How to handle Anti-Muslim prejudice and actions in the US and elsewhere?
I was very touched by the question Living with Fearful Neighbors. When I looked for resources to share, I was struck that in Canada there is a national hotline but nothing in the States. I looked for support groups and found very little.
What I did find though, are ads for anti-Muslim sites and an anti-Muslim Facebook page with over 400,000 likes. Such sorrow. I have to say that I feel fear when I compare the lack of resources to the amount of ignorance and hatred. It shakes me.
But I also feel AskLove can play a role here. Ultimately we can build bridges while still holding to our values. We can be strong and firm and courageous without hatred, and that makes our response all the more effective. I am so profoundly grateful for the example of Dr Martin Luther King Jr and the incredibly brave people who drove the civil rights movement without resorting to the lure of hatred.
I have such compassion, and no blame for those who hold these anti-Muslim views. They are suffering whether they know it or not, but I do fear their ignorance. What resources exist to handle these situations? I’d like to see AskLove grow into having affinity and support groups around just this type of issue. What is out there now?
What I also feel is that not only do we need to support each other, but it would be profound to think of how we can build bridges. Is there a way to invite healing. I’d look again to the civil rights movement to learn from their experience. Any examples here?
Lastly, I’m wondering if the Muslim community is hunkered down in the face of this sentiment, and that is why I’m not seeing a lot of resources when I search. (maybe my searches are not so effective) I’d love to support the Muslim community, to reach out and let them know they are not alone. I certainly hope they will be a strong voice on AskLove. What would be effective ways to show our support?
From a prior response of mine: “Just google support for muslim community and you’ll see lots of examples. Google ways to support muslim community to see suggestions of positive steps that can be taken to exercise generosity towards those who have become the target of so much intolerance.”
I have, however, great concerns that such efforts may be too little, too late. And, thus . . . fear grabs me by the throat. (And a quite sore one, at that.) All well . . . perhaps it is just my raging cold that’s talking. If so, my apologies to all. Interesting how physical illness can so skew our sensibilities.
Glad to hear Canada has provided a number to call. That, at least, is encouraging.
I am warmed by the responses to Living With Fearful Neighbors and the ideas presented here. I have to say that I am still shocked and also very afraid when directly faced with this kind cultural ignorance. I don’t expect everyone to understand—I myself who am Iranian with a Muslim father still have difficulty sometimes understanding, or exhibiting the patience and tolerance to accept others perspectives, beliefs, attitudes—–yet I believe (like all of you) that there are steps to building the bridges towards unity, understanding and ultimately, peace.
Most notably, I believe is our ability to act, speak, and spread truth. There are many whom I admire putting themselves at risk, past and present, to rebel and dissent against oppression and corporate control. Yet their direct action, as powerful and important as I believe it is to enact change, but that has shown to involve serious risk…. I’m not able or prepared to take risk of beatings, incarceration, possibly even death. (I am thinking of protestors, whistleblowers, and lost souls)
So, I turn to freedom of the press because in many ways that’s how we hear the voices so often repressed and kept silent. With information and the opportunity to listen then eventually comes understand. Right now more than ever we need to ask for transparency, appreciate the willingness of others to make themselves vulnerable, and act with disciplined nonviolence… and most importantly, LOVE!