Not again…


I have not blogged in a while which makes me disappointed in myself.   Issa has been carrying the weight for the blog and iA he continues to do so.  My internal medicine rotation has owned most of my time but here we go.

ghana4

I leave for Ghana this Saturday for a medical elective in the Kumasi South Hospital and I plan to blog about my experiences there but before that I must discuss the Fort Hood shooting.  I have absolutely no idea how to even discuss this topic because I feel as though any words that drivel out my mouth sound like a talking point.  Never have I been so discouraged to silence that I fear that I may not be sincere about my sincerity ??? That doesn’t even make sense. But this is what I am talking about…

gun

I feel as though I have to put disclaimers about the disclaimers I make BEFORE I EVEN SAY ANYTHING!  If I say how I feel, I must put a disclaimer so some Rush Limbaugh-listening idiot doesn’t call me a sympathizer and if I state how I think, some half ignorant, ‘rush to judgment’ jerk face will call me a hypocrite. So instead, before I start… I am just going to start.  CATHARSIS!

When I heard what happened at the base the following thoughts went through my head:

‘That is really sad.’
‘I hope it is not a Muslim guy.’
‘ I hope everyone is okay.’
‘I hope my Muslim brothers and Sisters in the Army are safe.’
‘This guy must have had some psychological issues.’
‘No wonder everyone hates us.’
‘Screw you Rush Limbaugh.’ (I flipped through the radio stations to think this one)
‘Why would somebody do that?’
‘Why do Muslims keep doing stupid things like this?’
‘When are people just going to pick up a book and read?’
‘I hope there is no backlash.’
‘I pray no Muslim leader says something obtuse.’
‘Not again.’

I know that some say ‘there must be something innately wrong in the religion of these people for them to do this,’ and I could reply with the completely logical argument that ‘just because a guy is Muslim doesn’t mean he represents the religion….’ BUT honestly, I understand the sentiment. If I saw a bunch of events, back to back, carried out by individuals who were not only joined byangry a common ideology but declared that the reason they were doing such things is because they were told to do so by there belief system… it’s a hard sell.  What makes this situation even more frustrating is that beyond the innocent, confused, curious citizen, you have a wave of hate-filled, commercial, cult-like opportunists who spew their caustic vomitus at anyone they see vulnerable i.e. every other normal, God-fearing Muslim in this country and around the world.  Beyond that you have people in our own Muslim community who maybe don’t feel so bad when things like this happen.  And it makes me sick, sad and surprised.

I am left annoyed.  No clear answers as to what to say or do.  Islam is what Obamas-Americadrives me to be a good person, be kind to my countrymen, be honest and hardworking. America, fortunately, is threaded with the same concepts of generosity, unity and justice.  Both these aspects of my being recognize that peace is ideal but that sometimes arms are called for to protect the innocent, liberty and fairness.   Both put the onus on the individual but pride community and a sense of brotherhood.  America, as it exists, precludes the existence of a Creator, a higher power, Allah.  Islam is the perfection in ideology and practicality of that understanding.

I went to the last game of the World Series last week and was actually moved to tears when I was listening to and singing the National Anthem with Mary J Blige and the crowd full of Yankee fans (possibly the best rendition of the national anthem I have ever heard).  I can not put my finger on why.

It may be because I feel like country is the only place where I can actually practice my religion and be proud of it. Or maybe that chill up my spine was instead the manifestation of the overwhelming fear of this growing hatred of Islam in this land I grew up in.  Probably both.

I high fived complete strangers sitting around me when Matsui hit a home run. Joked with a random fan to my right about how the crackerjack guy said crrrrracka–JACK! Sang, in my miserable voice, ‘God bless America’ during alg_matsuithe 7th inning stretch and meant it.  Chanted ‘Whose your daddy?’ at Pedro Martinez with thousands of the Yankee faithful who did not give a hoot about what I believed, the size of my beard or what I happened to share in common with the shooter at Fort Hood. I realized most people do not really have an opinion about anything and just want to live.  Live normal lives filled with the normal stresses of life. Bills, relationships, children, community, safety, illness.  They do not want to deal with the added fear of some guy, who believes in something he doesn’t understand, who will shoot up a crowd of people who don’t even get what all this hate is about anyway.  Everybody seems a little scared and there is little I seem to be able to do to lift that blanket of apprehension that envelopes them… especially when every time I seem to start lifting the covers , some guy named something Muslim goes ahead and tucks them into their bed of trepidation even tighter by killing more people.  More people. It is a scary thing when it becomes just ‘more people’–  that means that somebody lost someone who meant the world to them. Some great love, snatched away. Some shoulder to lean on, no longer available. Somebody’s ‘baby,’ has died.

This post may seem all over the place because it is.  I have proofread it like 14 times but cannot seem to capture everything that I feel needs to be said.  This guy was crazy.  Whether he psychologically ‘broke’ after years of dealing with PTSD or he actually thought he was doing something for his Lord… He was absolutely insane and… I feel bad for him either  way.  I feel bad for those who he killed… for their families… for the people who now feel unsafe every time a brown guy walks into a room and for the brown guy who gets funny looks when he walks into that same room.  I feel pretty bad for those who understand and are frustrated, and those who don’t know and are equally as frustrated.  Actually the only people I really don’t feel anything for are those who use this tragedy as a chance to exploit, misguide and hurt.

I am reminded of a verse in the Quran that brings me some comfort…

And indeed We have created man, and We know what he whispers to his own self. And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein . (50:16)

It is a comfort for me to know that the One who will be the ultimate judge of all these events, has complete knowledge of everything that happened and why it unfolded the way it did.  It is also He, who knows what is in the hearts of the man who fired his weapon upon the seemingly innocent AND He who knows what is in the hearts of us bystanders who react one way or another.

Just like I did not have any clue on how to start this post…

KareemKhanTombstone

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~ by Yousaf on November 10, 2009.

3 Responses to “Not again…”

  1. Good post brother. I think you took the loss of words right out of my mouth

  2. ^Ditto!

  3. Excellent post, but I have to say that crimes and terror attacks occur everyday by white christian americans.

    However the difference is, if there is any crime or attack associated with a Muslim, the newscast lists it as a Muslim Man attacks and they do the same thing with Black people.

    However if a white or Christian man commits a crime or terrorists attack. It is listed as Man kills ….

    So there is no association of white or christian to any attacks or crimes that every happen.

    There is no excuse for the Fort Hood attack and we all condem these attacks, but instead of beating ourselves anytime a Muslim does something wrong (which is something we cannot control and will always happen, just as it happens in other societies and communities), it is time that we expect and force the media to have the same standards for all communities. If they want to call this attacker a Muslim, fine, but all the other attacks and crimes that have occurred in the past must get a religious adjective as well whether it is Christian, Jewish, Athiest or Budhist.

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