This is an Allegra Lockstadt illustration.

Thank You Is Not Enough

An Open Letter to Rick John Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche.

Dear Rick John Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche,

Where do I even begin? I guess you will never know how much this means to me. Your bravery, valiance, strength and fearlessness. You stood against ignorance and hate only to have your own lives cruelly taken from this earth and your loved ones. You were two incredible heroes, angels on this earth that many will never have the honor to meet. But your actions will continue to inspire us against the evil face of hatred. You didn’t sit passively as a bystander or record the incident on the phone. Rather, you leapt into action to defend a girl who wore a scarf just like me and her African-American friend from being harassed.

Ricky John Best (Via HuffPost)

Mr. Best, you were an army veteran who served his country for 23 years abroad and lost your life defending freedom at home. You left behind a wife and four kids because you made the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you is not enough, but it’s all I can say. Taliesin, you were only 23, just two years younger than me. A recent graduate with an economics degree starting out your career, you were ready to take on the world. You are both beautiful souls; angels who walked this earth.

Thank you, for showing and reminding people like me why this is the greatest country on earth with the greatest people. We as Americans always find a way to stand for justice. We build a link of love and ferocity for the good fight and to not shy away from negativity but tackle it down head on.

In Islam, there’s a saying by Prophet Muhammad which goes, “The word of wisdom is the lost property of a believer, so that wherever he finds it, he should take it, because he is the one most entitled to it.” This means that besides learning from research and books, the world is our treasure trove of knowledge and anything we observe and see from others can be a teaching for us. And as my teachers, you have taught me so much. You’ve reminded me, as an American Muslim woman to be grateful for this country and for the incredible people like you. You’ve reminded me that I should be more outspoken towards injustice when I see it. You’ve shown me that it is never wrong to stand up for what is right.

This Ramadan, I prayed for your souls and for your families to be granted patience and honor. May we all be able to carry out your incredible legacy. InshAllah (God willing).

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