Portland, Oregon is a city of heroes. As two teenage girls were beingattacked for their faith and color, silence did not rule.
People of love stood up against hate, fear, and anger.
That was when nine heroes were born: Two gave witness to love through their lives. One was injured. Two teenage were girls traumatized. Four brave souls followed the murderer until they got him arrested.
I have personally signed a pledge today to never remain silent when someone is being attacked.
I invite you, in this blessed month of Ramadan, to take a stand in solidarity with the Portland heroes. To speak up when you see anyone being attacked.
As Ms. Asha Deliverance, mother of a murdered young man, puts it:
Two precious lives were lost this Memorial Day weekend in Portland and one more, nearly so. All three were strangers to each other, and to those they were defending. They fearlessly risked their lives for two young women who were threatened by an act of bigotry & terror.
We cannot remain silent. We must stand together, in loving relationship, hand in hand, against fear, hate, and anger.
- Sign the above-mentioned pledge and then share it with others. It is being launched by the One America Coalition, which includes groups like the ACLU, Daily Kos, J Street, Voto Latino, Color of Change, Sound Vision, Charter for Compassion, the Interfaith Center of New York, among 50 other organizations
- Write a personalized letter of love, appreciation, and solidarity to each of the heroes' loved ones, by hand, if possible.
- Write to Eric Best, the son of Ricky John Best, a 53-year-old father of four, a veteran, who was stabbed to death
- Write to Asha Deliverance, the mother of the 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, who was stabbed to death
- Write to Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, who was also stabbed by the attacker, and who is expected to survive. He wrote poems in support of Muslims
- Write to Ayesha, (not her actual name, as she is too traumatized to reveal her identity) the 17-year-old hijabi girl who was the target of the murderer's assault
- Write to Ms. Destinee Mangum, the 16-year-old girl who was also the target of the murderer's attack
- Mail these letters to Muslim Education Trust at the following address. Write the name on the envelope for the hero or his family. They will hand deliver it to the families:
- Muslim Education Trust, 10330 SW Scholls Ferry Rd., Tigard, OR 97223
- You can send checks for the victims to the above address as well. Several crowdfunding websites are raising funds. The one directly connected with the Muslim Education Trust is this. And the Chicago Muslim Community is collectively raising at this GoFundMe page
- Consider organizing a vigil in your city
Talking PointsThese can be used in a Khutba or in social media discussions.
- We stand in solidarity with the city of Portland amid this tragedy
- The cycle of war-terror-hate must be broken. The first Gulf War became the starting point of this vicious cycle. With the start of war, began the spread of terrorism in the region, which feeds into the hate directed against Muslims. Now, this cycle regularly results in the loss of life, as seen in Manchester and in Portland. While most oppose only terrorism, it is critical that we oppose all three equally: War-terror-hate
- We must record and register each hate incident. It is happening all around us. It is happening more often than it is recorded
- Taliesin Namkai-Meche's mother is passionate about ensuring that her son's death inspires lasting change that builds bridges of understanding and peace. To quote a statement from the family,"We ask that in honor of his memory, we use this tragedy as an opportunity for reflection and change."
- The cycle of war-terror-hate must be broken. Most people focus only on the problem of terrorism. But in reality, the first Gulf War became the starting point of this vicious cycle. With the start of war, began the spread of widespread terrorism in the region, which feeds into the hate directed against Muslims. Now, this cycle regularly results in the loss of life, as seen in Manchester and in Portland. While most oppose only terrorism, it is critical that we oppose all three equally: War-terror-hate. All three feed off of each other
- The Muslim community needs to be prepared for a long-term struggle to overcome rising fear, hate, and anger. That will require learning crisis management
- During the month of Ramadan, the hunger, and the Quran help us focus on the bigger picture. Dua is a way of talking to our Creator Who controls the world
Portland Muslim CommunityOver the weekend I have been speaking to Muslims in Portland. Alhamdu lillah, they are organized. Portland has 14 Masjids. They are working together with the city, as well as in coalition with other civic and interfaith allies. Brother Wajdi Said, President of Muslim Education Trust in Oregon, is leading the effort on behalf of the Muslim community. Their vigil had 700 people participating. They are also in touch with both of the traumatized girls who were the primary target of the killer's attacks.
May Allah bless us all and keep us strong.
Abdul Malik Mujahid
P.S. I hope you enjoyed the long weekend which inaugurated Ramadan. I personally was blessed to read more Quran and Seerah than I have in a while. Alhamdu lillah.
P.P.S. Please pray for the quick recovery of the injured and the two traumatized teenagers.