It’s time to fight the hate.
I urge you:
Act with love.
Speak with kindness.
Wear your hijab.
Confirm your sexual identity.
Walk down any street in America.
Wear your cross.
The first time I ever wore this featured cross in the photo out in public was yesterday. It was Halloween in America. Wearing a cross was a brave act considering that a guy driving a truck killed 8 people in my hometown of New York City.
He has been indicted on charges as a terrorist fueled by ISIS propaganda.
Thus it seems strangely bold and daring that I wore a cross out in public yesterday.
As a Christian wearing a cross, I could’ve been targeted.
It feels like a perverse synchronicity (unbeknownst to me on waking in the morning). I had no idea that later in the day a terrorist act would happen.
I had no idea that wearing the cross would have any significance beyond making a fashion statement.
I pray that haters–in society, in the world, wherever they are–come to their senses and choose love instead of bombs and compassion instead of killing.
Right now wearing a cross could’ve gotten me killed. I had no idea that wearing a cross would turn out to be an unwitting political statement.
People come here from other countries to have rights.
Women come here from the Middle East so they can drive a car. Can you imagine not being allowed to drive a car because you’re a woman? In 2017?
This is why good people come here to raise their sons and daughters.
They’re American now and don’t want to be subjected to “guilt-by-association” any more than I do.
New York City is famously touted as “The Greatest City in the World.”
In all my time here (I was born here and still live here and won’t ever leave) I must have interacted personally one-on-one with thousands of Muslim Americans. I’m confident when I say thousands not just hundreds.
We must stand together now in solidarity to tell the haters:
We will not tolerate your crimes against fellow human beings.
We will not condone your hate. We will not live in fear.
We will live together as one human family on earth.
We will uphold the rights of everyone living in America–and I do mean everyone–regardless of color, creed, sexual preference, mental health diagnosis, and any other thing that has historically marked us as different from each other.
Now you see: why I dare to live my life Left of the Dial.
Why I dare to identify with other people who have mental health challenges.
There can be no shame in being who you are. There can be no shame in living and acting true to yourself. There can be no shame for any of us.
New York City is my hometown. Everyone is welcome here.
It particularly saddens me that 5 tourists–college buddies–from South America were killed.