Thursday, July 28, 2016

One Week Ago...

One week ago today I got to attend a special reception at the White House to celebrate the Eid-al-Fitr holiday alongside President Obama. Needless to say, I was honored and humbled beyond belief to receive the invite, and while a computer meltdown at Southwest Airlines made my actually making it to the event a bit of a coin-toss, actually being there in that amazing building and just feeling all of its history wash over me is something I'll never forget.

The following morning, as I was flying out of our nation's capital, I had a chance to sum up some of the thoughts I had bouncing around my head and post them on my Facebook. What follows is the text of that post:

Sitting on the plane this morning, I finally have a moment to absorb the whirlwind events of the last 48 hours. Lots of highs, a few lows, all of which I'll carry with me for the rest of my life.

Agree or disagree with the White House Eid event (I've seen compelling cases for both, I just don't care to litigate it here), It represented the American Muslim community being acknowledged as a meaningful, integral part of our country's cultural tapestry.

This is an important message to hear from our government, especially when expressing solidarity with Muslims isn't exactly advantageous politically. As such, I couldn't help but be struck by the incongruousness of, hours later, watching a major party's nominee give an acceptance speech steeped in fear.

Fear of the future. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the other. These can lead us down some very dark roads if we let them. I guess the lesson in all of this for me is that this isn't a time to rest on laurels or take things easy because we've "made it." For people of conscience, the work continues. It always continues.

No comments: