go to work, we spend time with our loved ones, and when we can, we move our attention to where it seems most urgent — to passing the DREAM Act, repealing “Don’t Ask”, countering the Westboro Baptist Church, and participating in other important local actions.
Of course, the real life obstacles faced by marginalized communities are ongoing, regardless of whether our focus is trained on them. People of color in Arizona are still struggling with a culture ruled by scapegoating. Gay-identified young people are still being pushed into lockers and taunted in cafeterias. LGBT people in many places in the country are still being fired just because of who they are, and with no legal recourse.
Simply because we do not hear about it, or because the media has stopped – for the time being – telling the story, does not mean the problem has gone away.
There is no easy fix to the numerous ‘phobias’ and ‘isms’ that plague society.
This is why Standing on the Side of Love is such a meaningful campaign for all of us. It’s why we continue, day in and day out, to do what we can to stand with those who face exclusion. It is why we seek to live our lives in the most loving frame possible.
When we stand on the side of love, we commit to recognizing the common threads in the justice struggles of marginalized communities, and to remaining steadfast in our work to support these communities.
Through our collective commitment to justice, we live out our faith in a better world, and we do so with patience, with hope, and with conviction that our collective love is far more powerful than fear — indeed, more powerful than anything else in the world.
-Dan Furmansky, Campaign Manager