This morning I woke up overwhelmed by sorrow for the atrocities that are currently being committed. Innocents are being killed around the globe as many of us continue on with our busy schedules. As I read about asymmetric warfare and attacks on innocent civilians in Istanbul, Baghdad, Bangledesh and Saudi Arabia all this past week, among others, I hurt for them. So, this morning I wrote this prayer as a way of empathizing with my global family. I refuse to remain silent on these issues any longer.
This is my prayer for the Middle East. This is my prayer for the world, for areas plagued by war zones, shattered dreams and merciless killing of the innocent.
This is my prayer for the so called “Islamic” state, Daesh, that the hearts of its followers would change. That individual agents within the group would see the massacre, see the truth: guerrilla warfare that preys on civilians is cowardly. That asymmetric warfare, and any kind of warfare, will not fight off the west or anyone else for that matter.
Killing of the innocent, war and the spilling of women, men, and children’s blood only creates and perpetuates debilitating fear. It separates the perpetrators more and more from their own humanity as each of their hands become blood-stained.
It’s easy for individuals to turn on the news, read about mass killings, car bombs and shooters and with one click, the channel has changed and they are onto another reality, forgetting about the pain and suffering of the “other.”
But, what about the innocents who are LIVING in the war zones? What about the children who are growing up without parents, who are forced to dodge bombs as they walk to primary school? What about the little boys who are trained to shoot bullets and kill? Who is stopping this from happening? What can be done? Generations are being lost before our eyes.
The answer cannot possibly be violence. Violence and killing will only lead to more civilian deaths. And peace cannot be achieved through such horrific means.
I’m not claiming to know what to do or how to fix this or the deep wounds it has caused. But I am asking everyone to stop being comfortable because your current living situation is. Our brothers and sisters just across a few man-made borders of a few western-made “countries” are oppressed, suffering and being killed.
Coffee shops, concert halls, street side murders, burned shopping malls. Their blood has forever stained each of our hands as we desensitize ourselves and do nothing, say nothing and sit back clicking through the news channels from our comfortable, safe homes.
Muslims are being persecuted when they should be being comforted. They are the innocent victims being killed by a group that is disgracing the name of a religion that declares peace and tolerance for all people under one universal God or in the Arabic language, Allah.
Tears continue to flood in as we look for answers. We call on our creator, who we have each given a different name, and we wait for something to be done. But, where has waiting gotten us in the past? It has only brought us to greater losses and more regret.
So stop being so comfortable and start praying. Comfort the innocent, comfort the hurting, pray for the victims and their offenders. Pray for peace and never lose hope in a brighter, more peace-filled tomorrow.
Stay true, live justly and always travel on.
Peace and love.