Tuesday, 16 April 2013

on seven sharp

well, today turned out to be a little different to what i expected.  i got the news of the bombings in boston at breakfast time, and was feeling sad about that.  and at the same time hearing about bombing in iraq, violence related to the upcoming elections.  there are days when the world feels like a pretty ugly place, and this was certainly one of them.

in the afternoon, i got the call from seven sharp to be on the show.  which duly happened, and you can see the clip here.  as with these things, the interview went really fast & i felt like i wasn't able to say many of the things that i had planned.  i did want to start with expressing my condolences to people who had suffered in the tragedy, but couldn't manage it because we were straight into the questions.

i also wanted to bring some balance to the context of muslims living in america.  on the one hand, there was the congressional inquiry, the move to ban shariah law in over 24 states (even though there hasn't been any great push by the muslim community to have it recognised - the laws are more of an attempt to attack muslims), various attacks on mosques and violence against individuals (see here as well).

but on the other hand, there are a whole lot of people who are supportive and working to build a more cohesive community.  there were plenty of americans who spoke out vociferously against the qur'an-burning pastor in wisconsin.  as is usually the case, the damage is done by a few, but the suffering is borne by many.

in that context, i watch events like to day with a deep sadness.  violence like this inevitably leads to more violence, in a backdrop of fear and increasing hatred.  it's so hard to break that cycle.  i didn't get time to mention the stuff happening around the globe - the invasions, occupations, drone strikes and targetted assassinations that build up to create a maelstrom where no-one feels safe.

it seems so overwhelming & that's why i try to keep my focus on the the local, the areas we can influence, the communities we live in. keep working to make positive change in the places we can, whether it's big or small.  because when a lot of people start working within their own communities, then it can lead to something bigger, something better.  an alternative to what we have seen today, and continue to see so many places around the world.

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