Posted by Yasminn Mogaged, December 7, 2015 on Facebook
It was time to break my silence...
On my way home last week, I drove by a pretty bad car accident. It got me thinking about the things we fear in life and the role fear inevitably plays in our lives. With the heart wrenching events of last Wednesday, fear of backlash has begun to consume the Muslim discourse. Many sisters are nervous about the hijab and some leaders have called for laying low.
But in reflecting, I feel there is something wrong with our approach. Statistically, the risk of getting into a car accident is far greater than the risk of an Islamophobic attack. But we don't stop driving. We don't stop going where we need to go. And most certainly, we don't shift all our conversations to the dangers of getting behind the wheel. In other words, we don't feed into the paralyzing fear of hyper focus on a problem.
Yes we're aware of the risks of getting behind the wheel. So we take our precautions; we buckle our seatbelt, say our duaa, and put our trust in God. And then we continue to live our lives. We continue to drive. We stay awake--but not afraid. And there's a difference. Fear only takes over when we allow a problem to consume us. Focusing all our reading, all our thoughts, all our conversations on something only makes it grow disproportionately and deceptively in our minds. If all I talked about, read about, thought about was car accidents, I'd probably become too terrified to drive.
The question now is: what are those precautions we need to take for protection? Well, I apologize in advance, but I must stand up and unequivocally say I do *not* believe those precautions are wearing baseball hats and bandanas to hide our hijab.
I feel it is irresponsible for our leaders and public figures to spread fear, when what we really need is empowerment. What we really need is strength and hope and trust. And faith. When it gets dark, the believers don't hide. They shine. That's what light does. Light doesn't hide from the dark. It breaks through it.
Brothers and sisters, the darker it gets, the more we need the Light. The more the world need the light. The more we need to empower oursleves to be sources of that light. And the darker it gets, the brighter that light will shine.
You see every single moment we make a choice. We choose how we're going to live. We can either live motivated by fear--by what we hope *won't* happen in life. Or, we can live motivated by hope. By faith. By what we believe can and should happen. And then work for that. Remember, what you focus on grows. You get back what you put into the world.
Yes, there are horrible, tragic things happening in the world. Absolutely true. But, dear God, there are also beautiful, inspiring things happening too. The problem is, if you never turn off the news, you'll begin to believe the world is only dark. You see, good news doesn't sell. Only blood and guns do. Only 'radical Muslim terrorist' do. My dear brothers and sisters, refuse to buy into it. Refuse to allow the darkness to hijack the discussion.
Focus on what you can do to grow the light.
And to all my fellow sisters, who have to feel a little more scared today to put on their hijab, I say this: Remember why you wore it. And for who. Then ask yourself: Do you think the One for whom you wore it, the One who also happens to have sole ownership and power over the heavens and the earth and every Islamaphobe on it, won't take care of you?
But your baseball cap will?
My sisters, don't be afraid. Buckle your seat belt, yes. But keep driving. And keep your eye on the road; not on the belt. Keep looking up. The seat belt won't save you, and neither will your cap.
But Allah will.
Tell the world you won't hide, because your hijab isn't just a cloth. It's a symbol. It represents love. The love of God. And the love of God brings about everything good.
Sisters, by God, you are beacons of light walking around.
Hold it strong.