Without getting into definitions from various sources both professional and informal, violence is an attack on humanity. Why someone must inflict pain on others is beyond me. I don’t understand how a person can purposely hurt another, much less when that hurt leads to the inevitable demise of one or more of the arguing parties. Is it that we are so underdeveloped that we cannot help trigger love and forgiveness instead of hate?

Now, as I sit at my desk, I am riddled with a sense of insecurity that often decides to pay me a visit, and it has nothing to do with appearance, good looks, or even whether or not I have made something of myself. Rather, it is the insecurity bred into me as ‘other’ both female and Hispanic. From a very young age, I knew I was different, and it was not because I had some outward deformity. I was Mexican. I was non-white. I was girl. I was me. Now, many years later, I am Muslim, and again I am relegated to the position of ‘other’ for my choice of religion. I read the news, watch the newscasts, ponder over media coverage of what they think Islam and Muslims must be, and I am aghast at the ignorance and hatred that makes us base, lower than the animals we claim superiority over. Are we really so evolved? I think, rather, we have regressed to less than animals if we can treat each other this way.

This last week alone, three young Muslim students were murdered. The media say a ‘man’ murdered them. Had the victims been non-Muslim and the perpetrator Muslim, the latter would have been broadcast as being a terrorist. If terrorist is what the media defines, then this man falls into this category as though it the role itself were tapered to his very being. Parking dispute? Really? Would this have been the case if the reverse were true? Another family was assaulted at a local market, harassed and physically and psychologically abused by white men. Did anyone do anything? No, of course not. Why would they? The Arab family man was even restrained, not the perps. Violent much?

I will not go into what it feels like to be a Muslim, for I doubt the world is willing to listen. My life, or that of my fellow Muslims, has little weight in the scale of apathetic souls willing to prostitute themselves to comfort. The day will come, though, when something will qualify them as ‘other’ and the wheels of injustice will turn in their direction. In a world where Palestinians are blatantly murdered in a systematic ethnic cleansing the world sees fit to stand by and watch, I have no hope of my voice being valued for what it is: God’s gift to me as a human being. God is Just. God is Fair. God is All-Knowing. He does not forget but takes accurate account of all our deeds and misdeeds. I have but to wait for all our deeds to come to the surface and all remuneration to be delivered, even against the will of those deserving of their pay. What the world neglects, God will surely make to pass.

I am truly saddened by all the happenings of the world today. An Indian grandfather paralyzed by police. People dying around the country for the drunk-on-power gun-toting police force akin to Gestapo forces of the Nazi regime. People of color, religion, or ethnicities found unacceptable by some and harassed for their identities is no different from what people suffered at the hands of the Inquisition, Holocaust, or other such events. Will we ever learn that it is the sublime act of love and forgiveness, wrapped in knowledge and respect that would help allay such problems? I hope for the sake of the world we change, and soon.



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