We must always remember we are not invincible

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It is truly amazing what humanity has achieved. We have been to the moon. We have sequenced the human genome. We can even design babies. In my field of critical care medicine, diseases that uniformly killed not that long ago are now survivable. It doesn’t mean that we should do all that we can do, and it is amazing all the while.

Indeed, all of this advancement is from God:

Thy Lord is most noble, Who taught by the Pen, taught humanity that which it knew not.

And all of this amazing advancement has made us arrogant. We have arrogated to ourselves omnipotence, omniscience, and total independence of anyone or anything. …


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She was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was an unusually aggressive form of breast cancer. She needed multiple surgeries. She needed several months of very harsh chemotherapy. It weakened her to the core. She lost all of her hair, and she had a lot of very debilitating side effects. She nearly died — twice — from life-threatening infection. It was a very rough go at it. Then, she got the news: she was cancer free. All of the scans came back negative. It was such a wonderful success.

Throughout her grueling chemotherapy treatment, she would mention, often in passing, that she would love to get a Peloton at home. Even after she beat the cancer, she would still be weak. She was afraid to go to the gym, because it would take a long time before her immune system would come back to its original strength. She needed something that was convenient, right at home, that would help her build her strength after nearly losing her life to cancer. And so, he bought it for her. On the one month anniversary of her being declared cancer free, the Peloton was delivered to their home. …


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Today, my maternal grandmother Zainab passed away. She had been sick for quite a while, and she finally returned to her Lord this morning. Thank God, she was not in pain, not in distress, and she was not in an ICU with tubes and lines running in and out of her. She was 96-years-old.

She was such a beautiful soul. I would always love going over to her house growing up because, unlike my own mother, she would let me eat whatever and how much I wanted. …


Those who constantly demonize immigrants can not get a free pass

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Take a look at this picture. Take a long, hard look. This is what happens when anti-immigrant hate speech goes un-condemned and unopposed.

In the wake of the Christchurch massacres, I spoke out against those who constantly demonized Muslims as “terrorists” and the “other,” and I wrote:

In the wake of the truly horrific NZ mosque shootings, with over 49 dead, those who have said terrible words about Islam and Muslims are now backpedaling, trying to distance themselves from what they have said in the past.

HELL NO.

You can’t back away from what you said in the past. You can’t un-own the hateful rhetoric directed against Islam — not extremist Muslims, not the barbarians whom all Muslims reject — but Islam itself. You can’t distance yourself from citing some backward Sheikh in some village somewhere in the Muslim world and then saying, “See? …


This is an issue that affects all communities of faith

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Almost 100 investigators are working to determine who is behind a series of black church fires in Louisiana:

About 100 investigators are working to find who is behind a series of church fires that have struck rural areas of Louisiana in recent weeks.

The fires, which have prompted calls for prayer by the state’s governor, destroyed three predominantly black churches in St. Landry Parish, around Opelousas, in late March and early April and caused minor damage to a mostly white Pentecostal church in Vivian, about 200 miles north in Caddo Parish.

Ashley Rodrigue, a spokeswoman for the state fire marshal, said investigators have yet to determine if the three fires at historic Baptist churches in Opelousas and Port Barre are related or if any of them are tied to one at the church in Vivian. But she said the number of investigators is unusually high. It includes 40 federal staffers, including agents from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; 40 state agency workers; and 20 people from local agencies. …


Was she saying that my not eating pork or drinking alcohol makes me un-American?

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“Think about this,” she said.

“She’s not getting this anti-Israel sentiment doctrine from the Democrat Party. So if it’s not rooted in the Party, where is she getting it from? Think about it. Omar wears a hijab. Which, according to the Quran 33:59, tells women to cover so they ‘won’t get molested.’ Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?”

Her remarks were condemned by Fox News in a statement on March 11:

“We strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro’s comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar. They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly.” …


Love will always trump hate

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I was blessed to attend an interfaith vigil in solidarity for the victims of the New Zealand massacre. It was held at one of the mosques at which I regularly attend prayers. They originally had space set up for 500 people. The room was packed so full, that it was standing room only.

One by one, faith leaders, political leaders, and law enforcement eloquently spoke and expressed their love, their solidarity, their support, and spoke out against the horrible hatred that manifested itself in Christchurch. …


I ask the Precious Lord God, as well as all you here, to bear witness

Time and and time again, I am contacted by people wondering why I — and the “silent majority” of Muslims — have not condemned the violence perpetrated against innocent people by Muslims in the name of Islam. The specific act of violence varies, but the accusation against Muslims is the same: you so-called “moderate” Muslims do not — and have not — condemned the violence in the name of Islam.

Now, this is not true. Muslims have condemned terrorism and indiscriminate violence ad infinitum. The condemnations, however, are not heard, and we are accused of being “silent” in the face of the vicious murder and violence committed in Islam’s name. In addition, no other group, except Muslims, has been repeatedly asked to condemn the acts of the criminals among them. Most people understand that the actions of the few do not reflect the truth of the many…except when it comes to Muslims. This framework implicitly accuses ordinary Muslims of complicity in said acts of violence if they do not shout out condemnations every single time some Muslim somewhere does something wrong. …


The claim by some is a distraction from the real issue of incitement

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I am beginning to see a trend — in the wake of the savage massacre of Muslim worshippers in New Zealand — among some pundits and commentators. They are claiming some are using the barbaric murder of Muslims in New Zealand as a pretext to “curb free speech.” Tucker Carlson himself said it in the video below:

About “censorship” he said:

Already tonight you’re hearing calls — in this country — for curbs on free speech in response to the New Zealand massacre. Jeff Bezos’ newspaper wasted no time in blaming the entire thing on the free flow of ideas that are “spreading hate.”…Censorship does not make us safer. …


Those who have demonized Islam and Muslims will not get a free pass

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Take a look at this picture. Take a long, hard look.

This is the reality that is Islamophobia. This is the result of the endless and incessant demonization and attack on Islam and Muslims. This is the result of constantly dehumanizing Muslims as the “other,” as the “invader,” as the “terrorist hoarde” coming to “impose Sharia law” on the masses.

In the wake of the truly horrific NZ mosque shootings, with over 49 dead, those who have said terrible words about Islam and Muslims are now backpedaling, trying to distance themselves from what they have said in the past.

HELL NO. …

About

God, Faith, and a Pen

Reflections on Faith by Hesham A. Hassaballa. Books: “Beliefnet Guide to Islam” and “Noble Brother,” the Prophet Muhammad’s story entirely in poetry.

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