The assimilation of Muslims into American society, their overall financial advancement, as well as rising conversion rates of Americans into Islam has alarmed many right wing zealots and left wing hostiles looking to stoke anti-Muslim feelings. Fox News makes every attempt to vilify Muslim Americans, without distinguishing fact from fiction.Their recent "hit job" on Imam Suhaib Webb is a prime example. Showtime's "Homeland" has been called the most "bigoted show on television" in a recent review by Laura Durkay from the Washington Post. Bill Maher's recent comments on Islam were called "gross" and "racist" by actor Ben Affleck on a televised debate (Ben, thank you for being a real life Batman) and how can we forget Reza Aslan's matter-of-fact rebuttal of two CNN hosts. Did I forget to mention Hassan Shibly's calm response to an aggresive Megyn Kelly? Every new day there seem to be new attacks on Muslims with the hopes of keeping fear alive.
As Muslims living in America we are now, more than ever, being examined under a microscope, unjustly blamed for the actions of a few deranged people claiming to follow our religion. Like it or not, this is just the current reality we live in. Life is filled with tests and trials, and this just happens to be ours, but despair is not a trait that we should succumb to. There is always something we can do to help improve our situation and here are three easy steps that we can all take to start moving in the right direction:
1. Increase your Remembrance of God and Supplication - The state of the heart determines how we see the world. If the hearts are not in a state of rest then we will never find rest no matter what is happening around us, good or bad. I highly suggest that everyone take on a litany of 1,000 prayers upon the Prophet ﷺ a day. This, along with sincere supplication to God, will greatly help bring calm to the hearts.
2. Get to Know your Neighbors and Co-workers - We need to come out of our bubbles. Let your co-workers and neighbors see the beauty of who you really are. Don't let the media paint a picture of who they want you to be in their mind. Coffee outings and lunch breaks are great times to engage with people around you. Get to know each other and talk. Let them see that you are a human just like they are.
3. Open House at the Mosque - We need to invite people in. Fox News wants the world to think the mosque is breeding ground for terrorists. Let us open our doors and show them how wrong they are. Islamic centers across the United States need to arrange open houses and inter-faith dialogues at the mosques.
By Moutasem Atiya , 07 Oct 2014