Salam, so it's a new year. One filled with so much potential. So much energy. just SO MUCH.
And it scares me. That the end of our last year in the first 2000 decade, we had to witness acts of extremism. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8437496.stm It fills me with such regret, not because I had anything to do with it, but that our society could let something so scary slip under its radar. Granted, the plane hadn't taken off in America, that it wasn't the rigid American security system that this man went through, but that's not what I mean. How can our youth, both muslim and non-muslim, develop these extremist tendencies? Now, I know this man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23 years old, was not born and raised in the United States, but he did go through a european education system, he did come to the unites states for some time. Why are our youth being corrupted into extremist action and dialogue? Really, just think about it? We are facing two REAL issues: The first is, there are extremists out there, both in the physical world, as well as the world of the internet. The second is, there are fake extremists being planted by the government into our communities, to incite our youth into extremism.
We really need to address these issues. My advice is this, and given that I am a young adult with no real experience in parenting, it's up to our parents. Our parents REALLY need to be involved in the lives of their youth. They truly need to become their influence. If the parents are not involved with their kids, then the kids are just gonna find some other outlet of attention, respect, and love. Frequently in the last decade or so, the internet, video games, movies and the entertainment industry has filled this void. Parents can't connect to their children. Please, YOUTH can no longer connect to one another! But, essentially, what I am saying is: Parents, be involved with the youth. That doesn't mean start spying on them. Or being super micro-managers. It means, truly be there for them, and understand that their time is different than yours.
Young adults, and I mean between the ages of 30-45, you really need to connect to the younger folk as well. You are now well on your way to being professionals. Your personal life may not be at stake, but our society is at large. Do take the time to connect with the younger generation. You need to bridge that gap between them and their parents. You need to be INVOLVED. Think about your tiny baby and 2 decades from now.... do you really think it'll be you raising that child alone? Or does society have a play on things.
The second issue... well it's clear, we need to be vocal about these extremist plants that the government is using. Talk to your local civil rights organization. They will no what to tell you. Call MAS Freedom, or CAIR, or the ACLU, or the NAACP. They all know what I am talking about. This is an issue that has been around, before the immigrant muslim community got here (i.e. the United States).
Finally, I'd like to say, that we voted for change in 2008. But we need to understand that change comes from each individual actively changing. The Quran says “Truly, God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Quran 13:11). Regardless of whether you're a muslim, atheist, hindu, sik, christian, diest, jew, or any other religion/lack there of, you need to understand that the aforementioned statement is true. Change cannot come, until change is done from within. We really need to change.
So, now, we are beginning a new year and a new decade. Think about what small changes you can do within this year. And really, TRULY, think about what changes you think you can make in the next decade. What will 2020 look like?
I'll stop here, and I hope that we can combat extremism through advocating for moderation. Oh artists of the world, professionals, teachers, parents, stay-at-home moms/homemakers, secretaries, soldiers, freedom fighters, feminists, advocates, and everything between the youngest of young and the oldest of old, regardless of profession, PLEASE make CHANGE for the better your motto.
I pray for peace, forgiveness, tranquility, sincerity, and success for the human community.