The Starry Side of The Moon

As a Muslim today, firing up your computer and checking news and social media online can be an act of courage in itself. Especially if you are thin skinned and sensitive but also too political and curious for your own good. Like yours truly.

Hopefully, you are forgiven for feeling like you’re living on the dark side of the moon.

The past few weeks, however, have really seen the moon shifting and the tides starting to change. If you listened carefully, you could hear history writing itself.

As part of a generation, who has only read about historic uprisings, it feels surreal to witness this monumental shift. A friend who lives in NYC told me not less than a year ago how she had to cut off her friendship with a hijabi Muslim women only because when they hung out she would be stared at by everyone so hard you could feel it in the air.

Would you believe this is the same NYC that has been a center of rallies and marches recently with the defining narrative being standing by Muslims and immigrants? The same NYC where Yemeni shopkeepers came out in protest and literally prayed on the streets making Islam seem ‘not foreign’ after all. The same America that would raise red flags if so much you saw or heard anything close to Arabic those days.

Not less than two days ago, New Yorkers were united in saying ‘today I am Muslim too.’ And not less than a few weeks back, most major airports in America saw protests by the common people against a Muslim ban.

The pictures speak for themselves. Hats off to all the people who refuse to be defined by hate. May you live long.

Yemini shopkeepers on a strike to protest the ban pray on the streets of Brooklyn NY

Pictures of protesters, volunteer attorneys against the Muslim ban across cities and airports in US and even UK

Finally the word terrorist getting the attention it deserves

Flowers outside a mosque in Missouri in solidarity. Yellow for friendship.

Thousands of people including political dignitaries and the Canadian PM attended funeral service for the Quebec mosque shooting victims (may Allah accept them)

ACLU raises record $24.2 million online after Trump’s immigration ban

These sights, the Muslim faces on patriotic American posters and slogans and the flowers replacing the vandalism outside mosques is something to take heart from but also remember that there is a long way to go.

Who would have thought that Trump would be a blessing in disguise that awakened a generation to say ‘enough is enough’ or my favorite –

‘You come for one of us, you come for all of us’

Thanks to a fascist like Trump coming to power in the US and a string of xenophobic policies being introduced, a large number of people are questioning the demonizing of whole communities and organizing to reclaim their country. A large number of people are becoming aware of how hate and bigotry affects ALL of us.

…And they plan and Allah plans, and Allah is the best of planners.”
(Qur’an, 4:54)

I hope we here in India take notes in what true patriotism really looks like. And I hope we all including Muslims everywhere take a lesson into standing against injustice

Maybe the dark side of the moon is where you could get the most stunning view of the stars.