Thank You for Caring About Chapel Hill

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Dear reader from a different faith,

It is no surprise that over two million tweets have flooded the net about the brutal murder of three innocent Muslim Americans last week.  After all, Islam is a religion that brings happiness to billions of people in this world and we are all traumatized by the news that such a horrible crime could happen in a free society.  But what touches my heart is that many of you tweeting do not share my faith.  And that brings comfort and relief to my wary mind.

When I heard about the news, I was so stunned I could not even speak.  I cried.  I spent hours with my head doubled over from a stress-induced migraine that I haven't felt in years.  I cried some more.  

I also felt a twang of jealousy.  Yes, you read me right.  Jealousy.  I thought to myself, "What one beautifully sincere deed did these three young people do that was so amazing that God decided to bring them to Him and make them worthy of the highest levels of Paradise?"  I can only hope that I may be able to reach a level of bravery even close to theirs.  Masha Allah, as we say in Arabic, or "So is what He sees befitting."

You see, dear Reader, there is a verse in the Quran (second chapter) that goes so far as to request that we not refer to those who have been killed due to their belief in God as being "dead."  God says, "Verily, they are living!  But you do not feel it."  These three young heroes have not died.  They are not dead.  They are free.  Free in a way that I worry our society may never understand, because we continue to try to pressure one another into conformity.  

But then again, there are those shining stars like yourself, dear Reader from another faith, who refuses to allow discrimination against any human being--even those like me who may dress differently than you do.  You stand for justice; you grieve for the students in Chapel Hill as if they were your own little siblings.  And that is why I thank you.  If our world contained more people like you, these winters would not seem so cold, and today's hatred would not seem to overbearingly threatening.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Please accept my gratitude.  Any other words fail me right now.

Dena AtassiComment