Muslim Americans, let's decide on how to get through this.

It’s been hard, for all of us.

People are scared and angry. It’s important now more than ever to come out of this as leaders in crisis management.

Here are a few things for us to all remember as Americans:

The comments you read online or the snippets of hate you see on television are from people who do not realize they know a Muslim. Almost everyone in America knows a Muslim but they are not aware of it. Muslims don’t all look the same and I think we can all do a better job of raising awareness of who we are, so a coworker I’ve known for over two years isn’t surprised when I tell them I’m taking off to celebrate Eid.

There’s definitely a tactful way of doing this that doesn’t involve randomly bringing up your faith. With all that’s going on, it’s easy to talk about how equally fearful and hurt we are by current events. However, rather than harp on all the negativity, it’s been incredible reading all the positive articles, posts, and messages from people supporting/defending Muslims. Continue to share all the good so we can stop sensationalizing the bad that perpetuates for good ratings.

Growing up, my parents are good about sharing sweets during Eid with our neighbors. We can still make kind gestures for our neighbors this holiday season.

There is no “moderate Muslim”, there are just Muslims or extremists. I no longer see a purpose in describing myself as a “progressive” or “moderate” either religiously or politically. No one has to claim to be a moderate because extremism exists. You can just be.

Muslims have accomplished the most in detecting or reporting extremism and we shouldn’t stop now. ISIS is a real threat for us.

You used to be able to just assume that all terrorists are all illiterate, ignorant, and fanatical. Now it’s as though ISIS has the funds and social intelligence to recruit any weak minded individual. Their motives have nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with arrogance and power.

The Quran and the Bible are so similar, that I got away with not reading the entire Bible and still passing my quizzes in my Christian Heritage course at Baylor. They share the same beautiful stories and dangerous language we so often see out of context. The arguments on Islam preaching war, oppressing women, violence - whatever - are equally present in the Bible and the Torah. These verses are apart of larger stories that ultimately end all three religions with a call for loving your neighbors, living with compassion, maintaining your virtue, patience, and faith.

Radicals exist in all faiths and philosophies and have existed in all era’s. Every religion has been tormented by extremists and terrorists. Unfortunately, this is the radical Islam era.

Surely this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our hearts brothers and countrymen once again.
— Robert F. Kennedy 1968

If you want to respond to people online, exhibit patience, empathy, and maintain a sense of collectiveness.

If there’s anything else that’s helped you get through this, please share.