10 Feb Blessed to live in Washington
Assalamu Alaykum / Peace be upon you
Last Eid, Governor Jay Inslee took the podium at MAPS and addressed the Muslim community in our great state of Washington. Governor Inslee told us that in light of challenges across the country it is “not time to remain silent” but rather it is time to “stand together and embrace one another and not allow fear and hatred” divide us. The Governor committed to standing with our community should our rights be threatened. Several other state leaders, including our Congressmen/women and local leaders, visited MAPS this past year and made the same commitment to our community. Governor Inslee, AG Bob Ferguson and these leaders took the leadership in challenging the ban on Muslims traveling to the US from certain countries. Just moments ago, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled in favor of the State of Washington and rejected the presidential executive order on the travel ban. We commend Governor Inslee and our state leaders for standing by their words, by their commitments and by their convictions!
Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige and even his life for the welfare of others.” We are so blessed to live in a state led by leaders like Governor Inslee, our representatives in Congress and our local leaders, who embody the Reverend’s wisdom! I encourage all of you to send personal thank you notes, via Facebook, emails, phone calls and otherwise, to the Governor and other leaders of our state.
I would like all of us to ponder on three lessons here. First, we should all be proud to be residents of the beautiful state of Washington. The leaders and the citizens of our state came together in such a strong show of unity to oppose the discriminatory travel ban. Whether it be their presence at SeaTac or marching through the streets in Seattle or simply reaching out, our neighbors have truly stood by us. MAPS has been receiving many emails daily from concerned neighbors offering support to our community. Remember that there is goodness in man and we have seen this goodness come to life these past weeks.
Second, at a time when there is fear of a few concentrating power we have seen the wise Madisonian system of checks and balances kick in. The United States Government remains one “of the people, by the people, for the people,” as President Abraham Lincoln put it. We should all maintain a strong faith in our democratic system and cherish these noble ideals that have made our country great over the ages.
Third and I have said this time and again, as believers we are commanded to believe that everything happens by the will of God. Believing in divine decree is an article of our faith. We cannot allow ourselves to get dejected and gloomy even when we see others target the American Muslim community. We have a duty to respond in kindness and to believe that in the end good will always prevail. Indeed, our fate is solely in the hands of God.
“And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.” [Qur’an 41:34]
“Say: “Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has decreed for us: He is our protector”: and on Allah let the Believers put their trust.” [Qur’an 9:51]
Jazakum Allah khairan / Thank You
Mahmood Khadeer MAPS President