It has been a week since citizens from 7 Muslim-majority countries saw themselves unable to enter the US. Many of whom who are dual-citizens, relatives visiting for weddings, ill parents etc. These 7 countries are all countries that the US has meddled in before; subsequently causing unrest and/or civil war in these nations. On Sunday January 30th, 6 innocent souls were murdered by a white supremist terrorist after Isha prayer in a mosque just outside of Québec City. Six innocent Muslims exercising their right to worship. That is when Canada really shook. See the Muslim community [naïve and overly proud] believed that this bigotry could not translate up here because our Prime Minister is not like the President of the US.
That was oh so wrong. Bigotry and hatred SEE NO BORDERS. It is highly infectious and does not leave a racialized soul untouched [sadly].
Since executive orders for the ban of citizens from Somalia, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Iraq, Iran and Syria and the one of the building of a wall along the border of Mexico and the US, hate crimes have risen. People have felt less safe, less worthy and more hurt than they have since 9/11. People like me, who don the hijab actively and unapologetically proclaiming their Muslim identity have felt drained. I feel drained at the fact that I actually need to fight for my rights, for the rights of indigenous and racialized folks; rights that should be OURS. My IBPOC sisters and brothers are tired at the fact that every moment of our existence, we need to actively watch what say and do because people can "take it the wrong way" Re: when a Black Lives Matter organizer tweeted out that she would "kill someone" through frustration and that only yet if someone white did that, they would be excused for using a figure of speech.
I live everyday in a state of determination yet fatigue. As a white-passing, Egyptian and visible Muslim, I hold a privilege in my community constructed by societal ideals, while also being oppressed outside of it. I gain very few privileges but I also lose out on a lot of times of oppression. That enables me to help my community as much as I can as sadly, non-Muslims would tend to hold my feeling in higher regards (screwed up, right?!)
What is happening now is that through movements and people standing up for what's right, folks are getting tokenized if they hold some privilege and the true pain and sorrow of Muslims, other racialized people and indigenous people are barely reflected.
We need to be unapologetically ourselves. We need to swallow our pride and kick away our laziness and ORGANIZE. We need our voices to be represented and heard.
We always tend to let mediocracy take over and what does our community say "oh, Insha'Allah next time" As Muslims we are taught about the pursuit of excellence. Our Prophet, Peace and Blessings be upon him was a man of excellence; through work, worship, relationships etc.
We cannot let others take over the stage when the stage isn't theirs. Would you let some random folk take over a Beyoncé concert? NO
Then quit letting people that are not meant to be speaking, speak; letting people who the space isn't theirs take up space.
We need to always think about how every action is recorded and could enable or disable our access to Jannah. If we are idle and in-active, then the chance to do good is always lower.
I call on my Muslim sisters and brothers, my IBPOC siblings to not only use your anger and translate it to work BUT to take time for self care as a car without gas cannot drive properly.