Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Imam Zaid Shakir: Egypt: Between Old Men and Starfish Throwers

In response to these and other protesting voices, I simply say that these words are not intended to open old wounds or stir up old grievances. They are simply meant to tell those young people who are throwing starfish back into the sea to keep tossing. Young folks, when old men tell you that you are unrealistic, throw a starfish into the sea. When old men tell you that you are too idealistic, throw another starfish into the sea. When they tell you a storm is rushing towards the shore, so hurry home and protect yourself, defy the winds and rain and throw yet another starfish into the sea. 
If we cannot stand and peacefully condemn those who are working to ensure another fifty years of authoritarian brutality in places like Egypt, and encourage our children to do the same, then whither our future generations? If we cannot tell them that the best Jihad is a word of truth spoken to a tyrannical ruler, then what do we have to prevent them from believing that the likes of ISIS, al-Qaeda or Boko Haram embody the best Jihad? If we cannot reveal to them the fallacy in the statement that the only choice before them is to cower silently in their homes or see their countries descend into the hell currently afflicting Libya, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan or Iraq then what vision do we expect them to hold for the future?