As the tide of what seems like a never-ending slew of stories of both love and hate flood and saturate our media sources post-election it has become ever important to look past established narratives into further truth.
Our first story literally comes from Los Angeles, a city more or less Democratic and liberal-leaning. It appears multiple letters have been sent from this area to mosques across the nation threatening genocide at worst, self-imposed exile at best.
While the letters contain awful language, they pose no specific threat and therefore cannot be tried as intent. Police and FBI have responded by increasing patrols and monitoring the situation.
The letters ostensibly came from a Reza Khan, a notably traditional Muslim name and similar to Reza Shah, the former ruler of Iran. Searches into the name have led to no results thus far, but indicate a person knowledgeable of Muslim culture.
The important note from this is to remain vigilant, supportive, and responsive even in communities traditionally deemed liberal bastions of tolerance.
Deep in Trumpland Texas, Justin Normand became explosively viral when he held up a sign outside a Irving Mosque:
“You belong. Stay strong. Be blessed. We are one America.”
One Muslim at the mosque noted, “We probably needed this, but my kids needed this a lot more.”
As for Normand, a Presbyterian, said the response to his stand was, “extraordinary and humbling,” but, “mainly because what I did isn’t (or shouldn’t be) all that extraordinary.”
Normand is far from the only Texan with these views, but he should be held up to both be an inspiration to others, and challenge the narrative that is all too easy to fall into about our fellow humans. Falling into that narrative is feeding the same roots that lead Islamophobia in the first place.
Thank you for letting other know they are not alone Justin, you are not alone either.