A vandalism incident at a mosque located in New Tampa, Florida, where Imam Azhar resides, is reported by our host, who calls it an atrocious occurring. With bomb threats towards the Jewish Community Centers and the desecration of their cemeteries in St. Louis and Philadelphia, this is a series of tragedies which are taking place with alarming frequency. And regardless of President Trump’s address in Congress to the Joint Session and the nation, the threats still persist. And the disturbing thing, as noted by Imam Azhar, is the neglect shown by President Trump regarding the Muslim incidents, whilst he in his own words denounces the ‘threats to the Jewish community, and the shooting in Kansas’.
A silver lining in this havoc is the coming together of the Muslim and the Jewish community, as they transcend beyond any religious or cultural barrier and offering a helping hand out of sheer humanity. By standing in solidarity regarding the Jewish tragedies and donating through the Go Fund Me website, the Muslims made the first step in standing up for the values of the entire humanity, which was returned by the Jewish who became the majority contributors towards the Muslim cause, wishing goodwill and Chai (long life) to those in need.
In relating a Hadith by the Prophet (PBUH), Imam Azhar allows the audience to see how creating a trend of goodness not only reaps rewards that are duplicated as someone else continues on the path, but this starts a chain of righteousness that is everlasting. And by inviting people towards animosity and rebellion, one has to carry the burden of the sin. Our host likens this to the concept of Karma and expresses his concern about the normalization and acceptance of these hate crimes, from which people are emboldened by the last person who did it, and so the pattern of viciousness continues.
By failing to educate people about the people of faith and allowing people to spike up hate and instill terror, it causes them to become intoxicated and respond in an aggressive manner. A very interesting outlook is brought to light by the Imam who says that history is repeated when we move backward, and recorded when we move forward. At the first sign of unrest and difficulty, people begin to retract and go backward where a lot of darkness lies. The need is to move onwards, by reaching out to those that are disturbed by the presence of other religions and practices, to reach out and engage them, for America will win not through the divide, but by standing in unison.
At the closing of the podcast, Imam Azhar encourages the viewers to keep struggling and to keep faith and hope alive, by praying to Allah and taking the first step. For by taking this step, we will bridge the void.
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