Here we go.
It’s the time of year so many pause to assess the past and plan for the future.
So, from my heart to yours, I have a request.
Let’s make a resolution.
My husband and I are Muslims and we’re raising 5 adorable, sweet and unique little children.
Like you, we hope to leave our children a better world.
We struggle, work and worry just like you do, endeavoring to contribute to that optimistic vision.
We know that there are people in the world with less than honorable agendas. We know there are hateful people and those who thrive on the suffering of others. We know there are people who laugh at our misfortunes.
But none of those people matter.
The choices you make, matter.
So this coming year, I ask you to set yourself above the rest.
To be a person of integrity, who affords all human beings respect – by virtue of their humanity.
Be the one who seeks out answers.
When something doesn’t seem right, trust your gut rather than follow the crowd.
You and me – your kids and mine; we have way more in common than some people would have us believe.
And my religion, it helps me every day, to be a better, kinder person. It teaches me to continue to value, much of what you value. Like integrity, honesty, humility, family, and loving for others what we’d love for ourselves.
It gives me hope and fills me with gratitude. It makes my heart quiver and my eyes overflow with tears of love.
Islam is not the enemy. I am not your enemy. My husband and my children are not your enemies.
So, let’s be the ones who stand firm on those most wholesome values we hold dear.
And let’s turn a deaf ear to bigots and xenophobes who try to scare us -Who try to scare you into hating people like me. And try to scare me into hating you.
Who try to scare us into reducing our standards.
I know I am more than what they think of me, and I know you are more than what they think of you. You are stronger and smarter – more compassionate.
When you see me or my brothers and sisters in Islam, don’t be afraid to say hello. Maybe you will make a new friend.
Choose goodness. Choose love.
Let’s deny the hateful ones the satisfaction of our attention.
Let’s send them a message by caring for one another and make this year, our best yet.
Let’s lay the groundwork for a better world.